Midnight Son

March 14, 2023

“It’s midnight, Son.”

He’s keeping you up all hours of the night. It’s not just midnight. It’s two a.m. and probably four. And there’s no guarantee of afternoon naps tomorrow.

You are his everything. You were blessed to create and grow him, and you and Eli are charged with raising him. Right now, the sun rises and sets for you both on this boy. Yet all the while, he thinks his Mom and Dad hung the moon. What he learns about trust, he is learning right now from you. The Lord keeps his soul and the angels watch him through the night, but yes, he really does think you hung the moon just for him.

I don’t have to tell either you or Eli to cherish this time with Harry. It’s fleeting, but you already know that. He was born just a minute ago, but he’s already 7 months old. I see you cherish him in a hundred ways. Silly songs and snuggles, tucking the blanket around his feet in the car seat, and warming up the car ahead of time, and staying home with him while Eli works, and working a hard 7-5 job while Grace stays home.

Oh how we pray for Harry to be successful and for you and Eli to be rock star parents. In the best case scenario, parenting is so hard and painful. You’ll hurt when he falls outside and breaks his arm. When he falls in love, then his heart gets broken. When he fails because he didn’t even try. When he fails even though he tried his hardest. You’re exhausted and so ready for Harry’s next, but it’s so sad to leave the known comfort of the baby days behind. It can be paralyzing to consider what struggles he might face in an uncertain future. When you have to let him make his own mistakes because he won’t listen to the lessons you learned from yours. When your old scars aren’t scary enough to stop him from hurting himself. When it’s your turn to step back because he is ready to take his own steps. When you stand at the ready, ready to cradle his fall, but your arms are empty because he’s steady on his own two feet. When the childish laughter stops, and the eye roll, or even worse, the silent and blank stare begins.

And parenting is confusing and you often won’t know what to do when you need to do it. When complaining is your first impulse, but prayer needs to be your first action. When maybe just giving him the answers to his homework will end this frustration at the kitchen table, but it won’t help him learn the math he needs to learn. When you’re afraid your discipline might push him so far away he might not come back, but you know that just idly standing by in permissiveness does him no favors. And you’ll make the wrong choices sometimes. But Grace, hopefully there will be enough grace to cover those mistakes (thank you for showing grace to your dad and me; we’ve needed it).

Remember he once was your midnight son. He was awake crying at midnight, and at two a.m. and probably four, when he woke you for some reason that doesn’t seem to be a wet diaper or a hungry belly or gas or boredom. He’s just awake, and your tired self is the one who gets to be there for that. Having him is not always laughter and smiles and silliness, though there is plenty of that. So yes, remind the boy that “it’s midnight, son, and I’m here with you, my midnight son.”

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