“Mama what kinda crown you want?”
“Whatever kind you think will be good Mags! Thanks!”
She had asked me from the kitchen. Her Daddy had spent the better part of the last several days working at a makeshift office on the kitchen table. It’s fairly portable and we “clear the table” for meals. I had taken over the living room office, in preparation for some jam-packed weeks to come.
Scott Martin rarely complains, he just unpacks and packs up his work stuff, transitions with ease and with an almost alarming flexibility just “rolls with it.” Once he sat on our unmade bed, held a borrowed microphone and recorded radio segments for some not so local radio stations because the Martin homeschoolers with an armload of new science books had taken over every room but our bedroom.
He knew “partly sunny with a high of 89” might not bode well with “Look at this blobfish!!! It’s just like it says ‘a rainbow of ugly!’ Bahahaha” thereby eliminating another opportunity at recording said weather segments. He never once complained. I would have. I’d’ve raised the dead yelling about it. He just keeps on rollin’ with it.
The night she asked me about the crown, I entered the kitchen-slash-office-turned-crafting-center to prepare for dinner. As I entered the multipurpose room, the chaos and disarray of it all slowly absorbed into my already weary mind. I started to open my mouth to complain but instead choose to look not just see. There at the table, my youngest, the one that struggles desperately, chatting away. Nonstop asking her Daddy questions,
“Is there really a dark side of the Moon? Has anyone seen it?”
“Do blind people dream in color?”
“Why didn’t Noah put the dinosaurs in the ark?”
“If you lived in a treehouse where would you go to the bathroom?”
“Why do I only like blueberries in a muffin?”
“Can we take our dog to a dog psychologist to see why he keeps getting on the kitchen table?”
“What makes Pepper so spicy?”
He nodded and worked, she kept crafting and cutting, all the while talking, like a magpie that never quits chirping she went on and on. We have learned she questions when she is anxious. A week of unknowns had thrust her into an anxiety-ridden baseline that causes her counterparts their own anxiety. They’d long ago sought shelter elsewhere; The Scarlet Letter preferred to their youngest sister’s anxiety influenced behavior.
Her Daddy sat working. She stood. Evidently she’d been standing a while. He nodded and responded appropriately. He patiently answered her questions for the umpteenth time. He encouraged her crown making from paper, noting she “is good at arts and crafts.” He joked with her and made her giggle. He patiently reminded her for the second time it was time to clear the table for supper. She smiled and acknowledged that even though “Mama wouldn’t let her watch tv she was sorta glad.” He agreed, he was sorta glad too.
As I took it all in I took a picture. That paper crown perched perfectly atop his head. He wore it as if it were the most natural thing in the world. If it’d have been a new custom-made baseball cap with his favorite team he would have worn it just as proudly. It wasn’t until later I saw that she’d made it to match his shirt. As I watched them briefly just before my presence interrupted them, gratitude washed over me. Gratitude for this exchange. Grateful for patience that extends beyond my own. Gratefulness for a Daddy for who loves his children wholly. Grateful that he sees the fragility of the one before him and he loves her anyway.
Grateful for a glimpse again of the King and how He loves me, brokenness and all. I suppose when I get to Heaven I’ll know for sure, but for a brief moment in time that night, in our humble kitchen I saw from behind what Heaven is like and it is a beautiful thing indeed.