Friday, October 31, 2008

A Clean Shave

Molly, who's six, has just recently begun to take some "bigger girl" steps. One of those being graduating from the bath to the shower. I remember when that transition occured in my own life, somewhere around her age. Molly is always wanting to do things like me: wear make up, fix her hair, feed babies, walk around in fancy shoes (ok, so that one is really NOT like me...but you get the picture).

A couple nights ago Molly came in to see me when she was done in the shower. She was holding a hanky up to the spot just underneath her nose.

"What's wrong?" I inquired.

"I'm bleeding," Molly replied.

"How did you cut yourself?" I asked.

"Well Mommy, I don't want to lie so I'm just going to tell you the truth. I decided I wanted to shave just like you do, so I used your razor in the shower and cut my lip."


Bless ya!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Longing for the Lion King

There are 6 years separating my oldest and youngest children. When Mason (my oldest) was younger, I did let him watch TV, but I guarded it very heavily and was very choosy (and still am). Veggie Tales were good, Sesame Street was good, and Barnie (I’m ashamed to say) was indeed, good. Mason’s favorite thing to watch was “The Grapes of Wrath” – a Veggie Tales story about forgiveness. He watched it at least once a day. Even now, I can still quote the thing from memory…but I’ll save that for another blog entry.

When Mason was 14 months old, along came Caroline. As he grew I began to let him widen his horizons, so to speak, and along came Disney. Lion King was all he wanted to watch (I can quote it as well. Again…another blog entry)! With Caroline tagging along, of course. Caroline enjoyed the Grapes of Wrath, too, but she wanted to watch what her brother was watching.

Then along came Molly, and more of the same…they are watching bigger kid stuff at younger ages because there is another, older kid watching too.

Ethan, my youngest, is now 2. There is a bigger gap between he and the older children, so I have been able to introduce him to Sesame Street while siblings are at school, and he really likes it.

Which, let me go ahead and say how much I love it myself. I’m even going to go so far as to admit – here on cyberspace – that I enjoyed the show well into my sixth grade year and stopped watching it only because I knew that if any of my friends ever found out, they would laugh at me. But come on! 1, 2, 3…4, 5, 6…7, 8, 9…10, 11, 12…and they all played games…at the ladybug picnic! Classic.

A couple days ago Ethan came to me and said, “Ma…me watch ‘Be Te Ay For’”


“Be Te Ay For!”

Then it hit me: Ben Ten Alien Force. Good grief!

Bless ya!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Wanting to be Minty Fresh

Let me tell you about my Saturday morning...

It started out almost as perfect as perfect can get, in that I was able to sleep until 9:00am. No, that's NOT a typo. My 4 high maintenance kids let me sleep in. The other miraculous thing about that is the fact that Michael wasn't even home. he left before 6am to go on a many-mile bike ride, and I didn't expect him home until about 11am or so. The kids let me sleep in and took care of themselves until 9am. Wow.

I walked blurry-eyed into the kitchen after profusely thanking my children for the extra hour or two of REM sleep. As I was adding beans to the grinder, the phone rang. A very excited Michael was on the other end. He had finished his ride and wanted me to go pick up all the "stuff" he was bringing home and couldn't carry himself on his bike. I told him I was fresh out of the bed, but assured him I would just "throw on some clothes" and be there in a jiffy.

I stuck the kids in the car, Ethan still in the diaper from the night before and me with sleep creases on my face, hair disheveled, and a good case of dragon breath. It was not pretty.

When I arrived at the square and saw Michael, I quickly realized that there was some form of miscommunication. My idea of "picking up" and his idea were not one and the same. Michael wanted us to actually EXIT the car, mill around with other riders, mingle and be a part of the post-ride scene. I was having none of it! I tried to explain to Michael about the dragon breath, but his retort was "Well, I don't have great breath either!"

Michael got the kids out of the car. Ethan, in jammies, heavy, down-to-the-knees diaper, and no shoes, Molly dressed like Nanook in long sleeves, jeans and a fleece (it was already at least 80 degrees), Mason and Caroline all took off running. I sat in the car. I had the engine running so I could benefit from the air conditioner, but looked down to see that I was already past the little red line. I had 30 minutes to wait until Michael's lunch arrived from a local BBQ place, and I new I would run out of gas.

