My son Wesley is sick. So today, I worked on my laptop at the kitchen table while he played quietly in the living room. While I was writing an article for the upcoming newsletter, Wes calls out from the living room, “Hey Dad, it’s kinda nice with just you and me in the house.”
Caught off-guard, I wasn’t sure what to say, exactly. It was so unashamedly honest, and so purely innocent. Here is a five-year-old boy who has to contend with a big sister who wants to be his mama hen all the time, a three-year-old foster sister whose preferred means of communication is whining and stomping at him, and a toddler foster brother who takes up a huge chunk of his parents’ attention. I mean, what’s a kid got to do to get a little undivided attention around here?
The answer seems to be, “Run a fever of one hundred one and stay home from school.” Come to think of it, his staying home from school sick was the first time he had been away from other kids for ... I honestly don't know how long. At home, church, school, dance, soccer - he is always with other kids. The only time he ever gets to be alone with me seems to be when he is home sick.
And in the middle of the misery of his high temperature, runny nose, aches and pains, and periodic sneezing fits, he pauses long enough to reflect on how things feel, and he finds it “kinda nice.” And not only does he find it “kinda nice,” he also takes the time to tell me that it feels “kinda nice.” What a good kid!
Thank you, Wesley, for being who you are. And thank you for reminding me to appreciate the quiet moments of life, when a dad and a son are just hanging around together, not doing much of anything. I promise not to wait until you are sick to make time to be together, just me and you. It feels kinda nice to me, too.