I paused to listen to the crickets chirping outside, soapy water dripping from my hands into the sink. A warm breeze ruffled the curtains and played with my damp hair. I sighed and gazed out the window at the bright moon silhouetted by the towering coconut and mango trees. It was so peaceful out there.
“Mom, let’s sing another song!”
I glanced over at my daughter, Dawn, and laughed. “You haven’t had enough yet? Ok. Let’s sing one more. We’re almost done here.”
As we worked side by side, we sang yet another lively praise song, attempting to harmonize when possible. Before we knew it, we had finished the supper dishes and tidied the rest of the kitchen.
We turned off the light and walked into the living room. My boys, Mark and Paul, had dumped all their Lego on the rug in the middle of the room. They looked up at us expectantly. “We’re all ready, Mom. Can we read now?”
I was tired. I looked longingly at my “page-turner” mystery sitting on the end table. However, looking at their eager faces, I knew I had to do this. “Oh, all right. Give me a minute.”
As I went in to the bathroom to brush my teeth, I heard loud chattering and occasional arguing as my active brood interacted in their usual vibrant manner. Sometimes I felt like I never got a break from my kids. They were precious, and I loved being a mom. Homeschooling three young ones was taxing on my nerves at times though. In this remote village in Africa, there really were not too many entertainment options for them. We had no television channels at all out here. But I loved the quiet of the evenings. “Lord, help me make this evening a special time for my kids.”
I picked up our latest book and curled up on the couch. The childish banter stopped, and I opened to the fifth chapter. Step by step, word by word, we entered a world where animals talked, children reigned like royalty, and bad guys got turned into donkeys. While busy hands built castles, boats and swords out of multi-colored blocks, our minds were engaged in a very exciting journey. Together we laughed until we almost cried. My throat started to get scratchy and uncomfortable. I glanced at my watch and could not believe the time.
“Oh my! Guess what guys. Our time is up. It’s bedtime.”
“Ah! Just a bit longer mom! You can’t stop there!”
“Sorry! Time for quick showers and off to bed. But don’t worry, we’ll read some more tomorrow evening. Come on now, let’s clean up this Lego.” They carried their masterpieces gingerly upstairs to their bedrooms and then threw the rest into the box. A little while later, with the quick showers over, I sat on the edge of the bottom bunk in my boys’ room. We prayed together, and as I hugged them goodnight, Paul locked his arms around my neck. “You know mom,” he said. “I can’t wait till tomorrow night. I want to find out what happens next!”
I kissed him on the nose and whispered, “Why don’t you dream about it, and we’ll see tomorrow if that’s what really happens?”
I walked out of the room and breathed a prayer of thanks to my God. “Thank you, Lord, for giving me strength to bless my kids today.” I slowly walked down the stairs and headed to my room. Picking up my book, I lay down on my bed. I felt my body slowly sinking into the mattress. The oscillating fan hummed as it cooled the room. I plumped my pillow and adjusted my bedside lamp. In seconds, I was whisked into another world of wonder and intrigue.
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