So, I called Michael over, explained the situation, told him I was going home to brush my teeth and change Ethan's diaper and that I would be back in a flash.

On the way home I fumed. Why can't Michael understand how I feel? Why would Michael tell me to come get his stuff when all the stuff isn't there yet (the lunch wasn't there)? Doesn't Michael understand that I was fresh out of the bed and might need a few minutes - not to PRIMP - but to look presentable!? Me! Me! Me!

After taking 5 minutes to do the necessaries, I was back on the road.

When I got back up to the square, I saw that Molly was pasty looking. She was also crying. I took off her fleece and told her to go sit on the courthouse steps. We stood around, Molly's wails filling up the background. Lunch had arrived (finally!), and Michael was picking his up when I heard it...


I turned and ran over to Molly just in time to help her lean over the side rail and lose her breakfast. I don't think I'll ever feel the same way about pumpkin bread again.

After wiping Molly off with the only thing I had - her fleece, we headed home...

Here's where I'll insert the pithy little tidbit about what God taught me.

Michael wanted me to come up to the courthouse to revel with him in his finishing his first big bike ride. Fresh breath and a baby that doesn't smell like tee-tee were higher priorities for me. If I could do it all over and understand his motive, I hope that I would be a more loving and less selfish wife. Unfortunately, I don't get another chance to relive those moments (and let's face some ways I'm mighty thankful), but because God is a God of grace, and because my husband loves me, I'll have many more chances to try. Some of those chances will result in my successfully loving others well. Some of them, unfortunately, will result in my failure...but through it all, God is committed to completing the work he began. That IS comforting!

I'm thankful I never get tossed.

Bless ya!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

One Simple Thing

“Hey, Lady! Move it!”

The words pelted me like pebbles. No, I wasn’t in anyone’s way…the words were coming from…you guessed it, my two-year-old.

We were together – Ethan and I - in the bathroom while I put on my face. I was distracted by my own thoughts, so I didn’t quite see what was happening until the words took form and kicked me out of my stupor. Ethan had 2 matchbox cars, one behind the other.

“Move it, Lady! Move out my way!”

Then it hit me…he’s imitating ME!

Fourth kid…you’d think I would have a couple of things figured out by now.

Another instance: This morning I went shopping. Before dropping Mason off at Michael’s study (so he could do his school work), Mason gave me his wallet with very explicit instructions. I was to buy a “Lego Indiana Jones” game for Nintendo DS, but ONLY if it cost less than $30. If it cost MORE than $30, I was to buy “Lego Batman” instead. (This is all Mason’s money, by the way)

When I returned home, Michael and Mason were doing history work. Mason interrupted to ask, “Mom, did you get my game?”

I teased him. I said, “No, Mason, I forgot to get your game! I am so sorry! I can’t believe I forgot!”

“Mom!” Mason said in reply, “I told you 5 times and I gave you my wallet…and YOU COULDN’T DO ONE SIMPLE THING FOR ME?”

Oh my goodness…my words exactly. I’m sure of it!

The flip side is just as startling. Yesterday Michael’s mom had to have a heart catheterization because of some chest pain she was having. I explained this to the kids and then last night as I was putting the kids to bed, Molly was very teary and sad.

“I want Nana!” she cried. “I’m afraid something bad is going to happen to Nana!”

I tried to comfort her, to do what I could do to ease her anxiety, but it was Caroline who stepped up to the plate: “Molly, God loves Nana and he is taking care of her. Would you feel better if we prayed for her?”

These little people watch everything I do! They listen to what I say and then, at times, say it themselves. What a responsibility! What a daunting task! How humbling…and ultimately, sanctifying.

I love moments like this. Can I be honest? I feel like almost nightly I go to bed thinking “I did a bad job today,” but the Father is so sweet to show me that he is using me in their lives despite my many failures and mess ups…in fact…and this blows my mind…he is sanctifying THEM through me as much as he is sanctifying me through them.

Bless ya!