My spirit abides among you; do not fear. —Haggai 2:5 (nrsv)
"I don’t like my big-boy bed.” Benji lay still under the covers and stared up at me. The day before, I’d taken down his crib and rebuilt the toddler bed, which had sat disassembled in the closet ever since we’d bought a twin bed for Frances. At two, it was Benji’s turn to leave behind a major prop of babyhood.
“I’m scared,” Benji whispered. He missed the security of the crib. I missed the crib too. One of my favorite bedtime rituals was holding Benji during goodnight prayers. Now we said prayers with him in bed.
Why was I in such a rush anyway? Yes, caring for a baby can be exhausting, and the glimpses we’d had of life with two kids instead of babies— hiking trips, playground games, days ungoverned by nap schedules—were tantalizing. But every milestone of life is like a little death. The past is unrecoverable. Why not try to slow things down?
“Want me to pick you up to say prayers?” I asked. Benji nodded. I picked him up and held him like always. His head burrowed into my neck. We said our thanks, our blessings. I laid him down and pulled up the covers. “Goodnight, little guy. I love you.”
I paused at the door. Some things were different; some things were the same. All we could do was trust God to guide us through the changes.