Dear Grandpa on the Polar Express,
What a magical night we shared as strangers.
You, your wife and grandsons (I am guessing ages 3 & 5) rode the same train as my family of 5 tonight.
In the dining room following the train ride, my family was sitting at a table right behind yours. I noticed your little guys were restless, just like most of the kids that night. You really captured my attention when you came unglued after your youngest grandson dropped his fork.
I thought you had lost your cool for a hot second and was sad because I realized you had no joy in this Polar Express experience.
Then, when the chocolate milk was knocked over on your table, I began to wondered if you have joy in your life at all.
Your 3-year old locked eyes with me as you lectured those lads, through gritted teeth, about being on their very best behavior.
His eyes begged me to tell you:
He is sorry for being so wiggly but he is in his pajamas, on a hard wooden chair – it is slippery.
He is sorry he isn’t eating, he just had a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie on the train – he really isn’t hungry.
He is sorry he dropped the fork – he was trying his best but the fork is huge and heavy, even for an adult.
He is sorry he isn’t on his best behavior, his mind is racing because he just saw Santa.
I don’t know what pain and trials you have faced getting to the point in which our lives intersected tonight but I want you to know I prayed you would find joy. I prayed for your grandsons, that they would find the joy in Christmas and be able to share it lovingly with their kids and grandkids someday.
I also thanked God for the reminder tonight.
I, too, have lost my cool with my kids.
Thank you for the reminder that the joy in Christmas when you have little kids often comes with wiggly bodies, dropped forks and spilled milk and it is my responsibility to choose joy.
Tonight I choose joy.
Thank you God for the gift of your son and the wonder of the Spirit of Christmas. Please help me to choose joy everyday as evidence of your saving grace in my life.