And now, the incident that started it all. Our baby girl is 8 months old. She’s teething, and she likes to be held. I can count on one hand the number of nights I’ve been able to stay in my bed and not sleep on the couch. I hear people saying, “Just let her cry.” The problem is she shares a room. I’d rather lose the sleep myself than let her siblings miss out on their needed slumber. So I get up, I sleep on the couch, with Baby in my arms.


Our son is three. He, too, gets up in the middle of the night. He’s perfected his stealth mode and Mom and Dad wake up with an extra lump in the middle of the bed.


What if . . . just what if you could have all the joy of children and none of the pain, none of the headache, none of the responsibility. To see the smiles, share the joys, applaud the first steps, the first words, the triumphs, and avoid the tears, the scrapes, the arguments.


Yesterday we were complimented as we sat at Cracker Barrel enjoying an evening meal. One of the other diners stopped by long enough to say, “You have beautiful children . . . and so well-behaved.” I looked at my bride and grinned that knowing grin, little does that lady know.


I don’t think I’d enjoy my children so much if I never had to comfort them, never had to correct them, never wept over them. I love those victories, I love to laugh at the way my son says the word “truck”, I love that my eldest wants to show me how she can dance. I love them more because of the care I have to give them. Perhaps God loves us more because of the attention we require.