Last night was really difficult. Bedtime is one of our hardest times of the day. The usual routine involved both parents spending time, separately with the boys in their room, praying, sharing funny stories, talking about boy stuff. I'd always go first, then whenever I was done, they'd gleefully yell for Mark to come down to their room. He'd usually be in his big recliner, pausing whatever sports event that he was watching (thank goodness for dvr!)...he'd crank down, making a big deal of coming to their room, most nights uttering some sort of "man-grunt" (think Tim the tool man from Home Improvement), and head in for some guy time. The laughter I'd hear coming from that room will always be in my heart & memory.
But, I digress. Last night, we snuggled into one big bed, me in the middle, said our prayers & read a book together, "What Happens When We Die?" by Carolyn Nystrom. It really had some valid questions, and we talked at length about what we think Mark's doing up in heaven. Both boys are very sure there are wheat fields, pastures to hunt with his two dogs already there (Jack & Bud), cool temps in the 60s, and 24 hour sports on all of the time. Since Mark's favorite meal was fish, they're pretty sure he's cooked some up for Jesus by now.
We laughed, we cried, we snuggled, we prayed. And even though it was one of the hardest nights starting out, we all seemed to sleep just a little better. We woke up to a bit of rain (thank you, God!), all better rested than usual, and in a little better humor than usual.
Ben actually had a little smile on his face as I walked with him to class today. He clung a little less to me as I tried to leave. I specifically asked in my prayers last night for the Holy Spirit to walk on one side of each boy, and for their Daddy's spirit to be on the other side. I, of course, tell them I'm in their heart each and every day. Ben smiled & said that Daddy was in there, too.
I know that today will be hard, just like any other day. But this morning, just for a few minutes, I caught a glimpse of two boys being well, just two boys. And a mom that didn't cry as she left the school for home. I can only pray that I catch more glimpses of that in the future.