Rich and I had been looking forward to a day off for weeks. His overtime schedule has been intense for the last ten weeks and we have really been missing out on some serious family time. But, as things go, our little one got pretty sick this week. Like smoker’s cough that leads to puking all over the second set of pajamas for the night sick. After a night of some pretty solid sleeping (for her), we asked her what she might like to do for the day, thinking it might be fun to see a movie or go to the mall for a bit just to get out of the house. She thought for a minute, coughed into her elbow and said, “I think we’ll go to the circus today.”
Not, I would like to go to the circus or would you please take me to the circus or wouldn’t it be fun if we could go to the circus? But, I think we WILL go to the circus today.
I didn’t even know she knew what the circus was. Neither Rich or I had ever been, nor had we ever spoken to her about it. It was never something we even day dreamed about taking her to : the theater, a major league baseball game, yes. Circus? No. We didn’t even know if there was one to take her to.
I, ever the optimist, told my husband no right off the bat. It was indulgent. She was sick. She was coughing pretty badly still. She would miss a much needed nap. We’d never get tickets this late in the game. We don’t even know if there is a circus anywhere to take her to. She’d never make it there, anyway. She’d wiggle. She’d get bored. She’d get sicker. It would be too expensive.
We researched. The Big Apple Circus was in Lincoln Center. He said we could make the early show. I told him that was ridiculous. We’d never make it without rushing. The transportation would be expensive. I’d have to pack her a lunch and a blanket and tissues and meds. We’d end up having to carry her all around the upper west side. We’d never get tickets at the door 15 minutes before the show began. He listened calmly as he grabbed a handful of stuff, our sneezing kid in his other hand and told me to get in the car.
His daughter was sick and asked something of him without thinking of the difficulties, the hoops he’d have to jump through or what it would cost to get there. She just trusted that he was her Papa and that nothing was impossible for him. For that moment it didn’t matter if we had to take out a second mortgage, if he had to continue overtime for the next three months. Love makes you do indulgent things. Love is important. We WILL go to the circus. He will make it happen.
And he did.
I wish I could put into words the delight on her face during the two hour show. It felt as though it both lasted all day and was only a few minutes long. She gasped and clapped and emulated bows and “tadas!” Her eyes sparkled with acrobats and contortionists and live camels and wild horses. Her heart was so full of joy, we could hardly watch the show and not her little face and I was the creep at the circus with tears streaming down her face as little God whispers filled my soul to the brim.
Love is indulgent. Grace abounds. This is how He feels when He looks at you, at us, when we are full of joy. If it is the desire of your little heart, Christ moves mountains to get you to your circus.
She did fall asleep on the way home but not before thanking her Papa for taking her on the “best circus day ever”. What a sweet, sweet reminder of how much we are loved, and that our requests are always heard- perhaps not always answered in the most direct way that this one was, but He always hears, always cares about what you long for, and His heart is full when yours is.