This past week our boys Oliver (5) and Thomas (2.5) have lost the ability to go to sleep. It was never really their strongest feature but with the elongated days things have been getting a little out of hand. Our stories of little boys with coughs that turn into superpowers allowing them to cough at a bus to move it and save a group of people go on into the night as our boys ask for more and more stories. Story after story of my youth and all the shenanigans my brothers and I got into, stories of scuba divers come and go, treasures are lost an found and lost again, the Good Samaritan story is told in innumerable ways, truckers by the roadside, someone on a beach missing a towel, someone needing help at T-Ball…on and on it goes.
The storytelling is actually one of the things I most enjoy about raising our boys and I don’t really mind the extra time any given night. The issue is that they are not sleeping enough and so they are cranky, whinny, sniveling children for much of the day. They run and go crazy if we try to get them to nap, and so it goes.
The other evening they were a particularly frustrating brand of whinny, just as we were trying to get dinner together. I could tell Mary had just about had it and so I left the kitchen to start telling the magical stories (magical because they contain magic and because they make the boys sit still). I could see the tension leaving Mary’s shoulders as I used a goofy voice to call the kids and get them moving.
Strangely all of this made me think of the Trinity. I know I will be preaching on it soon so it is sort of in the back of my mind. You see, we are God’s children, and man can we be whinny, messy disasters. It occurred to me that the Trinity is needed if God is to tolerate us folks, just as it is so much easier to raise kids as a team (preferably a large team with neighbors and grandparents). So when God was fed up and couldn’t take us anymore, when the gap between us was too big and too frustrating Jesus said “Don’t worry Dad, I got this” and he came to tell us a bunch of stories, and to live one out at the same time.
Kind of like parenting, no?
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a special village of three to raise all God’s children. Thank goodness the Holy Three in One is up to the challenge.