By a recent calculation I spend about thirty minutes a day answering this question. It is Norah’s first question on awakening, and her last when I’m reassuring her as to the Openness of the Door at bedtime.
“What is tomorrow, Mommy?”
“What will we do toglether on Sunday?”
“We’ll go to church.”
“And then what will we do?”
“Then it will be lunchtime.”
“And then what will we–”
“Oh, it will be a very good afternoon. Good night!”
“Is it February?”
“How long it going to be February?”
That’s what we all want to know. “A few more weeks.”
“What shall we do toglether in March?”
Norah always wants the breakdown of the morning, the day, the week, the month, the year. She likes to know what’s coming next. She instantly asks the question again should I try and stall her off. A change of subject is fruitless. Once, I was so tired of trying to answer the question that I immediately offered her a gummy bear. She ate the bear. And asked again.
I’ve tried “I don’t know,” but she simply does not believe it. And the hardest answer for her to hear is “Wait and see.”
But it is hard to wait and see, isn’t it? Not to know. And there’s so many things we don’t know. We get big heads sometimes because we can tell that it will rain two days before it does. We forget that we don’t know much else.
It’s comforting to think that I am there to reassure Norah when she starts to wonder and worry how we will occupy ourselves in the days ahead. Her little childish mind wants to know if we will be doing her favorite activities, if we will be seeing family and friends. She’s looking for simple things to look forward to, for future plans to get excited about. I can offer her these. It’s comforting because she doesn’t realize I have much bigger questions. Where in the world will we go? How will we navigate the many questions, obstacles, and challenges between here and there? and What will it be like? How will we educate our children? These are just a few of the ones plaguing me lately. And the only answer I have is also “Wait and see.”
When Alex and I were married we had some ideas for what we’d like to do. We’ve always called it The Ten Year Plan. It involved paying down debt, going back to school, starting our family, hopefully studying for a Ph. D. at Oxford or Cambridge, and finally relocating to somewhere in the (non-Western) Majority World and getting involved in the growth of the church through theological education. It seemed a little far-fetched in 2004. We are now in year eight. God has truly led and provided for each and every step. (Indeed, when I sit and contemplate how he has done so, I am undone.) We’ve been on this journey for such a long time, we’ve sort of gotten used to it. But now it’s time to face the next step: And now what shall we do toglether?