He is up at dawn, hours before his older brother starts to sing. Bright sunlight slips through the slats of his window blinds, enough to rouse his tousled head from sleep.
Two rooms over, I hear his protests grow louder. I give up the dream of sleep, untangle my limbs from their warm cocoon and stumble across the cool wood floor. Morning birds in the pine tree near my window chirp too cheerfully for anyone without caffeine.
As I slowly push open the door to his soft yellow room, he turns with wide eyes, then beams delight when he recognizes my face. She’s here!
We roll into regular rhythm of morning routine: cuddle, kiss; nurse, change; breakfast, books. The house wakes up slowly around us, creaking as it stretches into sunshine.
He begins to rub his eyes, push away the spoon. I wipe smears of banana off his cheeks and gather him into my arms. We climb back up the stairs, slowly and soft to keep big brother sleeping.
We settle into the rocker in the corner, cool breeze fluttering curtains. I pull a stack of small books onto my lap next to him, their gnawed corners proof of baby belovedness. I read a counting book, a barnyard story, an owl tale. His chubby fingers fumble to turn the pages.
I wonder how my words sound to his ears. The rise and fall of their cadence, a sing-song of mystery. Only by tuning to the rhythm of language will he learn to speak for himself. But for months it must seem a strange mumble that tumbles from our mouths.
Does God’s word fall the same? I wonder. Muffled and mysterious on ears that make no sense of strange sounds.
Only over time and the slow, steady turning of my mind’s desire to learn does their shape become clearer. The heart senses meaning where it couldn’t before: maybe God sounds like this; maybe God means like this.
God keeps speaking, patient and prodding, while I fumble to turn the pages. Trusting that truth will emerge, hoping that small epiphanies will awaken me to some deeper understanding.
A glimpse of a face I recognize as beloved: She’s here!