all four of them were sitting around me, cozied onto my bed in their jammies, plaid & stripey, clouds & jedi, with only a small lamp light among us. the toddler was bathed & fed, the five-year-old scrubbed off, too. they’d all had their bedtime snack, carrots & cashews, were ready to crawl in & call it. lately i’m in to gathering the kids in my room before bed, before i collect hugs & kisses & send them on to their own beds to snuggle under quilts. i like this small space between doing & dreaming, a chance to pull them in close & check on their hearts, to slow us all down (quit wrestling with your brother, for the love.) & tighten up our togetherness a little. & to pray for them, too.
tonight as i prayed, i thanked God for the joy my kids have, turning a cruddy day into something amazing. to me, forty degrees & rainy in april is just depressing. it’s been a bearish winter, i’m cold, i’m still wearing long johns under my jeans, & i obsessively check weather.com for a little hope in the prospects.
i, however, am alone in my sentiments. at least, in this house.
earlier in the evening, while we ate our chicken dinner, the kids looked out the window at the great puddle growing in the driveway & javin suddenly decided, “we should make paper boats!” after the dishes were cleared & the chores done, andy sat around the table with all four & a stack of colored cardstock to teach them how to fashion seaworthy vessels.
the kids spent the rest of the evening in rainboots & a puddle with sticks, pushing homemade watercraft. they were so happy. they made plans & re-taped their boats when the water began to win. they were out there so long, in that chill, that i had to promise leif a bath just to get him out of the puddle & back inside; i could see his little self shivering from where i stood in the doorway.
so, after the vessels were sailed & sunk, & the sticks discarded, after brushing tiny teeth & gathering them to me on my big, grown-up bed, i started to pray for them, grateful for who they are & how they see the world. it is a wonder, to see a world inside a puddle.
when i got to the thankful part about their turning a cruddy day into something awesome, kieran interrupted me, looking up to meet my eye, incredulous, “this wasn’t a cruddy day!”
you’re right, little one.
it most certainly was not.