Our middle child, 4-year old Isaac, is a a fickle sleeper. Even something as harmless as a 20 minute afternoon cat-nap will render him sleepless until at at least the witching hour of MIDNIGHT. He’s been this way since he was almost 3. It’s really frustrating; but a cool byproduct of his temporary insomnia is that Allison and I are treated to a new round of “Isaacisms”.
The way we deal with his sleeplessness is to involve him in some of our nighttime rituals after his siblings have long since slumbered – cleaning the house, running to the grocery store, trips to church, etc. Tonight it was a trip to Hy-Vee for milk and cereal, followed by a trip to McDonald’s to satisfy Allison’s late-night hankering for McNugget’s. When we arrived at the drive thru window, I recognized the McEmployee as one of my former Confirmation students. We struck up a brief / awkward conversation before I was on my way with fried chicken parts and BBQ sauce.
Isaac, curious about the fact that I was familiar with the bearer of the McNuggets, asked a question:
Isaac – How do you know that person? Do you come here a lot?
Me – I used to teach him in Confirmation class
Isaac – Does he still go to our church?
Me – No, he doesn’t.
Isaac – What church does he go to?
Me – I don’t think he goes to any church. He stopped going after Confirmation.
Isaac – I bet that makes you really disappointed, doesn’t it?
It did make me disappointed…but, more than anything, I was surprised at Isaac’s ability to empathize with how I might be feeling. It’s nights like tonight that I’m reminded of one thing — parenthood sure is a wild and unpredictable ride!