*A two year old who sneaked a piece of bread when nobody was looking. And now she’s having a gluten reaction and wants to throw up all over you.
*Or else she’s really got a present for you. And it’s way bigger (and smellier) and way more memorable than a couple of diamonds can ever be. And it’s gift wrapped in a soggy diaper. That’s leaking everywhere.
* A really hot man wants you to wake up. Darling, darling… So he can direct you to the child standing at the foot of the bed. She wants to tell you something darling…she wants you. Oh yeah. She wants me alright. Because she’s wet her bed. And ONLY I can help change her sheets. NOBODY else will do. But me.
* An 8 yr old has a cockroach for you. Only it’s running wild in her room somewhere. “Mum, it keeps sitting on my wall and looking at me when I try to sleep!” And so she wants you to come and catch it. Right now. At 2am.
*A 12 yr old has had a nightmare that she wants to share with you. About dead people rotting in graves. With worms and wriggly things. And she’s troubled and wants to sit and discuss with you RIGHT NOW some puzzling questions that her bad dream has inspired. Like where do we really go when we die? And how do we really know that God is real and there’s a heaven somewhere? And if we go to heaven, how old will we all be when we get there? Do babies stay babies? And old ladies stay old and still need wheelchairs?
Or do we? After I’ve cleaned up the vomit, changed the diaper, put new sheets on the bed, caught the crazy cockroach, psychoanalyzed a dream and engaged in a theological discussion – then I get to soothe a little child to sleep while she snuggles into my arms and mumbles, “I love you more than all the rubbish in the world mama.” And then I walk down a quiet hallway, peering into bedrooms where children are at their most beloved best…asleep. And I stand (rather exhausted to be sure) and gaze at them, oh-so-slightly in awe of how perfectly beautiful and intricate they are. And how perfectly glorious it is that I had a very teensie weensie bit to do with their creation. And moonlight tumbles in through their window, like handfuls of silver and crystal scattered over black velvet. Happiness. Shimmering. Just like diamonds.