father and mother

      In the evenings, his parents both put him to bed. First, they give him a bath. They know every inch of him – the curves of his little bottom and the roundness of his big belly. They know every small bump and scratch. They say things like, “Look. That scratch on his face hasn’t gone away yet.” They enjoy him enjoying the water. Sometimes his dad makes a category-five storm, and they laugh. They laugh whenever he laughs. In the end, one lifts him up and out and into the other’s toweled arms. They wrap him and pat him dry and put him in a fresh diaper and warm PJs. His dad carefully combs his hair. Then they hold him and read him his bedtime books. He lies limp and warm and satisfied. They sing the same soft songs that they sing to him every night, and they put his name in the songs the way they always do. Slowly, he drifts off to sleep, delighted in again. Before dawn, he will wake and find them both still with him.

“God is not only fatherly. God is also mother. . . .” Mechthild of Magdeburg (1210-1294)

“You know everything about me, Lord. . . . You are familiar with all my ways. . . . When I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:1, 3, 18