I think they may turn out okay.
These messy, imperfect people I’m trying to raise are possibly going to grow into messy, imperfect adults who may actually be NICE sometimes.
Too often I am so busy feeding and organizing and cleaning and correcting and disciplining that I forget to notice. I get caught up in my worry about the bickering and arguing and defiance. And I brush right past the beautiful. The loving. The compassionate. All the moments of wonderful right before my eyes.
Like yesterday before bed Isaiah took Lizzy on his lap on the couch and read board books to her. One after the other. Her very favorite thing to do!
Like every day Luke brings me flowers (ok…dandelions). But yellow IS my favorite color for flowers and they do look so sunny and happy in those colorful IKEA cups perched next to the sink every single day.
Like James working hard all week to earn quarters from his teacher then spending his earnings on a beanie baby teddy to give to Lizzy and a set of glow-in-the-dark stars and planets for his ceiling that he happily shared with Eli. He couldn’t wait to give her that teddy and her response was perfect! Her eyes lit up and she stretched out those chubby little hands to give it a big hug saying “awwww”. She was delighted!
Like Eli helping after every soccer game to load the stroller and folding chairs without my even asking. Once last year he asked me, “Mom why don’t you ever let us help you? I ask if I can help and you always say ‘No I got it’. Why don’t you just let me help you?” So I do. I put Lizzy in the carseat and every single time when I turn around the rest is already taken care of!
Like yesterday Luke laughed and giggled on the swing while I told him a silly story about him going so high he flies over the fence and the neighbors’ dog Squirt eats him. He looked at me so sincerely and said, “You’re the best mom in the world!” to which I replied, “Well then we’re a good match because you are the world’s best little boy!”
Like all of them running to carry Lizzy down from her nap…even James. They all just can’t wait to see her and absolutely love how she waves or says “Hi!” and can say each of their names. She brings such a tenderness to my herd of boys.
And like Isaiah spending all his hard-earned school dollars on Friday for a bath bomb to give to me. Yes, one of the 7th grade girls made it. And yes, I was a little concerned I might have an allergic reaction to any one of the completely unknown ingredients. But it smelled amazing. Eucalyptus? Or mint? And he asked me at least four times that evening, “Mom are you going to try your bath bomb tonight?” So I did. They wanted to come in to watch it dissolve. Then when all were tucked in to bed I put on a facial mask and soaked in the tub. And yay, no rash!
Sometimes I worry.
This house is so loud. So chaotic. There is SO MUCH FIGHTING!
Sometimes I worry they will all become delinquents. Sometimes I worry we may be that family who never speaks to one another again.
But when I REALLY look I realize I’m missing the main stuff. The good stuff. They really are such good kids! They can be so loving. So compassionate. I need to focus on that…all those amazing, wonderful, breathtakingly sweet moments of everyday, ordinary life.
Because every single day there are so many moments of wonderful.