Every night, shortly after returning downstairs from our bedtime rituals with the boys (Jaden and Dillon), we hear the thunderous bumps and bangs associated with boys jumping down from bunk beds or doing somersaults into the furniture. After several trips up and down the stairs to negotiate terms of sleep, the commotion eventually dies down and they succumb to exhaustion…usually. Sometimes, as was the case a few nights ago, the boys will lay awake and talk; discussing topics ranging from constellations to trampoline maneuvers to basic philosophy. Occasionally, they will reach a stalemate and request an opinion from one of us.
I was in a muddled state of mind the other night, trying to think through a few issues and get myself ready for a business trip the next day. The commotion upstairs had died down and I figured they had gone to sleep. I was heading up to our room to pack my bag, and I was met by Jaden coming out of his room “Dad?” he asked with a very serious Jaden expression. “Does Heaven have sparkly walls?” We stood on the landing and discussed the possibility for a few moments, and I agreed that it made sense that the walls in Heaven could sparkle. He retreated back into his bedroom, and I carried on being preoccupied. About 20 minutes later, another call came from the bedroom. “Mom…” Jaden and Dillon came out of their room as we arrived at the bottom of the stairs. “Mom, do you assume that Heaven has sparkly walls?” Jaden asked from the top of the stairs as Dillon stood behind in the doorway (Jaden is the official spokesman for post-bedtime discussion topics). “Dillon thinks they should be cloud walls.” My half-hearted engagement in the earlier conversation was clearly obvious – they escalated to mom. Being the forgiving children they are, they did allow me to rejoin the conversation and we held court on the stairs at 10:00 having a wonderful conversation about a topic that would never have occurred to me to consider.
I sometimes forget how imaginative and intelligent children can be, and how far reaching those traits often are. Moments like these are a great reminder of that and of how much of their environment they consume and have to process internally. It is so cool that they have one another to work through these things with on a peer to peer level. Even cooler, is that they still want to share those thoughts with us. I am glad my son was not discouraged by my initial interaction with him, and I embrace this lesson to fight through my distractions in order to nurture their thirst for knowledge. Inspiration and curiosity do not always follow daylight schedules. We decided that the walls in Heaven could be sparkly and made of clouds, and that in some places one or the other. But that night, from my vantage point, they were dry-wall with light brown paint.