Some days are meant for celebrations. They’re filled with excitement and thanksgiving. There’s no other alternative but to rejoice in the Lord and in His goodness. Yesterday was one of those days for me.
It was my son’s 14th birthday.
I watched him blow candles and open gifts. Family went home, the little one went to bed, and he lingered in the kitchen. It’s the place he goes to when he’s trying to buy extra time before heading off to bed.
I was exhausted and I still had homework to do. Yet he lingered.
I was physically drained and I wanted desperately to get some rest. Yet he lingered.
I gave him a hug and a kiss, “Happy Birthday. I love you!”
He heads out the kitchen. I can’t get over how fast he’s growing. Standing almost shoulder to shoulder now, I am aware of the changes. He’s no longer the skinny rectangular boy whose clothes were always too big. His shoulders have broadened. He turns back to ask another question.
Here, in the kitchen, exhausted and wanting to sleep, my man-child lingers. He asks another question and I notice how much his face is changing.
‘Oh my boy, how many long nights have I spent holding you, praying over you, taking care of you? How many times did I drag myself to bed exhausted from days filled with so much pain and struggle? How many days has bedtime not arrived fast enough? How many nights have I begged God for the wisdom and knowledge to train you up in the ways of the Lord?
Yet on your 14th birthday you linger.’
And here, in this kitchen, bedtime has long passed. But you know, homework and sleep can wait. We recognize how fast time flies and how life will slip through our fingers no matter how tightly we hold. Let’s stretch this moment. Let’s hold on to this memory. Let’s capture it, not with our digital camera, but with our heart and mind. Tonight we celebrate the goodness of God. Tonight we linger.
It’s a very Happy Birthday indeed!