We hear so little about the simple things in your day… whether your shoes fit well or you like your lunch, whether a friend hurt your feelings or your teacher made a funny joke. The big things we know because we ask and we follow up… but the small things are secrets locked inside of you. You use all of your words to explain the big things in life. These smaller details are secrets trapped inside you, tangled in sentences that are just too much to wade through at the end of a day.
I wonder, then, if you can understand the joy it was to read an email from your librarian late Thursday night giving me a glimpse into your world away from home:
I witnessed a precious moment today in library. Rylie usually sits in the front by me as I read to their class. Today, I started library by randomly picking one of their self-published books to read to the class. I told them we would read one of their books each time they come to library before reading the library book. They were excited and wanted to read more. The kids struggled to focus on the Olympic non-fiction text so I hid their books behind my book stand. Suddenly I noticed Rylie slowly moving behind me to their hidden, self-published books. Rylie quickly sifted through the class books and put hers on top. I asked her to join us on the rug and promised we would read more another day.
As she moved to her seat she spotted A, sitting in the back-arms crossed, face frozen in a serious pout (She was mad at a friend). Rylie moved to a spot next to A. With a look I can only describe as maternal, she cracked her neck, leaned in and looked into eyes. A ignored her. Rylie wrapped her arm around her shoulder and looked again into A’s face (deeply concerned). A melted. Her arms uncrossed, her pout disappeared and she began listening to the story. Rylie checked her face again, noticed the change and moved her arms back to her side.
Typically, Rylie moves a bit in library- sometimes to get a better look, or to point to a picture and some days just because she wants to move. Today was different. Rylie planted herself by A the rest of the time, providing the best sort of comfort- friendship. Truly the highlight of my day!
And of mine, Love.
What a pretty mystery you’ve suddenly turned out to be, Rylie Joy.
Your lack of words has heightened your emotions in all directions. You soar and plummet while I try (and fail) to hold the ground steady around you. You push and I pull. You crash and I burn. I wonder what you will remember from these years… these incredible formidable years when your heart is changing and growing and finding its own rhythm. Truly, there are many moments when I think you will save this world from the status quo… and still others where you could raze a house with your door slamming. I wonder what you must think, Child, as my demons fight alongside yours. Some days we are a symphony and others we are a train wreck.
But then. The fever breaks and you speak through laughter or forgiveness or- now- writing… and I hear this:
You and I.
We are capable of so much more than it seems in our darkest moments.
And we are so much more than the sum of our awkward and difficult parts.
Thanks for the reminder, Love.
Big wins for both of us this past week.
I’m always on your team.
God, being rich in mercy,
because of the great love with which he loved us,
even when we were dead in our trespasses,
made us alive together with Christ.