Matthew and Nicholas have a new favorite thing to do before going down for a nap and going to bed at night. They wanted to be rocked in the rocking chair. It's only been a couple of days, but I'm loving these quiet moments with each boy.
These are children who never wanted much to do with rocking, even at 5 months old. Yes, they would tolerate it, but it wasn't something they particularly wanted or needed. They've always been affectionate kids, and we have always held them close and shared many snuggles and cuddles, but the rocking thing is new.
I think what makes this time so special is directly related to reading about another mom whose son is very, very ill. I've been reading the blog of MckMama, a mom who I haven't met personally, but whose journey with her youngest son is one I have followed since before he was born. Her son, Stellan, was diagnosed with multiple heart problems in utero, and was not expected to live through childbirth. He defeated the odds, and was not only born alive, but born full term and seemingly healthy. Sunday night (also the day the boys first asked to be rocked), Stellan's parents took him to the hospital because he was struggling to breathe as a result of a cold going through the family. After two treatments with a nebulizer, he went into SVT (Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). He's been flipping between SVT, V-Tach, and "normal" heartrate since being admitted to the hospital. The doctors are trying everything they know to do for this baby, trying to slow his heartrate down, fighting to keep him alive. (Just a quick note, MckMama's blog is heartbreaking and encouraging at the same time. She is quick to give thanks to God in all things, and yet she is transparent in her fear and struggle with the unknown.)
Everyone refers to Stellan as a miracle, and I believe it to be true as well. Whether he lives through this and into old age or not, his struggle for life and his mother's story about faith, has forced me to slow down. Had I not known about Stellan before Nicholas asked to be rocked on Sunday night, I might have done it half-heartedly, wanting to get it done because it was past his bedtime and we had people coming to our house, and I sitll have a list of things to do. But Stellan got sick, and I happened to read an update from his mom right before bedtime. I picked Nicholas up and held him tight, rocking him for just a minute, but taking that minute to let him know how much I love him. Then I picked Matthew up, rocked him for a minute and told him how much I love him. This has quickly become the routine, and one that I am thrilled to embrace. I know they won't want to be rocked for long, but I am going to do it when they ask, hold on tight, and let them know how much they are loved. And I have Stellan to thank for that.
If you read this blog, and you pray, please pray for Stellan, his parents, and his older brothers and sister. If you want to keep up with their story, you can go to their blog at http://www.mycharmingkids.net
And don't forget to hug your kids and tell them you love them. You don't know what tomorrow brings...