Like most every family with adult children, we have had our ups and downs in relationship over the years. Over the past couple of years we have had a true restoration of relationship after some iffy times and are enjoying once again open communication over our various joys and sorrows in life.
It has been many many years since we last received a phone call at 1:30am from our son like we did the other night. He had just arrived home from his first art show in Toronto, having been sponsored for an entire week by some incredibly wonderful people there who took care of his every need for accommodation, food and transportation, made him feel like a celebrity, introduced him to some of the local art dealers and came to his opening with their friends. He was flying pretty high with excitement and couldn't contain himself so he gave us a call.
When the phone rings at a pastor's house at that time of the early morning, particularly when that pastor has many elderly parishioners, in-laws in hospital and a son on an airplane flying across the country, that ringing telephone generally signals some kind of disaster. We woke with a start and lurched into the office to answer the phone, expecting the worst.
To hear a wide awake and cheery, "Hi guys, I just got home and I had a fantastic time!", coming over the telephone line assured our forgiveness instantly for the terrifying middle of the night wake up. We laughed and laughed over his adventures and were so grateful to God for the wonderful couple who took care of him "down east". He had so much news to tell and needed to wind down so he could sleep before having to return to work only a few hours later. We were eager to hear it and hung up marvelling that he would want to share all the news with his parents before anyone else. What a blessing.
Many 32 year old men have wives or partners who would be the 1:30am recipients of all that excitement and we pray our son also may find someone like that again to share his life and dreams with in the middle of the night. But for now, we are delighted to be the ones to hear all the news as it happens, regardless of the time of day.
It hasn't always been this way between us and some day will not be again for any number of good reasons, but what a thrill to have that phone call. The rest of our week has been intensely stressful but we have spent some time relaxing by reliving that simple phone call and the joyful conversation.