Each night for the last couple months I have been met by this exclamation from my youngest boy.
The lights are dimmed, he is in his bed and the Littlest Princess (I’m still settling on their nicknames for this blog) is in some degree of resting. Prayers are done and we have read one chapter out loud from our latest book.
We have been taking our time, savoring George MacDonald’s books. About Princesses. Yes, reading my boy books about princesses.
But these are George MacDonald books about princesses.
The Princess and the Goblin.
The Princess and Curdie.
The Lost Princess (or The Wise Woman: A Parable)
Books which greet us with comments like these:
“It was foolish indeed – thus to run farther and farther from all who could help her, as if she had been seeking a fit spot for the goblin creature to eat her in at his leisure; but that is the way fear serves us: it always sides with the thing we are afraid of.”
“There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection.”
“What honest boy would pride himself on not picking pockets ? A thief who was trying to reform would. To be conceited of doing one’s duty is then a sign of how little one does it, and how little one sees what a contemptible thing it is not to do it. Could any but a low creature be conceited of not being contemptible? Until our duty becomes to us common as breathing, we are poor creatures.”
These are books which carry weight, and I have been happy to read slowly. The other night, though, I thought we might read two or three chapters so we could finish the book that night. The Youngest Boy would have none of that.
I get carried away reading books. Looking up I will find that I have read for two hours when I only meant to take a few minutes to read. This boy, though…he has restraint.
Savor what we have.
He wanted me to stop so the book would last longer, so we would have more nights to think about Rosamond or Curdie or all the other cast of characters. He asked last night if there were any more after this…I told him there is this little one called At The Back of the North Wind.
There will be plenty of time to be swept away by stories and read for hours….there is something priceless about a 9 year old being aware that we need to savor the moment. He knows there will come a time when we have read all the MacDonald books, and he wants to hold that off as long as possible.
There is wonder, and sometimes we just glance and acknowledge what should make us stop in our tracks. The absolute-out-of-control laughter of children. Sunsets which turn the sky to fire and make our hearts beat faster. The smell of honeysuckle.
The reality of a God who creates all these things, and who cares for all of us. And for me. And for you.
Wonder. On a Monday it may feel far away….but think about the last time you took something in just a piece at a time to make it last. Today, take in just a piece…
Don’t rush. Show the restraint of a 9 year old.