Friday, November 21, 2014

The youngest of them...

See this little angel? This little darling? The one with the smile that can turn all women in his life into melted butter in the wink of a eye?

Not so much this week.

It's dawning on me why I take less showers than I did when he was a newborn. He wakes up the second my feet hit the floor, and I can't trust him while I'm in the shower.

Last Sunday, he flushed two toothbrushes down the toilet. (David borrowed a pipe snake and got them out, but we think there's still something down there because it's still not flushing well.)

Yesterday, while I was taking that rare shower so that I wouldn't frighten all the other women at Bible study with my greasy hair, he pulled a stool up to the bathroom counter, climbed up, opened the medicine cabinet, opened a child proof bottle of ibuprofen, and drank everything in it (half a bottle's worth). When I caught him, he was trying to pry open the bottle of allergy medicine to continue his medicinal orgy.

I panicked, but a little research showed me that he would live with nothing more serious than sleepiness and possibly an upset tummy, so I packed us all up and headed to CBS. And then asked for prayer for how to handle his recent obsession with playing in the bathroom.

Last night I took him out for a little one-on-one errand running, and I didn't realize that David had left a hammer in a plastic bag in the backseat of this car. I heard a loud noise and turned around to see him hitting the passenger side window with a hammer. I had to stop the car in the middle of the road and take it away!

Today he pooped in his pants, and as I was stripping him and giving him a bath and dunking his dirty underwear in the toilet that he broke and wondering if I could flush it, I was seething.

But now it's evening, and Daddy's home, and we're watching the second Star Wars movie in front of the tv.  The big boys are asking excited questions and saying, "It's the Millennium Falcon. Do you see it?" He's begging for more pizza and humming the Weird Al "Yoda" song, and I feel a little less like running away from home.

But he just got into the wine glasses in the china cabinet while he was supposed to be in time out, so maybe I take that back… This 3-year-old is gonna be the death of me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A walk among the trees...

This morning, I put on a vest to ward off the slight chill in the air, laced up my shoes, and walked out the front door of the home where I grew up to wander aimlessly in the fall sunshine with my oldest boy. (This oldest boy is too tall and gangly for me to be comfortable with his tallness and ganglyness, but he still holds my hand, so I will begrudgingly accept this.)

I found myself heading down the driveway toward the road, and it was almost like my feet turned me left when we reached the end. We got to the neighbor's driveway, and I lifted him up so we could read the historic marker there, my family name hammered into the metal in several places. We headed up their driveway, and I took in this perspective that I haven't seen in years. I remembered the little gate that separates our horse pasture from their yard, probably grown rusty with disuse at this point.

He didn't recognize me when he opened the door, this neighbor who watched me grow up. And time had changed him, too. He lives as a 40-something in my memory, though he is now closer to 70. I told my brown haired boy about how they opened the old home place to our family again when I married his father.

As we walked back, he asked me to explain the expression "deep roots." I pointed out one of the many tall, strong, living examples of this that line the driveway...

"When you grow up somewhere your whole life, you are like a tall, mature oak tree. The longer it grows in one place, the deeper and stronger its roots get. I grew up here, and so I know the people and places here well and have a lot of memories here. Daddy grew up in many places and got to know lots of different people and have a lot of different experiences than I did, but there is something special about growing up in one place and having deep roots, too."

We were silent again, our feet crunching in the dead leaves, and I saw those tree roots in my mind's eye, twisted and deep and strong, reaching down far into the rich Carolina clay. I thought about the struggle it took to wrench myself from this place when I got married and became a nomad for several years. There's a reason why it was hard. There's a reason why I wake up from dreams that this place has been sold with tears in my eyes.

My sons are growing up in a city, not a small town. I wonder if they will yearn for their childhood home in the same  way that I do. I'm sure it'll look different, but I don't know how yet. However it looks, I want them to have people and places to return to with joy that speak to them of unconditional love and family and knowing and being known. 

I think this is a beautiful glimpse of eternal home that He sometimes gives us so we will trust that it exists more fully with Him in heaven. When I enter heaven, I suspect that I will look at Him and say, "This feeling is familiar. Thank you for the bit of it that I got on earth to remind me of you who created it."

Monday, November 03, 2014

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Good things...

Good things from this week so far….

- Last minute Chick Fil A lunch after co-op with a sweet friend. She texted that morning that we could get free kid's meals if the boys dressed up, so I threw the costumes in the car as we headed out the door.

- The tree in front of the house in glorious, full blown yellow. Most years it is red, so this was a beautiful surprise.

- Two teenage Ninja turtles and a giraffe for Halloween. Seth and Evan were Raphael and Donatello. (I should get extra homeschool mom points for restraining myself from giving them a lesson about famous artists after informing them of which ones they were.)

- Braised beef and noodles for dinner on a chilly, wet Saturday. And hooray for saving the cut of beef I'd bought that wouldn't have been edible cooked any other way.

- Introducing the boys to "The Princess Bride" and hearing them giggle and get the jokes. That whole movie is completely quotable. The whole thing, I swear. It's inconceivable. (Speaking of swearing, there's a bad word at the end when Inigo Montoya kills Count Dugan, so next time, we'll skip through that.)

- Finding several treasures at our local once a month, dollar book sale.

- Seth asking to read more than just one chapter in his new book on King Arthur. I've been waiting a long time to hear that wonderful question.

- A date night to look forward to tomorrow night. We've discovered that no weekend night is a bad night for a date. :)

- Meeting an older lady in our neighborhood while trick or treating and having her invite Ben inside to show him her giraffe statue. Maybe we can find a way to be a blessing to her soon.

- Finding some plain, long sleeved t-shirts at Old Navy that don't hug the 3-kid permababybump pooch. This is a big deal, since I have gone out shopping for them before and come back with nothing, and I really needed to replace some of my daily basics.