Oh, baby!

Categorized as  children,  cousins,  extended family,  uncles, aunts, babies

“Lord, please let me go see the babies.”

It’d been almost three years since we’d been home (that being the wheat fields of Kansas), and I was feeling it.  My baby brother (best, worst, and only one) and his wife had gotten two more babies, one by adoption and one by natural means, and auntie hadn’t met them yet.

Looking at those three precious faces on my fridge, I’d begun praying this year that I could go home to meet the new ones, hold them on my lap, and kiss their precious heads. Disappointed that the way hadn’t opened up, the prayers had slowed.

Today, however, I rejoice.  Since Aunt Rhonda couldn’t go to the babies, Jesus is bringing the babies to her!

This weekend, the mama and daddy of the Three Tiny Stooges are doing a very brave thing.  They’re traveling all the way to Northern Indiana, by far their longest trip ever, with Ashlyn (3), Brady (2), and Halli (1).  We are going to love on babies.

Ash will turn four while she’s here, and we will have a party.  Our Little (he’s five) will play with cousin Ash, sharing his swings, trampoline, tricycle, Hummer, and all the toys in his room.

The boys, meanwhile, are thrilled that Favored Uncle Terry is coming.  Big as they are, they’ll play the old favorite, a glorified game of Hide-and-Seek called “Scary,” dressing in black and sneaking all over the property like ninjas.  This never gets old.

And speaking of babies, last night was a poignant reminder of just how fast they grow up.  There we were at Grandpa Schrock’s house, gathered for one last summer cookout.  The daddies were outside, grilling burgers.  The mommies were inside, preparing the rest.  And the cousins, three girlies and five boys, were sailing down Grandpa’s hill on bikes, scooters, and anything with wheels.

Shrieking and laughing, they flew, one at a time, one after the other.  Standing over the kitchen sink, I turned to Grandpa who was cutting up a cantaloupe at the counter.

“You know,” I said, “there won’t always be cousins flying up and down that hill.”  These are the good days.

And Grandpa, who himself had seen five of his own grow up and leave, shook his head, making a noise low in his throat.  He knows about the growing and the leaving.

So this morning, I give thanks for babies that come and babies that grow and children big and small born into families where they’re welcomed and loved and joyed over.  And in a mere three weeks, there will come one more to join our burgeoning crowd by Grandpa’s hill…

Thank You, Jesus, for all of the babies.  And thank You for bringing them to me. Amen.

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