When I left home last night, the boys were bathed, watching Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, and almost ready to tuck into bed. I needed to be in a town 20 minutes away to meet with a bride so we could talk through the details of preparing her wedding. I had to go. I kissed each of my men and wished the little ones sweet dreams, and then I didn't check in with my family at. all. No wait! I did receive a phone call from my husband, asking about van keys. I should have suspected something was up.
At 8 p.m. (half an hour past my boys' bedtime), Teacher Man decided he was going to take the boys to a bonfire at our friends' house. Ummm... what? Yep, in their PJ tops with a pair of pants thrown over the bottoms, my boys headed over to a neighbor's house to roast marshmallows, play with their dog, and hunt up treasures in their backyard. In other words, they had the greatest adventure ever.
When I got home from my meeting late in the night, my husband had a sheepish grin on his face as he explained to me how he put the boys down at 10 p.m., how they had a blast with our friends, and how Caleb had said as they were driving home, "Thank you, Daddy. This was such a special night!" Then I had the joy of listening as we ate our breakfast to Caleb's stories about his night under the stars, gathering sticks and wearing a headband flashlight (which apparently is way cooler than it sounds).
It's not that I don't enjoy a good adventure or even that the boys are on a strict schedule. They're really not, especially since we've been in vacation mode for the last three weeks. I just don't know if I would have been able to think outside of my boxed expectations to take them out past their bedtime so they could stay up even later past their bedtime, but you know what? I'm glad their daddy would and did. He's the one who remembers that giving grace starts with receiving grace (and learning to recognize the grace that has been there all along).
So here's to a brand new school year. Teacher Man heads back to his second grade classroom next week for planning, preparing, and many meetings; and I start a new year of adventures as I'm home with my two little boys for the last fall with just the two of them. Oh my... that is humbling. May this be a year that I give much grace, much love, and much time to my little men. Why? Because if we give grace to others out of the Father's rich grace to us; then, as a parent, I want to give lavish grace to my sons so they can in turn reach out their hands to bless a broken world. Not spoiling them, just reminding them that we love others because He first loved us. And sometimes, that may just mean some late night marshmallow roasting.