There is this window of time in the morning where I feel compelled to be present but I'm not really ready. It's concurrent with my cup of coffee, in the brief window before the oldest leaves to walk and before the youngest is awake.
I sit in a central location, and I supervise the morning. Everyone operates a little more like a well-oiled machine, after years of not, and this is in large part thanks to Peter. They don't really need me, but I like for the mornings to include me.
I am always wrapped in my robe with my hair still wayward and wild, and I speak gentle reminders like, "Brush teeth. Lunch and breakfast, please.'
My mind isn't really working yet. I coax it awake by wearing my glasses, drinking that precious cup of coffee, and reading some words. I'm not ready for Bible study at that hour, but I've decided it's too early for a screen. I don't want to know yet what's happening on Instagram or Facebook or the blogs or the emails. I want the morning to be gentle with me.
And so I have started to open the Book of Common Prayer. I'm not a liturgist, and I've never attended a liturgical church. But ever since this book was given to me years ago, I've always found something very beautiful about the idea of being united with believers all over the world who are praying the same thing. I open to today's date, and I read the gentle truths of what we believe. It's a gentle coaxing, this transition from me to we.
This part is my favorite:
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;
May he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;
May he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.
I love to pray it over each of my men, all three of them, before we go in our four directions.
I kneel next to this one, and I hold his hands as my partner and companion, because such things matter to him.
I hold this one's face in my hands, and I look into his eyes, because such things matter to him.
I let that one read the words in the book to make sure I got it right, because such things matter to him.
"You got it almost right, Mom," says the last one. "You said in the storm. The words are through the storm."
Part of me thinks to tell him it doesn't matter, actually, close enough, give me a break already. It's early and I'm almost forty. (Two years, but it's out there. Waiting for me.)
But then I remember that it matters, that somebody wrote it that way on purpose, that there's a difference between in and through.
He'll protect you through the storm, which means you won't stay in it.
The difference is small and important. It's beautiful and true. It matters.