I’m usually exhausted because of my two ornery boys, spaced an awfully-close-together-did-you-do-that-on-purpose- 15 months apart.

For the record, no, we did not.  We are asked this question often and it’s alright – I know people are just curious.  Solomon was our little surprise that was more pleasant than we could have ever imagined – even though I cried when I saw the second pink line.  Even though.

While I love those two like crazy, they exhaust me physically.  I am forever peeling someone off a location they were not supposed to climb and trying to wipe them clean only to find them filthy from God knows what moments later.  Both of them average about two outfits a day and oh my…they are loud. Heads are always cracking due to some form of wrestling or running or headstands or…whatever.  Mamas of boys know that we work from “son up to son down”.

When I am at my most exhausted, Sawyer, who possesses the crazy intuition of knowing when his mom is about to blow, will quickly attempt to lighten the eruption by saying  “Mommy, you’re my best friend.”  Solomon will literally grab my face and come at me with the scariest open-mouth kiss that would make even Jaws  a tad bit envious.  I say these things because while they make me so very tired, they really do melt my heart with well…their raw boyishness.

I absolutely adore it.

On the other hand, we have Susannah.  Neat, tidy, articulate, witty, a budding writer, an artist.  She is constantly creating, that child.  Our home overflows with her work.  She can often be heard saying “Those boys…” while shaking her head with a silly smile or telling everyone what they should be doing.  We liken her to Lucy from “The Peanuts” and it’s a pretty accurate comparison.

She also possesses a belief in God like no other five year old I have seen.  I don’t say this to brag about my child.  I have a strict covenant with myself to never talk about how great my children are unless they are present to hear it.  You won’t catch me broadcasting to the world that my child just won the spelling bee.  I will not talk about how they are the smartest, or the funniest, or the you-name-it…Too much pressure, I say.

I will talk about how kind they are.  How caring.  How thoughtful.  How they fed the hungry and clothed the poor.  I’m not above that.  No.

But Susannah?  After today, I realized that she is the one that can make me mentally tired.  But in good ways.  Usually.

One of JJ’s peers, a fellow dentist in our community, was just diagnosed with cancer today.   He has four children and a loving wife.  He also has a ten centimeter mass in his hip socket.  We are praying, praying, praying for this man and his family.

Susannah has been praying for him as well.  So today when we were stopped right in front of his office, I suggested we take advantage of the red light and pray for him at that exact moment.  For his healing, for his family.  For it all, really.

The light turned green and we drove on but through the rear-view mirror I could see that she was pondering something.  Right I was.

“Mommy, does God make cancer happen?” she asked.

Hmmm…  I had to ask “What did you say, sweetheart?” to buy me a little bit of time.

I told her that I just wasn’t so sure how to answer that.  I told her that God knows exactly when we will be born and when we will die.  That he always works for good.  That sometimes cells in our bodies just get really sick and God’s way of healing us is to bring us home to Him.

Basically, I was talking around the real question because I didn’t know how to answer it.  I ended up confessing to this and and told her that no one really know the answer to this tough question.  For crying out loud – scholars debate this exact topic constantly.

Satisfied with this answer, we went on to the Pizza Hut buffet lunch that was promised to all three.  Big highlight of the week.

A few days ago, JJ had mentioned that we want her to tell us when she goes outside and if she chooses to play with a neighbor because while most people are good, there are some out there who are not-so-good.  We have discussed those not-so-good people as of late because she is showing the need for a little independence and freedom from the “younger brother comedy show” that is often going on in our own yard.

On a completely separate note, we have lately been discussing the dangers of choosing to smoke cigarettes and that this is how Grandpa Richard and Grandpa Jerry both died.

So tonight as we are laying in bed processing our day and discussing our “gratefuls”, she says “Mommy, what do the not-so-good people do when they take children?”

Riddle. Me. This.

All in the same flippin’ day, friends.

“Well, honey.  Just things they should not be doing to children” was all I could muster at 8:00 p.m.  The threat of nightmares loomed in my vision.

“Do they teach them to smoke cigarettes?”  she asked.

“Ahh…yes.   Yes, they do”, I replied gratefully.

She recoiled in terror.  This was the worst thing that could possibly happen in her innocent little mind.

I’m leaving it at that for now.

What would you have said to either question?

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