A few weeks ago Taylor and I had a conversation. She asked if she could take her blankie to heaven with her. Of course the answer is no, we can't take things here on earth to heaven with us. Well, that was the wrong thing to say to a toddler with a beloved blankie. We talked about it for a while, saying that we wont need blankies when Jesus is with us. I thought that was the end of the conversation. Until she came out of the her room at rest time today, eyes brimming and voice on the verge of breaking:
"Mommy? What will we do if we are in heaven and we are sleeping?"
It took me a moment, after all this small one should be resting and she is master of coming up with ways to escape her afternoon solitude. "When we are sleeping?" I struggle - "yes" she answers. "when we are sleeping." Tears start to escape. "What will we do in heaven if we are sleeping?" Clarity hits me "Oh, you mean your blanket?" "yes mommy, what will we do if we are sleeping and we can't have our blanket?"
Perhaps it is wrong of me, I'm not sure if I broke some religious rule. But she looked so sad and was so obviously worried that all I could do was give her a hug and assure her, beyond any trace of doubt that if she really needed her blanket when she was in heaven I was sure that God would find a way for her to have it. And oh the joy that lit up that freckled face! She headed back to her room and I, not wanting a moment like that to be forgotten jumped on here to tell you all of my parenting brilliance and the utter cuteness that is my daughter....but that was not the end. A moment later my small one comes back out, tears threatening once more: "Will God make sure I have all my cuddly toys when I'm in heaven too? She asks as she tries SO hard to keep from crying. I'm in to deep, what else can I say? "Yes, I'm sure he will Taylor" Again she walks back to her room. Now I am feeling a bit guilty. Have I just lied to my daughter? Do I need to break her trust in me as a parent by confessing to her the folly of my words? Can I just leave it be and trust that God understands and this is something that can be cleared up as she grows?
Well, I guess I appeared unsure of my own words even as I said them. A couple minutes later, bright eyed and grinning she gallops back out of her room.
"Mom, God answered my question."
"What did he say baby?"
"He said yes."
"What did you ask him?"
"I asked him if I had everything I needed and he said yes, I heard him!"
Then she popped back out again. Her doubt forgotten, the next adventure already decided on.
So I suppose that answered my question. Out of the mouths of babes. Blankies and toys aside - she was not asking about material things. She is asking about comfort, security. It seems rather philosophical for an almost 4 year old, but the truth behind the question rings true. 'Will I forever feel as safe and comforted as I do right now?' In my humanness I want to prepare her for the dark scary world out there. I want to hold her as tight as I can right now and break the news slowly. 'No, you wont. that which you see as security is just a small piece of cloth and it doesn't last.' But, you see, I'm wrong. None of us are really secure by ourselves after all. And she can recognize this. We need spiritual arms to hold us, a supernatural "blankie." I was so concerned with what I could see and touch - but all she wanted to know is that she wont be alone. Her security will be there, she has everything she needs. She knows this, she asked - and He said Yes!