I slept poorly. My husband slept in Flagstaff, having flown to Arizona yesterday to pick up his new-to-him car that he’s driving back home today. I couldn’t sleep until I knew he was safe and had stopped for the night. So when my alarm went off at 6:30, I legitimately felt like I had just fallen asleep. I was tempted to just keep sleeping, and to take the boys to school late. I knew I’d be facing the usual tears and the usual battle that dropping Sam off has become. I wasn’t sure I could handle it.
Before we even got out of our neighborhood, we were all gasping at the beauty of the sunrise. There were perfectly placed clouds that were throwing sun rays everywhere and casting the most gorgeous pink and orange glow. The kids took turns passing my phone around, taking pictures of the truly breathtaking display.
I told the kids how Oklahoma skies are my very favorite. Our land is so flat that we get more sky than anything else, and I love it that way. I told them that God doesn’t have to make the sky that beautiful. I told them that I think he does that to show us his beauty, to bring glory to himself, and to remind us that he loves us.
We talked about the school day, and Sam said he was probably going to cry again. I told him that was okay. Last week I tried to bribe him with a trip to the dinosaur museum if he didn’t cry at drop off. (It didn’t work.) When I told my husband about that, he didn’t like the idea. He told me that he was “that kid” that cried every day, but that he was made to feel like it wasn’t okay to cry. He didn’t want that for Sam. He said, “That’s sending him the message that it’s not okay to be sad, or scared, or to feel whatever it is he’s feeling.” He was right, of course, but I was frustrated. I just wanted the crying to stop. His crying is frustrating and embarrassing at times, and annoying, and unnecessary. It makes my life harder. It makes leaving him harder. It makes his teacher’s job harder. It makes learning harder for all his classmates.
My husband said he wanted to give this a “Garden of Gethsemane” approach, meaning that he wanted Sam to know that it was okay to be scared and to cry. It was okay to not look forward to doing something. Jesus didn’t look forward to the cross. He begged God to find a different way. He cried. But then he relinquished himself to God’s will and trusted that he knew best. He did his job.
We prayed for the day ahead. We prayed for Daddy’s looooooong drive home. We prayed for the school day. We prayed that, even if Sam cried, he would still be brave and do his job and go to Kindergarten and learn. When we got to school, we were still snapping pictures of the sky. I let Sam hold on to the phone so he could show his teacher and friends the amazing sky we got to see. They were all impressed.
I don’t know if it was the distraction of the phone, or the fervent prayers, or the “Garden of Gethsemane” pep-talk, or just God’s abundant, amazing, overwhelming grace. All I know is that Sam didn’t cry, that I once again felt the tender love of God, and that there was “no good reason” for the morning to be so good. Sometimes we just want to give good things to our children. God does, too.