40 Reflections – #8: 40 days of raw recollections during the Lenten Season
I had a post started for today, but was redirected both physically and mentally toward what makes my every day complete. My children.
Bedtime in our home has become a sacred time. It is when the day’s silly moments, deepest questions, and emotional tribulations bubble up and I’m ready to listen.
When the kids were younger, there were questions after prayers. I would stand in the hallway like a professor at a podium and take all inquiries. “What are we doing tomorrow?”, “Will it be cold?”, “Should we play soccer or baseball first?”, “When does the pool open?”. “Can we make waffles in the morning?”.
Then the medical mysteries. Most days, thank God, our kids stay healthy aside from a few ‘must-have’ Band Aids. But at bedtime — BAM! The ailments roll in after the final Amen. “My arm/leg/knee/head/elbow hurts!”
In today’s unsettling world, our kid’s questions vary in topic: “Who will I eat lunch with on the first day of school?”, “Will the teacher understand if I didn’t annotate my bibliography?”, “Why is there so much drama with girls?”, “Will we travel for spring break?”, “Can you pick me up early from school?”. “Pleeeease?”
Then the recent doozies: “Why are kids being shot in their schools?” “Will that happen to us?” “Will I get in trouble if I walk out and protest against gun violence?”
Sometimes they give you just the bitter truth, “I’m scared”.
I consider bedtime my prime listening opportunity, because, quite frankly, I don’t have answers. Sure, I can console after a messy friendship issue, and confirm the weather will be warm enough for shorts, but when the queries are beyond anyone’s grasp at understanding, I kneel by their bedside one more time and we say an extra prayer for lives lost, families broken, and those kids in the world who feel so terribly alone.
Dig Deep: Pray a Rosary on your next run.