What’s That Up There on the Table?

12 Dec

Henry’s walking.

He went from a cute little “toddle, toddle, sit” to really walking in just a couple weeks. It happened so fast that I didn’t get any good videos of him during that phase. It went by in the blink of an eye!

Don’t all phases with our kids?

When you’re in the middle of them, deep in a sleep-deprived abyss of up-all-night teething and tears, it feels like the night will never end. But it does. At some point everyone fell asleep and the sun came up. Life continued.

Henry’s newest phase happens to be tables.

Side tables, end tables, coffee tables, kitchen tables. He’s just tall enough that his little hand sneaks up, pats around until he finds something and once his fingers find a good hold, he yanks.

Books. Pacifiers. Full cups. Notepads. Pens. A plate of cookies. Jackson’s homework. It really doesn’t matter what it is to him; he needs it and it’s coming DOWN.

Today I watched him grab the handle of my coffee mug and, only because I still have the reflexes of a first baseman, was able to catch it before he could bring it down all over himself. Ahhh, another gray hair!

(What do they say? Good hands, quick feet…he’s going to be an athlete.)

Carrying my mug into the kitchen, I got to thinking about how this particular phase never goes away as an adult. It just transitions. As adults, there is always something we want just out reach –a new job or love or degree.

Or may it’s fertility or wealth. Health.

It’s so hard to wait on something you want so badly. God – where are You in my longing?

Waiting on life to “start” is where most of us go off track.

We start taking things into our own hands and almost pour hot coffee on ourselves. Let’s be honest: some of us have to get burnt to learn. We want to knock the table over and see what’s up there for ourselves. I will get what I want!

We begin to think we’re entitled because we’ve been waiting for it longer/working for it harder/are more qualified than the person beside us. And we get bitter when it’s just not happening yet. I deserve what I want!

Or we start justifying our own answers with the wrong people, things or substances. I want what I want, when I want it!

During Jackson’s treatment, I kept thinking: let’s get through chemo. Through surgery. Let’s get through transplant then immunotherapy. Finish treatment. Get one year out, then two.

We reached that point and it wasn’t all I thought it would be. How long do I have to wait, God, until the cancer feels gone forever?

With Abby, the waiting pain was trying to white knuckle a pregnancy going bad. Then it was the NICU: getting off the vent, learning to take bottles by mouth and passing the car seat test. Then she had to recover from eye surgery and get released to go home. But we lived from one head scan to the next hoping her hydrocephalus would resolve. She had brain surgery. Physical therapy. Casting. Botox. Bracing. Another brain surgery.

How long, God, will I worry about bathtubs and ladders or her future way up there on the table?

Maybe the coffee flashed before my eyes, but it’s taken me 33 years to take to heart that this thinking is all wrong. We’re not all living “until” this or that starts or ends…the party’s already started. This is it. No one is promised a life free of struggle. It is, however, a daily choice to bring the light with you into a room or watch the room light up as you leave. Get bitter or know better.

If your life exists only after you get off from work at 5 or once the credit card bill will be paid off or only for one week each summer on vacation, you’re doing it wrong, too. I promise you, you’ll grow enough to see what’s on the table, just like Henry will one day.

But patience. God’s in the waiting.

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