Every kid asks their parents to read them the same book over and over or to play the same game until her parents can’t see straight. Well, somebody passed on to me this marvelous quote by Chesterton:
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
Children want to do it again and again not because they are monotonous, but because they are fierce and have their own unique kind of patience. God tells the sun to get up every day, just the same, because he has the eternal appetite of infancy for delight, beauty, play. I will remember this the next time my youngest asks me to read “Go Dog Go” for the millionth time! It must be four million because it first belonged to my teenager and all four of the children loved it. But maybe for a brief moment my children draw me into their youthful vibrancy, their wonder, so that God can draw me into his divine wonder a little. This is a deeper, sacramental reality beneath ordinary moments with our children.
Happy New Year!