Some days, I hear the music and lyrics to The Final Countdown by the Swedish band, Europe playing in my head. A baby cries. It’s the final countdown. Lizzie doesn’t want to lay down, but she’s exhausted. It’s the final countdown. So it goes. The closer to 5 pm it is, the closer I am to clocking out and changing out of clothes that smell like baby formula. The past few weeks, however, I’ve discovered that I don’t want the type of job where I can simply clock in and clock out. It’s about the people for me. It’s about the relationship. And it’s about supporting one another like family members when rather daunting speed bumps appear in the road ahead. A little over a month ago, the father of the pea pods–the twins I keep–got diagnosed with Hairy Cell Leukemia. There I was, sitting on a quilt in the sunshine with their two little girls, when their car pulled up in the driveway with the news. In that moment, though, I knew that there was a reason God hadn’t yet opened doors to other job opportunities. There was a reason that I was there to help support, to clean, to encourage, and to pray. In that moment, I became something more than just a babysitter.
In three weeks, I will get on a plane and travel for over 48 hours to a country my heart somehow already loves. God is so good in the way that he provides. That also means, though, that in three weeks, I will hand my little babies over to someone else—trusting that they will love them, sing to them, read to them, and be patient with their cries. When I return, I won’t return as their nanny. That door and that season is closing. Isn’t it odd how other people–even those so small–can become a part of you? It has been almost eight months since I first held the twins. They looked like aliens then—small, frail, and under-developed. Now, they do little happy dances in their bouncy seats as they smile–showing off their two bottom teeth.This morning, I walked in and they grinned from ear to ear. I started singing our song–an old one by Randy Newman. I play it every morning, and they giggle as I sing and dance. Though the lyrics are rather cheesy, they somehow feel good coming off my lips–the girls’ eyes lighting up with familiar delight.
The day I met you was the luckiest day of my life/We belong together/Yes we do/We belong together/ Yes, it’s true/ I’ll be yours. You’ll be mine—forever./We belong together.
We are in the final countdown. Their daddy soon returns from the hospital where he has been receiving his chemo therapy treatments. Their momma will soon be done teaching school. And I will soon be leaving and then returning again to what I hope is another new season of life. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Time keeps passing and lessons keep being learned. A year ago this week, I graduated college and moved back to Mount Juliet to be with my family. Days and moments are funny like that– they are like a sudden gust of wind. In a moment, they have come and gone.