Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Break

Today is the first full day of Summer. Where we live, it's also the last day of school. My wife had to work, so I had the kids today – one had gotten out of school two days ago, and the younger one had only a half day.

So there I was with my older kid who was already bored before 10 AM, trying to get the Sunday bulletin folded and keeping an eye out for the bus that would bring the other one home. What do you do with a middle schooler when it's just you and him? Put him to work of course! We sat at a little table together and folded bulletins. Yippee!

Actually, it was a nice moment. We talked about the little things you hope a father and child can talk about, and then we went out to the parking lot, drew a big circle with chalk and played circle ball (some call it four-square). When the younger one got home, we played two-on-one circle ball (it's always them against me). When my wife got home, I ran out to make a pastoral call, worked on the sermon, and then played four-on-one basketball – two of their friends had come over to the house. By the time I had scored my second basket, it became tackle basketball, and I was the target.

We closed out the day by making a fire in the outdoor fireplace. Our youngest child loves to tend the fire, so we put that kid in charge. Believe it or not, some heavy clouds drifted past without raining down on us – but they left a gorgeous soft rainbow hanging overhead.

Why should you care about this? Because it's such a summer story. Because in those fun, light moments of the early days of summer, God shines through. There've been a lot of worries out there, and sometimes I feel crabby and fed up with it all. But then you fold some bulletins with your kid, you play circle ball, you build a fire (yes, we had s'mores) – and it all takes on the proper perspective.

God is there. God is good. Life is tough, but sometimes it's wonderful – and easy. I think it's going to be a good summer.