“In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?”
-Robert Louis Stevenson
Most summer days the boys are in bed before the sun sets. On a day this week that included a late nap, my toddler boy was still awake and outside as day faded into night.
“Is it gettin’ dark out?” he asked.
“Yes, my love, it’s evening now.”
“Noooo! I don’t want it to be dark!” he cried.
“James, God loves us so much that he never leaves us in the dark,” I promised in return.
He thinks about this earnestly for a moment, then looks up and locks his eyes with mine.
“Jesus loves ME!” he delighted.
“Yes, Jesus loves you. Let’s think of all the things that God gives us at night that give us light in the darkness.”
And so we made a list: the moon, the stars, fireflies, fire.
“Mommy, you don’t need to be scared in the dark. I here. I keep you company. I brave,” he promised.
“Thank you, James. You are very brave.”
“And Jesus is brave?” He asked.
“Yes, our Jesus was very, very brave.” I said.
“Are you brave, mommy?” He asked.
“I’m brave because Jesus lives inside my heart and helps me to be brave. Like little David when he fought Goliath? Without Jesus, I don’t think I would be very brave.”
“It’s okay, mommy, I brave, I keep you company. Me and Jesus.”
And I marvel at my two-year old, crafted by the same hands that shaped the stars and set the fireflies in flight. I wonder if my toddler boy can see my tears in the darkening night, lit by the love-light of God’s magnificent moon.
All images copyright Erin Southwell Photography