I really love my walks to school with the einsteins. We talk about the weather, and what they're learning and not learning in school and who asks who to the dance, and who got a time out yesterday. Some mornings, we take turns kicking a rock all the way down the neighborhood until we get to the "path" that signals the last few minutes to school. It's always the *best* when Daddy joins us - no one can kick a rock like daddy can!
It's a beautiful time. It's calm and quiet and it's moments that leave me reflecting on our family, and all the blessings we have in our lives. We notice all the little things that you would never see whizzing by in a car. We see caterpillars making their way to a new tree to prepare for an adventure that would lead them to wings. We see turtles finishing breakfast, deer families watching us as we watch them, baby birds excitedly being fed, and even a family of skunks rushing home to their den. We see the world. We see creation, we see life.
So, today, we greet a little bit cooler air and a few leaves that have fallen from the trees. We greet the gang of doggies that announce our passing-by every day, and we help a little inch worm make it across the road to the grass safely.
And then, we greet the frog.
The cute little lime green tree frog.
He was there in the road, the sun shining brightly, making him stand out like a jewel in a see of black. He was the size of a quarter, and he was dying.
He had been run over by a car, but only on his back half. His little legs were this way and that, and parts of him were outside that shouldn't have been.
But the sun shone on him, and we could see his shadow. And in that shadow, we saw his little chin beating with his heart. And we knew he was still fighting that losing battle.
Before Emma & I could say anything, something came out of my little first grader's mouth that would shake my world today. Before we could comment on the guts or the suffering, my precious little one said "Let's pray for him! Hurry, Emma, hold hands!"
And we did.
Right there in the middle of the road, in the entrance to our neighborhood, the three of us stood hand in hand, circled around a tiny green frog, and prayed that God take him home quickly, and safely.
There are some moments in life that make parenting SO worth it. All the nights without sleep, the tantrums, the bloodies lips from little heads, the arguments, rebuttals, and groundings. All the doubts you have of your parenting. They disappear in an instant when you catch a glimpse of success. And this, my friends, was one of them.
I was expecting to hear about the frogs broken legs. Or his guts hanging out on the road. I was expecting to discuss what could have happened, the anatomy of a body, how we die. But I didn't expect that.
We've never told our kids that we pray over dying frogs. We've never told our kids to pray over anything, really, except for nightmares and fears. So, at first I was trying to think where that would have come from. And then a friend of mine said "It's not what you taught your kids. It's them watching you LIVE!", and it made total sense. Do we pray over dying things? All the time. Do we ask for healing and grace for people we know who are going through tough times? All the time. It wasn't taught to him, he's grown up with the knowledge that when you can't do it on your own, we ask for help. And he sure picked the right guy to help out with little frog.
I saw God today. Just shining as bright as the sun from inside my little boy.