He spends his waking hours running from one thing to another, scaling up chairs just to find the sure footing for a swan dive deep into cushions. He tears through the pages of a book and the blocks of a tower with both speed and zeal. As my knees and palms pound the hardwood floor, he straddles my waist while he roars like a lion and growls like a bear, washing his face in delight.
Though he passes the time during the day with his foot always on the petal, this boy-child receives the sweet, thick gift of sleep like a spoonful of honey. When the clock strikes seven o’clock, as if on cue, his deep roars become soft moans as he slowly crawls onto cushions only to gently rest his head.
But Sunday night he awoke from his honey sleep with such a jolt that his cry snapped me right off the couch. His bedroom door creaked as I opened it, pouring light into the dark, causing his water-filled eyes to squint. I scooped him up, quick as a spank, and landed him softly on my chest. His small arms tucked inside my wrap while he found his exhale. My steady heartbeat anchored his that raced, and his little body relaxed to the whispering of ancient hymns. Soon, wails turned to whimpers that folded into silence.
This child, who constantly knocks on the door of boyhood in the daytime rays of the sun, is all settled into infancy in the nighttime light of the moon. He moves with such force in the waking hours, that to have a moment of still with him in the night is rare treasure, reminding me that my most precious gifts are wrapped in the paper of ordinary. These days, most of the time, I feel far from heaven. But on this night, in this dark room, with the curls of the wild child resting on my shoulder, I watch his chest rise and fall in step with his breath and I swear, I hear the angels sigh.