Will I remember sitting on a stool outside their door, listening for the first one to make a sound and jumping in to startle and scare them so they'll stay quiet next time?
Will I remember lying in bed with each child and praying over them, long, long passages of Scripture from memory so as to bore them into sleepdom? Will I remember which were their favourite hymns to have sung to them at bedtime?
Like tonight, when Timo said, 'If you keep singing 'The Lord's my Shepherd' I won't know any other songs!' At which point I switched to 'Tis so sweet to Trust in Jesus.'
Or when I asked Caleb what song he'd like, and he said, 'How firm a foundation' which he recently learned at school.
Will I remember rewarding them with back-scratches at bedtime - 5 minutes for the first one in bed and 4 for the next and 3 for the next? And how Andrew kept calling me, 'Come to my bed Mommy!' And when I get there he has a handful of Lego's and tells me, 'Build something.' To which I reply, 'I'm no good at building, Caleb can build it for you tomorrow.'
Will I remember the conversations I have with the kids in the dark on their beds - like last night with Priscilla:
'What do you want to be when you grow up?'
'I don't know. What do you want me to be?'
'I want you to be whatever God wants you to be.'
'But what would you want to be if you were me?'
'Well, I can't remember what I wanted to be when I was your age. But if I could grow up all over again, I wouldn't mind studying biology and doing research in a lab, or studying writing, or piano playing, or nutrition...but those are just the things I'm curious about - God has made you who you are, so you may have other ideas or interests!'
'Oh, maybe I want to be a Doctor.'
'That's great Priscilla. Maybe you can always rub my feet like you are right now, because I'll miss that!'
These are the days that demand wide-open ears to detect the murmurings of their hearts. And so often I fail to catch what is going on inside them.
'How can I pray for you Caleb?'
'Pray that I will remember to come to you when Timo or Andrew are bothering me.'
'Well, can I pray you won't get so bothered too?'
'But I try not to get bothered but they don't listen when I tell them to stop!'
'That's why you need to come to me.'
'That's what I asked you to pray for.'
'Oh. Sorry. I'll pray for that.
Thank you for being my audience and making sure I don't forget.