“Come on, Bubba! Let’s go upstairs.” Jack screamed, as he screams everything, on his way to get his brother, Luke. It’s 7:30. Breakfast has been digesting for nearly an hour. We’ve run around the house playing “trains” for at least 20 minutes. Curious George has been watched, the theme song danced to. It’s a normal morning for the McLemore family. It is glorious. It is a miracle. Every morning is basically the same. Jack wakes up first. He calls out, “Dada!” over and over again until I climb the stairs to his room. I go in quietly and turn the light on the lowest setting. It’s always too bright for him. He declares that he’s done sleeping and grabs his two stuffed puppies and his blanket. Then he makes a few demands of me to carry him and ten other toys and stuffed animals downstairs. I always follow his orders.
Our conversation is the same every morning on the way downstairs.
“Jack, did you sleep good?” I ask.
“Uh-huh.” His constant reply.
“Did you have any dreams?”
“No.” Although, there are times this varies, only to tell me about dreams of the family dogs.
We arrive downstairs to a welcome from Mama. I sit him down on the couch in his spot and we read books or watch TV (animal shows, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Caillou, and Curious George are his favorites). He eats his breakfast and waits for his brother to wake up. Luke always sleeps later, sometimes as much as an hour later than Jack.
So the time passes and Jack and I talk about what he’s going to do that day or what we did yesterday or what crazy thing the people on TV are doing. I have to go to work soon, but he doesn’t know what that means, or what I will have to face that day. He doesn’t need to know. He just needs me, and I do my best to just be there for him. Because he is a miracle.
Luke wakes us the same way every day. He slowly sits up in his crib, makes a few noises indicating he’s ready to get up, and is promptly brought downstairs. The quiet is over. He is always mad because breakfast isn’t immediately available. So he grabs two muffins and sits on the couch with us to enjoy whatever it is we’re doing. He’s always fit in just perfectly with our way of life. He doesn’t demand new things, doesn’t want to change things, he just wants to be involved in all of it. He is a miracle.
Jack and Luke are my sons. They are miracles. I do not deserve them. Jack is 3 and Luke is 2 and my life is forever changed because God looked down on me in grace and mercy in giving these boys to me. I am their father. It is all an utter miracle.
As I hear Jack calling for Luke, I can’t help but see the miracle of life running up the stairs right before my eyes. Four years ago our house was quiet. The morning started much later. Life was less complicated. Everything we did was based on comfort and convenience, centered more than we realized on our personal needs and wants. And then God gave us these children and everything changed. Going out to eat is difficult. We have to be home early for bedtime. Staying up past 10 PM is hard for us. Our life is different and it’s a miracle.
What strikes me most about this new life is the very fact that it is new. New priorities. New questions to ask and to answer. New ways of thinking. New dinner plans. New schools. New clothes. New toys. New TV shows. New cribs. New car seats. New life.
And this is perfectly perfect for me. It is a miracle. Everything that God does for us is a miracle. He is making all things new. We live miracle-filled lives. Day in and day out every single thing that happens is an in-breaking from God. He is here. He is active. He cares. Jack and Luke running up the stairs to jump on Jack’s mattress in his darkened room is a flat-out miracle of God because I do not deserve any of it. Only a miracle making God can give a sin filled being a life of any joy whatsoever. And yet here I am, with two boys playing together.
I hear laughter from Jack’s room while I get ready for work. I’m actually a bit upset this morning because I read the clock wrong and got dressed too early. I could have been in there with them, jumping up and down, letting them jump up and down on me. But for now I just listen to their laughs together. They are enjoying one another in a new way. It is a miracle. It is grace. It is life.
So much of our lives are just so regular. Nothing spectacular is happening. For us in America, our lives are so amazingly good compared to people throughout the rest of the world both today and in history that we don’t even recognize the relative ease of our lives. Everything is just normal and sometimes that just bothers us. But in the normalcy of everyday American life in Franklin, Tennessee on February 23, 2015, I found in the upstairs bedroom (that needs new carpet and has a hole in the wall from the door and a chalk stain on the wall) that something miraculous was happening. My boys were learning to love one another simply because they lived with one another. Who knows what tomorrow holds. It could be disastrous. But today, well, today there is laughter. Let me be glad in it. It is a miracle.