My son, who is seven, came down with some kind of “bug” this week and had to stay home from school the last two days. On this occasion it made sense for me to be the one to take time off work to be with him and it turned into an unexpected adventure.
Earlier this year he and I started to read the Chronicles in Narnia together. He leans heavily against my shoulder and hangs on every word. Occasionally he will stop me and ask me to point out a word, which he then studies with rapt attention. Or he will ask me what some creature is: say a Naiad, or a Dryad, or a Centaur. At this point we will usually turn to the laptop to find a few exemplars and then move along.
Yesterday, when he was the sickest, we only read two chapters. Today, he was on the mend and he was on a mission to devour the story together. And so we read the final eight chapters of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”
Of course I love the opportunity to sit ever so close on the couch and share a good adventure together. But even more, I enjoy the opportunity it brings for me to build into his life. To paint a picture of good and evil, right and wrong — and our place, our mission in the midst of it. I seized the opportunity to show him the parallels between Narnia and our world, between Aslan and Jesus, between Edmund and each of us. I even warned him that I might cry, as I often do, when Aslan gives his life for Edmund. And I explained how I was like Edmund and Jesus was my Aslan. I don’t think he really gets it yet, but he did keep looking to see if any tears wear running down my cheek.
After we finished the last chapter and I put him to bed I had a few moments to reflect. At times I struggle because I have chosen to put my family ahead of my career. At times I find myself wondering what might have been if I had made career advancement my goal. Tonight I had no struggles, but instead gratitude. Gratitude that I could share the adventure, share my heart, and share the love of God’s Son with my son.
journey adventure continues.