It was a regular week night at our house, only, it was not a good day for my son. He was disappointed I hadn't bought him all 5 books on his "wish list" from the 'book fair' hosted in the basement of his aftercare. A book fair that none of the parents picking up their kids knew was going on, by the way. Therefore, upon arrival we were ambushed by excited and optimistic children, cerain we were buying their wish list. I explained Christmas was coming, but that he could get 2 on the list, but only 2. It took some work, but he finally got it down to the 2 he really wanted. And then on the way to the car he dropped his backpack and got it dirty - at which point, the tears started to flow. And, I got the neon sign clue that he was also tired.*
On the way home, I tried to think of how best to handle the rest of the night - it was already late, due to negotiations over books, cleaning a backpack, traffic - could nothing go right? Dinner, homework (was there homework, oh, not tonight, please!) and bedtime was the agenda. Think, Think, Think...
What about a special place for him to read his book while I get dinner? Maybe that would work. In the car, I start to lay it out for him, telling him I think I have the perfect place for him to read his special new books to be close while I make dinner. He's curious and when I tell him it's a secret and I have to show him when we get inside the house...
Inside, coats and shoes come off, and I carry him to the countert-top in the kitchen next to the stove - a wondering look from the child as we have a pretty strict "no sitting, walking, standing on tables, chairs, well, basically nothing other than the floor..." rule in our house. So, I say, it's ok, I think you need something special tonight - just for tonight. I start dinner; he looks through his new book - the world one he's chosen with the tabs you push/pull up and down, out and in to make something neat happen - moving parts. All of a sudden - cries of anguish - a torn tab...oh, my - hugs, assurances - tape, tape, tape will help, it really will...dinner burning on the stove - oh, my...nothing can go right tonight.
Finally, it's time to eat, I don't even remember what, and I tell him we're going to have a counter-top picnic tonight and hand him plate and utensils and then hop up there myself - and, this elicits a giggle and, a "that's cool".
So, maybe a couple of things did go right that night, but I'm sure that it wasn't me, but the Advent of God that inspired, made space, and helped us "just be" - nestled together - up there on that counter as God our Creator nestled us, coming to us just exactly and just how we needed God that night.
And, no, no kindergarten homework was done that night, but we learned something about loving and honoring each other; and, I think there is a Commandment about that!
*read: very tired