I don’t know what it is about 10:30 p.m. but that’s when it happens. Almost every night, when I’m exhausted and empty after a long day of being the taxi, working and navigating the homework wars. After I’ve negotiated the shower times, pretended not to notice Eugene sneaking one more chapter before turning the lights out and making sure Andrew knows that I know he’s trying to sneak into his aunt’s room to watch one more inning of the ballgame, I’ve finally made it to my own room to be alone and silent. I finally have the quiet time to spend writing away the cares, worries, triumphs and prayers of the day. It’s late and I need to lay aside the day in the only way I know how – to write it out longhand in a scrawl only I can read. Without fail, that’s when it comes – the soft tentative knock, followed by, “Hey Mom…can I talk to you?”
And how can I say no? So in comes one or the other of my sons. Andrew likes to sit in the office chair with his feet up on my bed. Eugene likes to crawl onto the bed next to me. And instead of being able to let go of all my worries, I find myself instead taking on someone else’s. I want to protest. I’m too tired and too empty. I can’t even think straight anymore. How am I supposed to explain how to deal with all the trials and tribulations of 7th and 4th grades when I can barely hold my eyes open?
The last few weeks have been a bunch of insanely busy days followed by a string of nights like this. In the midst of it all, I fought two tired and obnoxious kids to make it to daily Mass and as always, I didn’t come away empty.
“A man goes to his friend in the middle of the night…”
Yes it was the ask, seek and knock parable that I so love. And I was reminded of the post I wrote in June 2008 (http://wp.me/pUiB1-c) where I posed the question, “How desperate do I have to be to go knock on someone’s door in the middle of the night?”
Well, I’m living my answer to that question lately. My kids are coming to me needing something I feel unable to provide them. Knowing I can’t help them alone, I find myself running to God saying, “Tell me what to do! Tell me what to say! I’m too tired to be wise and too empty to be loving.”
And with more than a little divine help, I manage to explain a creative way to deal with the foul-mouthed friend, the jealous girls and even the fears of being different. My sons go to bed satisfied and somehow, I do too.