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A post from five years ago, which came to mind last night when I was met at the door of our church by three-year old Eli, a world-class hugger. Oh, how I adore my short friends! 🙂 The Josh in this post was gone for about three years, but he’s back now with his father, brother and sister. I’m so happy to have them back, but having a hard time with how much they’ve grown, and how much I’ve missed.

It’s Wednesday night again, and once again, I’m taken with the sight of wiggly, front-row floor inhabiting boys. This time, it’s Corbin and Josh. They shimmy to Peter’s rhythm. They stare at Jeff’s fingers, flying a fret dance along the length of his guitar, and whisper “somedays” to one another. When Sylvia runs a stick against the chimes or shakes that shiny black egg, they point and giggle.

Corbin catches my eye, and when he sees no disapproval there, he exaggerates his conductor-waves for my approval. If you’re looking for boundaries, little boy, you’ll have to look elsewhere. I’m one of you.

When the last of six songs drifts to stillness, and a plea for wisdom has been ushered skyward, the short people are excused. Corbin waves as he walks back. If he could wink, I’ve a feeling he would have left me with one of those too.

Josh marches right past me … but then, for reasons known only to that stoic, often unreadable child, he stops and turns to me. Two small arms open wide, and I fall right into them. He presses his little face against my shoulder, eliciting the only words worth saying. “I love you,” I tell him.

And then, while I’m smiling and watching that tiny boy resume his determined march to class, another favorite crosses the aisle and holds out an offering. It’s Nathan, and he’s brought me a gift to add to my collection. Without a word, he sets two heart-shaped rocks on the chair beside me, gives me a quick, shy grin, and joins the exodus out of the sanctuary.

I don’t deserve to be this loved … but I’ll take it all.

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