The morning started beautifully. Our two new babies had their first visit and my regular “at home babies” melted peacefully back into old routines, play rhythms, and camaraderie.
I got projects done. Oh my, did I ever!! I labeled things and sorted things. I organized and I scrubbed. This was glorious. And I had grand plans for the rest of the day.
But the rest of the day? It broke me. It broke all of us.
I knew it would be broken from the minute they came home. Home from a visit. Back home to us.
He saw me. And he started to sob. Like, a really grown up, deep down, heart breaking sobbing.
He covered his face in his chubby little hands and he sobbed.
I tried to hold him. To comfort him. To sing him songs. To soothe his little heart.
He only sobbed harder.
So we sat there. And we sobbed. Together. Hearts breaking.
And it was as if those tears, the sight of others losing the facade of control, broke the dam in all the little watching hearts.
And we cried.
Baby girl cried. She was inconsolable. She didn’t want to be held, she didn’t want to be swaddled. She didn’t want to have tummy time, she didn’t want to play on her back. She didn’t want to eat and she didn’t need to burp. She just cried.
And our new little boy, he just continued to cry. All through lunch. Crying himself to sleep at naptime. Waking up in tears. Refusing snack while sobbing. Standing to the side watching others play – in tears. Just crying.
And occassionally. Occassionally he would stop. And he would scream at the top of his lungs. A terrible, heart-rending scream. Anger. Fear. Confusion. Chaos. I could hear it all in that scream.
And I would cry.
My other children cried to.
One of them followed me around everywhere with his favorite book. “Read, me, Mama?” “Read, me, Mama?” And I would stop. Over and over and over again. And I would scoop that precious little body into my lap. Reading those same 5 pages again and again. Kissing away the tears on the little tear-stained cheeks. Reassuring. Loving. Reading.
And the littlest of our “regular” ones. He’s been the baby for over a year until this past week. I learned something about him today. He’s my little peacemaker. And his love displayed to others – others who were angry and unkind to him – it was beautiful to behold. But the tears he shed were so very sad. Tears much like mine. Recognizing the need…and recognizing the inability to meet the need.
And my girls. They cried. They cried over missed naptimes and incorrect papers from school. They cried over pants on backwards and snacks that weren’t “yummy.” They cried when I needed their help and they cried when I sent them to play.
And I cried. From exhaustion. From defeat. From hopelessness. From pain.
We cried through driving time, playing time, supper time, and bedtime.
We all just cried.
By God’s grace, Daddy was home for supper tonight. And he knew. He knew how little strength I had left. How fragile all the little lives around our table were. He knew.
And he was intent on making this family night.
After supper was over he went over the Bible lesson from Sunday school. Just yesterday.
He read the Scripture – Revelation. He taught.
Through song. Through memory work. Through examples. Through questions. Through charade.
We sang. We prayed. We laughed. We calmed.
And then it was bedtime. And the tears started right back up again.
But Mommy was refreshed. Just enough. From remembering.
The Lamb. The Lamb who was slain. Who was worthy. The Lamb. Who opened the scroll. Who made us members of the family. The Lamb. Worthy. Of all praise.
One at a time. To bed.
Our new little man first. Singing, crying, stroking the blond baby curls until those tired, blue, and very very sad eyes closed.
Then the other baby boys.
More songs. Rubbing noses, tickling under chins, the “I love you” contest. Familiar. Relaxing.
Then the little girls.
Blankets like burritos. Kisses on both cheeks.
And those big kids.
Thanking them for character shown. Reminding them of the family they belonged to. The one the Lamb had provided.
And now Mommy. Crying at the kitchen table. Tired. Worn. Utterly finite.
Thankful. Blessed. Resting. Trusting.
Remembering. The Lamb. The scroll. The family. The praise. The hope.
Because. Just a few chapters later.
Wipes every tear from their eyes.
When every wrong is righted.
When all is made just right.
When sorrow is no more.
When Heaven comes to earth.
When we will cry. No more.