I need to feel some joy today so I’m going to write a little bit about the joy that lives in our home that we all call Noah. I was just out in town having lunch with Erick while Noah is in school and looked over to find a nice couple waving to me. The lady said “where is Noah?” Now, these folks are not neighbors or friends of the family, instead they are a couple Noah befriended last weekend in Panera Bread while I ordered breakfast for the two of us. He was so distracting me while I waited to place our order I sent him over to find a seat and then while I ordered he introduced himself to this sweet couple who happened to be sitting next to the booth he chose for us. By the time I came over with our meal he was deep in conversation and having a delightful time. They learned about our puppy named Desoto and our encounter with the policeman on the way to school as well as some mishaps that occurred on the playground last week.
Our morning continued to be full of laughter and joy as we shared time together covering a vast array of topics in a short period of time. That is the way life is with Noah. You had better pay attention to the conversation because the subject matter changes rapidly and there are always questions to attend to that have no simple answers and yet since you are the adult you are expected to have all the answers. When you don’t, he will be glad to direct you to a dictionary or encyclopedia or ask you to look it up online! When all else fails, he simply makes up an explanation and then insists “it’s really true!”
Now, this little fella came into our lives when we desperately needed the energy and excitement he would bring only we had no idea what all he would add to our days and years. He started talking about the week Heather left home and I do believe his first full sentence was “Mama, I love you” as he put that sweet little arm up around my neck to give me a hug that was sure to put an invisible bandaid on my aching heart.
As mothers, it is hard to see your children leave home and the Good Lord knew just exactly what was coming my way when he appointed Noah to come into my life and give me reason to face the new days with joy and hope after my first sunshine departed. That little fella has been so happy and full of life and wonder that he has made my heart smile in ways I didn’t know it could.
Now I must be honest and back up and tell the whole truth. My sweet man wanted children from the beginning but I had told him before we married that I wouldn’t have anymore. I had Heather and carried such a burdensome guilt over being divorced and subjecting her to the pain of that experience and I said I simply couldn’t risk having that happen again. Erick was so kind and understanding and said he would be content to come alongside me and help raise Heather. I knew what his heart desired but I was far too afraid to have another child and for so many years we didn’t even speak of it.
After having been married for nine years and getting my degrees and staying busy raising Heather and caring for our home along with my work at the hospital I found myself face to face with the reality of my husband’s desire for another child. He bought a book he knew I wanted to read called “Big Russ and Me” written by Tim Russert. He read it before giving it to me and upon reading it I found a page that had been ever so slightly dog-eared. Knowing my careful and meticulous husband I was curious as to why he had marked that particular page so with great interest I began to read. Ahhh, it was the page where Tim wrote about the very first time he ever held his little son and the indescribable wonder and joy of that moment.
So I pondered with an awakening heart the significance of Erick’s effort to mark and acknowledge this moment in another man’s life. I knew how much he wanted a baby and it caused me to do what I know to do when faced with a truth that must be addressed…I prayed. I went to God and took all of my insecurities and fears and the truth of my heart. I said “Lord, I don’t want to be selfish! My body does not belong to me, it is Your’s, do with it what You Will, but give us a child only if that is what You have planned for Your Glory!” I prayed that if it were His will to bring a child into our home through my body that the child would bring honor and glory to Him and that we would all be blessed by it. I was afraid, but I was willing and so I committed it to prayer in the days that followed.
Not long afterwards I had a dream unlike any I’ve ever had before. In this dream I was in a room bathed in golden sunlight. My arms were cradling a beautiful baby and as I looked into his tiny face I would hear and feel laughter and joy bubble up and out of my heart and rise up to take wings on my voice filling the room with the beautiful sound of happiness. I woke up and was startled with the realization that the Lord was going to give us a child and it was going to be a blessing.
Within two months, I was told I was expecting a child. Now let me just say, I had not been in such a condition in 17 years so it was a new experience altogether. Never have I been so fatigued and nauseas and never had I had more delightful anticipation of what lay ahead. What a journey!
Erick was 40 and I was one month to the day shy of 35 when Noah was born. The nurses in the hospital all laughed and said I was like a brand new Mother all over again. I was so in awe of that tiny wonder that lay in my arms and in love again in a way unlike any other apart from motherhood.
We brought our new little bundle of love home with us and life has never since been the same. He has enlivened not only our hearts, but our home and has caused more roaring laughter than we had ever imagined having. Not only is he funny and bright, he is loving and tender as well. Every day with him is a new adventure and his imagination is unparalleled. He keeps us on our toes remembering everything we say and is always ready to bring to our attention any inconsistencies that we may exhibit in our lives.
His fascination with the world around him has helped me to see the world in a new way as well. He takes notice of the smallest things and acknowledges aloud what most of us would choose to keep to ourselves. In other words, if you ever need someone to deliver some difficult news, just tell Noah and he’ll be glad to do it for you.
Noah loves Bible stories especially the miraculous and heroic ones from the old testament. He also loves to share them with family and…strangers 🙂 When he was three we were in Pic-O-Deli having dinner and a man passing by our table made eye contact with Noah who felt compelled to ask “do you know about Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego?” To which the man replied “well, yes I do.” And Noah just shook his head and said “they wouldn’t bow down!”
Later on, while having lunch with Heather he said “Heather, did you know that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us?” And she answered “yes, I did.” To which he replied “well you didn’t before I told you.” And finally, he asked his papa over lunch and right out of the clear blue sky “Papa do you want to go to Heaven or do you want to go in the fire?” Poor Papa said “well, I sure don’t want to go in the fire!”
I could drain the ink from 100 pens just writing the funny things the child has said that wouldn’t necessarily be appropriate to share but would be guaranteed to leave you with tears streaming down your face from belly laughter you would not be able to contain. Only those closest to us are privy to that delight and you’ll just have to wonder and imagine what those stories would entail.
No doubt there will be many more Noah stories shared in the days to come, but for today I’ll close by saying sometimes we come into our greatest joy when we take a leap of faith and trust the will of the One who knows all and that is my story of coming to know Noah as my own little boy, a gift of life the Lord had in store for me for almost 35 years when I had no idea of the joy awaiting my change of heart.