So my boys just flew home and I am sad.
Between my parents, their godmother Gail, my Aunt Jan, and Brian rotating their care-giving skills – Nicholas and Alexander got to spend 12 days in Minneapolis with us.
12 glorious days. And by ‘glorious’ I mean days of good mixed with major adjustments, days of happiness paired with abandonment issues, and days of excitement mingled with outbursts galore. Some days were considered more gory than glorious.
On one of these days, I walked the boys to a park near the hospital. Attempting to spend quality time, one thing lead to another (Alexander lost in a race against his big brother Nicholas) and the minuscule straw that was holding the camel’s back finally broke.
More like shattered.
Alexander went into full melt-down mode – one of those good old-fashioned, throw yourself on the ground, screaming ‘life is unfair’, tantrums.
The same tantrum I threw last week with God.
So I immediately scooped Alexander up, and the two of us found ourselves sitting on pavement in the middle of the playground with him weeping in my arms – for over an hour…..
Everyone says children are resilient. I here this over and over. But I hate that phrase – truly I do. It is not that I disbelieve the resiliency of youth, it is the fact that statement is used so many times as a cop-out. We say this as adults to make OURSELVES feel better. A way to ignore children’s very real pain behind very real problems. NO child is comforted by being told they are resilient during suffering. They want acknowledgement – they want to be held – they want to be loved.
And my Alexander was in great pain while grieving great loss. He grieved the loss of his family unit. Lost time with his father. Lost time with his mother. And especially lost time with his sister. He grieved a care-free childhood, his stability, his security and his peace. Alexander simply grieved.
As I rocked him through his hurt, his tears and mine fell upon the concrete in unison. We were holding and loving each other through this pain when all of the sudden Nicholas interrupted our special moment shouting:
“Mom, Alexander, you are NOT going to believe this! There is a man walking around in his underwear playing a trumpet!”
And sure enough – Nicholas was right. There was a man parading around in a sports jacket and undergarments playing a trumpet in shrieking, not-so-very musical tones.
It was a surreal sight – a tad disturbing – and absolutely hilarious.
In less than five seconds, Alexander and I went from tears of deep sadness to tears of deep laughter. The three of us rolled together on the ground roaring until our stomachs ached with muscles we hadn’t used in far too long.
We experienced God’s beauty when “our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. And then it was said…, ‘The Lord has done great things for us’ (Psalm126:2).”
All of our pain came to a crashing momentary halt when we were able to tap into the gift of pure, unadulterated laughter. We began to remember great things from our Lord and the fun moments He provides while temporarily forgetting our sadness. This similar scenario has happened far too often to be coincidental. Only God knows when I am at my wit’s end to suddenly bring a jolt of humor into my life. Something to take me away from my ‘I can’t take it anymore’ moment and bring me joy.
Even if that joy is a man donning nothing other than underpants marching through the park with a trumpet. And yes, that very half-dressed man became my and my boy’s unexpected miracle of the day.
Thank you Lord for the glorious gift of laughter to relieve us from our stress-filled lives.
Love to each and every one of you,