"Are we going to have presents for Christmas?" asked Bug as I tucked him in.
"I'm sure we will," I replied, still trying to keep the mystery. "Why do you ask?"
"Dad doesn't have a job yet." His answer alternately surprises me and makes me sad.
I assured him we'll have a nice Christmas; and we will. Most of their Christmas was taken care of months ago. New budget constraints mostly mean no last-minute excess, and that's not a bad thing by any means.
What's not such a good thing is that my six year old is even concerned about such matters. I think we've been pretty careful not to give the boys cause to worry about things.
We don't focus on what we don't have or can't do, and we don't have worrisome conversations in front of them. We don't really have worrisome conversations at all. We do trust in the Lord's provision and we're taking this transition one day at a time as we seek what He has next for us.
But contrary to what we so often hear about kids being 'resilient' and adaptable, I think kids observe more and internalize more and are shaped more by their childhood experiences than we give them credit for.
I know I was more aware of my own parents marital issues--both before and after their divorce--than they thought I was. And moving and changing schools and having an absent father and a difficult step-parent situation all impacted and changed me in ways that affect me still.
Life is hard. It's messy and imperfect and certainly not always fun or comfortable. And while part of me would love to give my kids an idyllic childhood with nothing but happy times and warm memories, I know that's not possible.
So I guess the most I can hope to do is reassure them that God loves us and takes care of us and things will be good, even if we can't always see what's ahead.
PS--I'm blogging at Exemplify Online today. We'd love if you'd drop by and get a new view of how important certain Christmas ornaments can be.