My house is full of dump trucks and robots and stinky shoes. I experience loud rough-housing and wiggly, dirty hands touching things that should be left alone - daily. It’s not rare for me to notice my boys picking their nose and then folding down the top of their pants so they can wipe the boogers there. But one day this past summer, these same sticky little boys took me by surprise. It all started with a phone call.
“Can you come home?” I croaked into the phone.
“What’s wrong?” My husband asked in a low voice.
“My head. It’s a migraine. If you’re not coming home I'll have to leave the TV on all day for the boys.”
“It doesn’t matter - just take care of you,” he said. “But I don’t think I can come home.”
We hung up and I groaned. How would I make it all day with this hammer hitting my head over and over?
I wobbled into the living room, turned the television on and barely made it back to bed. I couldn’t open my eyes because of the throbbing but I could hear my angels actually getting along. I hoped and prayed the TV wasn’t frying their brains!
After three hours of children's television, they weren't the monsters I expected. In fact, they were ready to help when my husband surprised us with lunch.
Working as a team, they moved me to the couch. My five-year-old covered me with his favorite blankie, then piled each of his most precious stuffed animals around my body. My three-year-old gently kissed my forehead and said, “Mama, I love you.” They took care of me with gentle hands and soft words.
From breakfast to bedtime those three guys pampered me. They expected nothing of me but to feel better. And eventually I did. When the headache stopped, I was left feeling very grateful. I wanted to thank the migraine for helping me see a softer side of my boys. They're not just puppies in need of constant adventure. They are also little men with the same sweet, gentle heart their earthly daddy has.
Still, though, they're boys who will nearly always choose mischief over quiet solitude; but now I can see that they are also full of love and a willingness to share their most prized possessions. For this glimpse into their hearts I am so grateful.
This short essay appeared in the MOPS newsletter for Lake Grove Presbyterian Church. Nikki has enjoyed writing a column for her MOPS group's newsletter called Confessions of a Sassy Mama. She is a mom of two active boys, 3.5 and 5.