As we drove the route to preschool this morning, the boys had much to say.
"Mommy, the sun is in outer space. And other planets too."
"You're right, Tuck. Lots of planets. Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Pluto..."
They're thinking of a big, happy dog with a long, sloppy tongue.
Tyler, occasionally the voice of reason, warned us all, "But Tucker, the sun can burn you. Don't go there."
"I still might like to go there," Tuck said, glancing absently out the window of the minivan, up into the sky.
"You know what, guys? When I was a little girl, my friends and I used to play spaceship on the swings on the playground. We would swing as high as we could, and we pretended to take off into outer space. Then we would slow down our swings, hop off, and pretend that we had landed on the sun. We hopped around in the grass, shouting, 'Our shoes are burning! Our shoes are burning!' And then we'd hop back on our spaceships and go back to earth, just before we all melted to bits on the face of the sun."
Their faces smile gently with the idea of their mom as a little girl with an imagination.
"Did you really go, Mommy?" asked Tyler, ever unclear about that hazy line between reality and fantasy.
"No, buddy. We just pretended. We pretended to go up there to see all those planets."
Tucker, still looking out the window, said, "God made all those planets."
"He sure did. And he made you."
"I can't see God, Mommy. See? I'm looking all around, and I can't see him." Tuck waved his arms in his carseat, as if reaching for the Invisible God.
"I know, kiddo. But he's there. And if you ask him, he'll come into your heart. And he'll live there. He'll help you to feel loved, and he'll help you do the right thing, and he'll listen to everything you say, and when you die, he'll take you to heaven. Jesus is in my heart, and he's in Daddy's too."
Tyler perked up. "But, Mommy, you didn't die."
"No, I didn't. But someday I will. And when I do, I'll go to heaven. Because I invited Jesus to live in my heart."
Tyler wanted to talk all about heaven, so I told him the things I believe to be true: We'll eat our favorite things. We'll have a big party, where we'll sing and dance all night long. We'll run and play together in wide open fields, as fast and as far as we want. And we'll get to be with God, every single day. In fact, he's building a house for us to live in.
And then, Tucker handed me some pretty important words.
With a far away voice, he said, "Mommy, sometimes I don't like this place at all. I really think heaven will be so much better. I just want to go there."
I agreed, with all my heart.
And I asked him not to go without me.