I woke up this morning to find the Monkey sitting on the bottom step of the basement stairs watching SpongeBob Squarepants on her VideoNow XP.
She loves SpongeBob. She calls him “BobBob,” and whenever his show comes on, she’ll stop to watch. It’s the one show that completely draws her in. Which is definitely a blessing for the parents of the two-year-old Monkey. So you’ll notice SpongeBob paraphenalia all around the house. In the bathroom there’s a SpongeBob toothbrush holder, SpongeBob soap dispenser, and SpongeBob tissue box cover. In the kitchen there’s a SpongeBob placemat and SpongeBob CheezIt snacks. Megan has a stuffed SpongeBob which she cannot sleep without. There’s also a SpongeBob cardboard book for those moments in the car when good distraction is needed.
Some cartoonists (Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, comes to mind) would call this “selling out.” He didn’t create his art so that it could be plastered all over cheap everyday-use items to sell and make him rich.
But I don’t think SpongeBob has sold out. SpongeBob is right on the mark when it comes to his purpose. Without SpongeBob books, stickers, stuffed toys, and soap dispensers, there would be one unhappy little Monkey ravaging the insides of this house.
SpongeBob is a blessing. Not only because Megan loves him, but because he’s actually funny, and I can actually enjoy sitting down with Megan to watch him. Even if it is over and over and over again. (Yesterday in the hospital waiting room it was Sesame Street over and over and over again. And while I do remember enjoying Sesame Street some twenty years ago, let me tell you, yesterday it got old for me fast.)
That’s why I didn’t mind joining her little step to watch SpongeBob this morning. She scooted over, and I sat, and she shared the screen with me, and we watched. And as we watched, Matt (who was lingering in the stairwell, waiting for Megan to become immersed in “BobBob” so he could leave) chatted with me a bit before he and Kristina left to go visit Joshua in the hospital.
He was born last Wednesday: Joshua Dylan.
He has a hairy back.
He has a stuffed tiger that sleeps beside him. (They like to go exploring together).
He’s been having trouble breathing. His lungs aren’t done developing. So Friday he was transferred to a hospital where they can give him nitric oxide, which helps the muscles relax and lets the blood flow and encourages healing. He’s been resting and healing since then, aided by medications, oxygen, ventilators, and the nitric oxide.
Matt and Kristina go to see him everyday. And every other day Megan goes along.
Today’s a stay home day for Megan. So we sit on the step and watch “BobBob” as Matt and Kristina leave. Then Megan drops the VideoNow XP and crosses the room to pick up a rainbow colored Carebear ball that’s bigger than her head. She carries the ball back to me, and when I reach out to take it from her, she bounces it off my forehead and giggles. I grab the ball and roll it down the length of my arm and onto the floor. She likes this. So she grabs the ball and bounces it off my forehead again. This is a game she discovered yesterday.
Again I roll the ball down my arm and this time it rolls further away. As she’s going to retrieve it, she gets distracted. Suddenly we’re playing a different game, a new game which she also discovered yesterday. She walks around in a few circles, makes a quick sneaky look over her shoulder to make sure there’s nothing in her way, and then she falls backwards, landing on her butt and then lying down completely, waiting.
Now comes my part of the game. “Oh no!” I say, “What happened to Megan?” I rush over to where she’s lying and I investigate her face. “Is she asleep?” I ask. “Maybe she’s sick!” So I bend down and blow on her belly until she’s well again. Sometimes this is enough, other times she also needs a few tickles in the side and some kisses on her face before she’s well again. And when she is well, she giggles and pushes herself back up and starts to wander around, looking for a good place for her next fall.
It’s a fun game. And Megan loves it. No matter how many times she’s fallen and I’ve revived her, it’s always exciting, and she always giggles. It reminds me of Ashley Bohlender and the games she and her brother and sister used to play growing up.
Some kids are just thoroughly proficient in the discovery of new games. Megan’s one of those kids. Megan is also excellent at the reinvention of previously discovered games.
For example, after we had finished the fall down/revival game, Megan found my bed. She lifted the covers, and crawled underneath, and placed her head on my pillow. Now had begun part two of the game, in which Megan pretends to sleep all snug under Ben’s blankets and on Ben’s pillow and Ben comes along and discovers her there and wakes her up by pulling back the covers and announcing “There she is!” At which point Megan grabs the covers and pulls them back down on top of her and goes as far as to place a pillow on top of herself, too, for to hide all the better, and waits once again for me to find her. She’s such a rascal.
I want to play Megan’s games with Josh. To have the both of them falling down on the carpet all over this basement, waiting for me to come and revive them.
I want to read them The Little Prince, because I’m reading it now for the first time, and I love it, and I want it to be a story they always remember knowing. I want them to see the world that way, and to cherish it.
I want to have Josh sitting with Megan on my stomach, just as she was earlier this afternoon, as they both eat Goldfish crackers and watch “BobBob” and grab my hands and have me bounce them into the couch cushions again and again, and they laugh and laugh and pull on my hands, begging me to bounce them again.
I have this strong sense of God’s leading. I feel His hand guiding; I feel His purpose. This is where I am supposed to be right at this moment, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. And that’s such a peaceful, surrendered knowledge to have. To know that He brought me here in His time, just as He brought Joshua. And He knows what the next days will hold, though we don’t begin to, and He’s holding us. And if all we see and know and understand should fall away, He’ll be there to bend down and revive us.