Reagan was missing Dad, but coming home wouldn't fix that because he's doing the work of Fallen Earth. Barbara, Mikee's mom, is a nurse - a good one, who can console and have compassion while getting to the end goal, which, in this instance, was a content and sleeping child. I don't know how she did it, but she did.
The next day, we got an invitation to the midnight premiere of Toy Story 3 and another sleepover. The only problem was that this would mean three slumber parties three nights in a row. There is such thing as too much of a good thing.
However, for reasons unknown even to me, I said yes again. Noelle and Reagan were excited...then not sure...excited...but I want to stay home...but let's go...oh, I don't know.... Tiredness was setting in. Missing Dad and Big Brother was taking a toll, and they hadn't been home much in the last two days. So I altered the plan: Movie Only/Sleep in Your Own Bed. They were disappointed-relieved.
When the moviecredits began to roll, they began to beg. We wanna go....let us go...pleeeeeeaaase!!! What were two tired Moms to do at two in the morning? We rushed home for their still-packed overnight bags and off they went with their friend...to the end of the street and back.
Reagan began to feel what she called "that weird feeling" and just knew, even from the start, she couldn't do it. Homesick. For Dad. She needed to stay home, because Dad was not. We were all baffled.
Noelle showed no hint of disappointment when she, too, got out of the car. That's just what good sisters do. They stick with you in the struggle, and never abandon you for a better offer. There is no better offer than family. And home. Noelle is sometimes wise beyond her twelve years. They slept like babies, side by side in their own beds that night. Sisters.
Night three started out with a pool party, snacks, a bible lesson, and lights out at midnight. It was an overnight party for the children's ministry of our church. When Reagan sobbed, "I can't sleep, I wanna come home," into the phone at 12:20, I thought it was a nightmare. I talked her into giving it another try, but by 1:15, Noelle and I were speeding down the interstate headed for Reagan. To bring her home, because Dad was not. It just didn't add up.
I did some of this, too, as a child. I always wanted my mom. There was just this uneasiness with no name whose only antidote was being together. A family. At home. There was a camping trip with Dad and cousins where I dreaded nightfall all day every day, and nightly kept myself awake with the fear that I would be the last to fall asleep...which made me the last to fall asleep. I just - wanted - to go - home.
Reagan got into the car apologizing and assuring me that she could have made it through the night away if Dad were home. It. Made. No. Sense. She was homesick. But only for Dad. Because he wasn't home. And again, the girls climbed in their beds, side by side, all right in the world again (even though Dad wasn't there), and slept.
I figured it out only today, after the sleep fog of midnight had past. Dad's the glue that holds us all together. When he's not here, we're unstuck and could be lost from one another. If he wasn't there, she needed to be, to do the clinging.
Being homesick honors our Father. And Reagan, too, is wise beyond her years.
The One who gave us our name - by sharing His - draws us to Himself. He makes us a family. He is our home. When Abba Father's there, the family bond's intact, and will draw us all together always. A family. At home. When He's there, and we know this, it's okay to be away. Because we won't be lost.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:37-39
Mike, this father's day, we're homesick for you. We miss you. It reminds me of another father's day we celebrated with someone missing - the children. Remember this?
Come home to us soon, Mike. We love you. Happy Father's Day Away.