The boys' room is just beyond the wall where I stand at the kitchen sink to do the dishes. Frequently I'll hear a little knock, knock at bedtime, a little boy beckoning. He can hear me washing, and he likes the secret communication that we share. I like it, too. Indeed, as Dickens said, "It is no small thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us."
My Little Man unwittingly gave me three tips for how I might show my love for him in return. The other night he tapped his bedtime code. When I finally peeled off my dish gloves and peeked through the bedroom door, he had concocted a plan.
"Okay, Mom. One knock means . . ." And he proceeded to give me the meaning of the one, two and three knock summons. Just so I wouldn't forget, he scribbled the code out on a post-it note for me to display near the kitchen sink:
1. Can you come pray with me?
2. I need that cough medicine
As I smiled and re-read the note, I became thoughtful of what he was really saying. He was telling me what all children tell their parents in some way or another. They need to be loved spiritually. (Come pray!) They need to be loved physically. (I'm coughing! Fix it, Mama!) They need to be loved emotionally. (Come here. I just need to know that you're available.)
I don't usually make sweeping New Year's resolutions. Sure, I often begin January by rethinking some things and reevaluating how to best navigate a new season of life, but I don't tend to attack the year with lists and formulas. However, I might make an exception this time. I like Aidan's list. It's succinct and powerful. It reminds me that my priorities are right in front of me, asking for spiritual, physical and emotional guidance.
May my ears be in tune this year to the gentle knock that beckons.