“Guys, look, look at that beautiful sunset!” 

I admit I was only trying to distract them. Babyboy sulked in his booster seat, rubbing his eyes and wiping his nose with his dirty little fists, head hanging low. 

I’d rushed from my late afternoon clinic to the train to Nana’s house to retrieve my kids. There’d been torrential downpours, and my car had been surrounded by a three-inch-deep puddle in the train station parking lot, so I squelched unhappily into Nana’s house with cold, sopping flats and pants hem. 

Then I heard about Babyboy’s atrocious behavior. Which was ongoing. When he wouldn’t hand me the sugary juice he was slurping and responded with what sounded like “Sniff my butt!”, he got a good whap in the butt. 

Sniff my butt, indeed. That’s a spanking, nothing else for it. 

So as we drive home, Babyboy and I were miserable. When we saw this sunset, I actually felt cheered up.  (This is actually a photo off the internet that looks like tonight’s sunset. I was driving, couldn’t snap the real photo.)

Babygirl and Babyboy both admired the purple-pink-orange-yellow-fuzzy-cloud sunset with “Wow!” and “Oooh!”

“Pretty cool, huh?” I was just glad Babyboy wasn’t sniveling anymore. 

Suddenly Babygirl jumped forward in her car seat and cried “Wait mom, wait! We have to tell God thanks for making a sunset with such beautiful colors for us!” 

I was kind of floored. Yes, we go to church, but we don’t do a lot of God-talk. But, she had the right idea, and I wanted to be encouraging. “Oh, that’s a wonderful idea honey-”

She was already on it: “Dear God thanks so so much for the sunset with the pinks and purples and orangey-yellow colors, it’s really beautiful. Amen. Okay.”

I tried to catch her sparkling little eyes in the rearview mirror. “That was very nice of you, sweetie, I’m sure God is pleased that someone is appreciating His work!”

If anyone has seen or read The Color Purple by Alice Walker, you’re probably thinking of the same line as I did right then:

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”

And we rode the rest of the short car ride home in appreciative peace.