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A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Big Ice

May 26th, 2010

Do you ever wonder if your kids are listening? Do you ever wonder if they take to heart anything that you tell them? Do they ever connect the dots in ways that surprise you?

It’s bedtime. Past bedtime, actually. Being a bad Dad or good Dad, depending on your perspective, I had allowed Annie and Emma to finish watching the movie they had started.

Thankfully, my girls don’t fight sleep. Most nights it’s an easy transition from eyes open to eyes shut. In fact, Annie falls asleep faster than anyone I’ve ever known. If we had a “who’s out the fastest” contest between Annie and any light switch in your home, Annie would win every time. She falls asleep so quickly that if I have a question for her I have to ask while she is still vertical. Because a microsecond after her head hits the pillow, whatever it is has to wait till morning.

Emma, the other half of my twin tornadoes, has her own routine to ease into sleeping. She changes it up from night to night, but mostly variations on a theme.

“Daddy, tell me a story.”

“Daddy, tell me a story about when you were little.”

“Daddy, snuggle me!”

“Daddy, I’m thirsty.”

“Daddy, …. ” followed by a pause as she quickly tries to think something up.

On this night they are tucked in. We’ve said our prayers. Annie is out in .047 seconds. Emma is laying on her back, hugging a purple pillow with her left arm. What will it be tonight? A request for a story? A glass of water?

“Daddy, my ice is big again.”

“Huh?”

“My ice.”

I’ve been following their thought trails now for going on 10 years. I know them. But I’ve got no clue how to track this one.

“Emma, what are you talking about?”

“My ice. It’s big again. Well, at 12 AM it will be big again.”

“Emma, sweetheart….what?”

“Ughhhhh!!! Daddy! Don’t you remember what you told me?”

Remember what? Ice? Huh? Maybe it’s true. Maybe parenting makes us slowly lose our mind so we can’t remember what we’ve said.

“Honey, I love you but I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Emma is exasperated now. I’ve seen this look on her face before. It’s the “my point is so obvious that I can’t believe I have to explain this to you because you’re the grown up and you’re supposed to get it” face.

She sits up.

“Daddy, you told me! You said that every day is a new day and that any bad things are in the past. So 12 AM is a new day so my ice is big again! It’s big! You know…thick!”

Click.

Several days before Emma was pushing the limits and I warned her, “Emma Elizabeth, you better knock it off because you’re on thin ice.”

And several days prior to that incident was a discussion following her being disciplined. I had explained to her that what’s done is done, she received her discipline and that Daddy wasn’t angry with her because it was all over.

“It’s in the past, Emma. And every day is a new day.”

Midnight marks the new day. And with the new day, “thick ice” on which to skate.

Emma had connected the dots. I was astounded and humbled in this moment. God is at work in my daughter’s life.

Wow.

The prophet Jeremiah put it this way, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope; because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” (Lamentations 3:21-24)

We are God’s children. And from time to time we all skate on thin ice. Thanks to God’s mercy, His compassion never fails. He shows it to us in many ways, not the least of which is to give us “big ice” at the start of every new day.

Which, as Emma will tell you, starts at 12:00 AM. Or midnight. Whichever you prefer to call it.

Todd A. Thompson – ASliceOfLifeToGo.com