This last Friday night Joseph, my 5 year old, had the privilege of spending the night with my parents . . . a treat my 3 oldest children get on a monthly, rotating basis. While he was away, the girls did play. And of all things, they played "Engine Turtles".
Now anyone with children will understand that this is a four year old gross misinterpretation of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" . . . a program that none of my children have ever seen, but are strangely fond of none the less. Joseph does have a couple figurines that he somehow obtained from happy meal boxes that he never ate. And while I'm on the subject, who in the world would ever think of such a thing - - Teenage (I guess for the aspiring elementary age boy) Mutant (the one descriptive word that I understand completely) Ninja (aren't these agents of Japanese guerrilla warfare?) Turtles (common reptile). ANYWAY, there is occasional, innocent play revolving around these mutated tortoises at our home.
With what would typically be the head turtle away for the evening, the girls raided Joseph's toy chest, donned the acceptable attire and began a girl version of "engine turtles". This endeavor was led by the youngest of the two, Elizabeth. She explained that all engine turtles were boys, but that now there would be girls also. She would have a pink mask and would be "engine turtle Carol". Play ensued, consisting mostly of posing for pictures at the discovery of a camera in the room.
And then it happened. I was instructed on how I too could become an "engine turtle". According to Elizabeth, all I would have to do is raid Joseph's toy chest for dress up, pick an imaginary mask color, come up with a name and then just "use my style" (I guess this last part had something to do with the flash photography.) I wondered how I could ever come up with a name as foreboding as "engine turtle Carol". It was well after bedtime, so I quickly adopted the name "engine turtle Marla" because of how well I thought it would go with Carol.
The evening wound down, teeth brushed, prayers prayed and then bed for the girls. Robert and I very much enjoyed Friday night's "engine turtle" production in the girls room. But what I love most is how God will use my children as an object lesson for me. He did just this in reminding me that it is my job to don the proper attire in order to successfully navigate the time He has graciously given me here on earth.