The other night, after the last book had been read and the prayers had been said, I lay in Sean’s teeny tiny bed with him thinking about all the things in my life at which I am failing. So many things need attention and remain undone. I was anxious for him to fall asleep so I could get up and pretend to attend to some of those things.
In between yawns, he gave expression to stray and disconnected thoughts, but eventually rolled over on his side with his back to me and fell silent.
As I lay there in the half dark, trying not to think of laundry and impatiently waiting for a sign that he was asleep, I looked at the curve of his small delicate spine. I marveled over what a complex and beautiful thing the spine is and all that it does, things I don’t fully understand. I traced my finger lightly over each bump. I prayed that it would continue to grow strong and straight and that it would last him a life time. I prayed that he would be eager to use it to serve others.
Just then he stirred and turned towards me.
Rats! He was almost asleep.
But then, he reached up and molded the side of my face with his hand. With sleepy eyes, he searched all over my face, as though he had a question.
In a quiet raspy voice, he said, “I like this minute.”
“You like this minute?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said. “This minute, right now, laying here with you.”
“Oh me too Sean,” I sighed, “I like this minute very much. There’s no place else I’d rather be.”
In that moment, I was reminded I had waited my entire life for just this minute. The laundry and other undone things that would distract me from this minute, they will wait. But this minute — it will not come again.
And then he rolled over and slipped off to sleep.
Oh Sean. Indeed, this minute, right here, right now. It’s exactly where I’m supposed to be. Not before. Not beyond. But right here in this minute.
I watched him sleep for a while longer and then I got up and went to my own bed where I fell asleep counting blessings instead of failings.