The wrong incentive

Saturday night, as we drove home from the watching the Orlando City soccer game, we told the kids they needed to sleep late the next morning.

“What about church?” my youngest asked.

“I’m going,” I said. “I’d love to have you come with me.”

“Sleep is more important,” my wife interjected. She was right. A series of late nights had left both boys with deep shadows under their eyes, and my oldest was sniffling and sneezing.

“So…” he said.

“If you’re awake,” my wife said, “you go to church. If not, you stay home.”

“Really?” I asked.

“They need their sleep.”

Sunday morning was the quietest I’ve ever heard the house. I dressed for church and went to check on the boys.

My oldest was still under the covers. He startled awake when I looked in on him. I told him to go back to sleep, and went to his little brother’s room.

“I’m sleeping!” he said when I opened his bedroom door. “Completely asleep!”


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