Afternoon Imaginings

I’m downstairs, sitting with my back pressed up against the radiator. The boys are clambering up and sliding down the stairs, variously pretending to get on and off a train, bouncing on their beds or, as of just now, Rufus is shutting the door on Billy in their bedroom with a ‘Billy’s trapped, Mummy!’.

It’s that time of day when we’re a little frayed around the edges, and I’ve even relinquished my phone to be endlessly played with (locked without them having the code!) as they pretend to ring Daddy and take photos of cluttered corners of our room.

Cold, dark afternoons can make post-nap, pre-tea moments feel long and hard to fill. Our mornings are often shaped by an outing, or an activity, or people. Our afternoons are part sleep, part quiet play, part ‘watching something’ (especially when in other people’s houses and seeking to contain the toddler and his mess!). And then the littlest man wakes up…and I always think I should have had a plan!

Saying that, these are often the times when Rufus’ imagination roves from rescues to ‘special deliveries’ to selling books like Daddy. And Billy is more and more willing to get on the ‘boat’, put on his helmet (currently a plastic transparent box!) and join the rescue. While I sometimes regret my lack of plan, I wonder if I just need to relax into the chaos and roll with the imagined goings on of a three old’s mind, prompting when necessary and providing the cuddles, the snacks and the loving when the frayed edges become a little ragged.

And enjoy the privilege of being ‘in it’ with these little people, seeing personalities emerge and watching capabilities grow. I’m reminded of the Bible reality that it’s about who we are, rather than what we’ve done. So I pray, as I’m recruited for the next game, that these little boys would grow into men of character who love God. Confident in who they are, rather than in what they’ve done. More than that, confident in who they are in Christ, trusting in what He has done.

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