File this under “the quietly holy.” A trip to the swimming pool – specifically, the one at my son’s new apartment. He invited me and his two youngest siblings to check out one of the five pools in the complex. Incidentally, it was resort-like, especially compared to the one at my first apartment – indoors, in Colorado, murky, overly chlorinated water…I digress.
I reclined in a poolside lounge chair, reading and working on eradicating my pathetic pallor. But I was cognizant of the activity in the pool. My son with the apartment is especially good with kids. He is 22 now, but at every age he has been a good big brother. Today his playful, exuberant interaction with his siblings is attracting attention. Besides my three kids, there are a little girl and two little boys in the pool. With blond buzzed haircuts and goggles the boys looked like identical twins. It was only when they got out of the water that one could see the marked difference in their heights. The taller one was enjoying doing his own thing, but his little brother was eager to get in on the fun my kids were having. My son obliged, pulling him around by his arm floaties, answering all his questions, and addressing his antics for attention. When my son got out of the pool to sit in the lounger beside me, the youngster bundled himself in a towel and followed him. Then he stood over my son, slightly shivering and chattering away.
“Teagan,” we learned (I was eavesdropping) was six. His brother, “Hayden,” was eight. “He’s always mean to me!” Teagan griped.
“No, you’re mean to me!” (I wasn’t the only one eavesdropping.)
Teagan’s dad lived “someplace else,” and worked “at the new Applebee’s – not the old one.” His mom had moved them into these apartments because the people where they used to live “said bad things about her.” She works at a bowling alley.
Teagan was not only spilling over with information, he had questions, too. “How old are you?” (He asked my son.) “How old are they?” (He asked, referring to my younger children.) “That’s your mom?” I listened to my son’s patient answers and engaging return questions.
After awhile Teagan and Hayden were called away by a grandfatherly-looking man. My son and I began our own conversation. He started telling me about the candy-filled ice cream birthday cake he had made for his sister’s upcoming birthday. He was describing the second layer when I interrupted him, laughing. I realized that our food conversation was probably not the best one for us to have at that moment because we (along with others in our church) were spending part of the day fasting and praying for our community. “Probably not a good idea to be talking about ice cream cake!” I advised.
Remembering our fast, also reminded me of my prayers that morning. “What might our answered prayers look like?” I had wondered. “Who might God bring into our lives to show the love of Jesus?”
Funny, but a little blond bundle of chatter had never entered my imagination.