I'm quite sorry to have left you with only an appetizer yesterday. I had something entirely different in mind.
Yesterday I picked up The Rock Star from preschool. He's now on a two weeks hiatus because on Monday we leave for San Diego! Anyway, we frequented WalMart because I was completely out of laundry soap. Who does that? Who runs completely out of laundry detergent midload? Me. That's who. I digress.
I had to pick up more formula and, when I was strolling through the baby section--okay, fair enough, I was alternating between replacing a fussy baby's pacifier and reprimanding my older son for standing in the front of a moving cart--I saw a rack that said $1. There were tons of basketball shorts and matching tank tops. It was pretty picked over but I managed to find a 4T and a 12 months that were matching. And yes, Matthew will be closer to 18 months next summer but it looks big and he's little. So, for a total of two dollars, I bought them. Then I brought them home, took them out of the bag, and hung them over the chair. That's when it hit me.
Folks, not a day goes by without me thinking about trials, courts, custody battles, birth fathers, and legal fees. Not a day goes by without me being accutely aware of April looming in the not so distant future. How, then, did I snatch up a shirt, buy it and get it home before realizing that there is the possibility that Matthew will never wear it? Was it hope? Was it perseverance?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
I was reading these verses several nights ago and I paused at verse 7. I read it over and over and over again. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. No. Matter. What. I love Matthew. I love him as unconditionally as if he grew inside my own womb for nine months. I will do anything to protect him. It is because of that love--and the unconditional love of my Maker--that I hope. It is because of that hope that I persevere.
And some days I really hate it. When I watch my boys being brothers, when I watch my husband being a daddy, when I watch Little Buddy being happy and well-adjusted, I hate the nagging thought that it might all shatter. But I love like I'll never have to let go.
The chapter goes on to say (in verse 13) "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." Faith. Hope. Love. And the greatest of these is love. If nothing else, parenting has certainly taught me that much.