We pray for them before they’re even born.
I was thinking about all those prayers we say for our kids and then our grandkids—no, I don’t have any grandchildren, but oddly enough, I’ve already dreamed about maybe having them someday. It doesn’t even have to be a biblical quiver full. I’d be happy with one or two.
I was cleaning out a closet over the weekend and I came upon the old barn someone had given us at a baby shower: painted wooden horses, ducks, sheep, cows, a dog and a rooster that could neigh, cluck, baa, moo, bark and cock-a-doodle-doo and in the hands of any child, trotting, flying, jumping, lumbering, waddling, sleeping in stalls or leaping to the roof. Someday our kids will play with them, I thought so long ago. Someday, Lord, we will have children. And that someday came.
The barn was on the floor of the living room and in the boys’ bedroom, the animals coming alive, until it got replaced with other toys, balls, bats, gloves, Legos, Frisbees. The boys left the barn behind when they went to school, bringing back books and clothes, and then they left for good. Occasionally they return, although we can’t quite ever convince them to go through things and throw out what they don’t need or won’t want. They grew up, leaping ahead of our prayers, flying ahead of our dreams.
Don’t need this old barn, I told myself. Might as well throw it out. That’s when I got to thinking of grandchildren. I could see young hands playing with the animals again, giving them new lives, new names, new sounds as they trot around their grandparents’ floor. Old dreams, old prayers replaced by new ones. You pray for children before they’re even born.
“I was thinking we could keep the barn,” I said to my wife. “For our grandchildren.” Someday.