I just spent the last 30 minutes rocking Hope. I think that is most I have been relaxed in weeks. It was nice to be able to talk to her about nothing. I always tell her how special she is because she is the only one with red hair and freckles like her mommy. But tonight I told her even if she did not have red hair and freckles that I would love her just the same. Because she is Hope and Hope is special because God made her that way.
If you know me, then you know in my heart of hearts I want a dozen kids. Obviously that is not happening. But then there are tonight’s when I wonder if I am giving them all they need. It was time for bed and Hope climbed up in my lap. We spent the next 30 minutes singing together and talking about what she wants her day to be like. She said dad would take all the kids but her camping and she and I would
1. make breakfast
2. go horseback riding
3. eat apples and other healthy stuff
4. play in faiths make up
5. sneak in Michael’s room and play with his toys
6. clean up the house
7. straighten the pictures because they are not right (she is so her mothers daughter)
9. make food
10. read books
Just her and I. could talk and sing all day together. I wish I could give her that day. Last year for Faith’s birthday she wanted a night in a hotel with just me. I love that they want to spend time with me alone. I only wish I took the time to do things with them alone more often. I would like to say the excuse is that I do not have time but I do. I could take just one to the store instead of going by myself. We could walk laps around the outside of the house together. Both Michael and faith say we do not let them talk. I honestly think faith picked it up from Michael. So I need to make a point of letting them talk for no reason sometimes. So when I need them to just obey without talking they know there is a time when they are allowed and a time when it is not okay. And you know what? Sometimes they say the best things when they are just talking for no reason. Sometimes I just need to go in Michael’s room and listen to him talk even when I know it is going to be about a computer game because otherwise that line of communication gets broken. I have learned that every morning no matter how busy I am that Grace is going to wake up and come into the living room and crawl into my lap and snuggle with me. I know when she does this every morning we have things to talk about. First, I ask her how she slept and she says good. Then she asks me when the baby will be here. It will be so sad when we do not have the baby anymore. Then we talk about what ever is going on in the day. I still love to touch her little nose and rub her little legs.
Today I took Grace to the store with me. I did not want her to bother Rob. In the short few minutes it took us to get there she asked a lot of important questions. Mommy, when is Lori coming back (our neighbor 2 doors away who moved less than 2 weeks ago) she is not coming back I told her. Mommy, did Lori take her cats. Yes, Grace. Then she said, will we take our cat when we move. Yes grace. Then we drove around the corner and she said mommy, where is Mrs. Patti, she moved off post. Did mrs. Patti take her dog. Yes Grace. Will we take our dog. Yes we will take curly but Blue is going to a new family. Oh will blue come back to us, no grace. I honestly can not imagine what this poor child is thinking. Her Lori moved, Patti moved and she does not understand but next week her daddy is leaving and within a few weeks from that the baby she looks forward to seeing each morning is moving. I know I am rambling now but I just want you to take time to listen to your kids. Even if it is while you are cooking a meal. Listen to how they play. I learn so much about what my kids think when they are playing. Hope and Grace play mommy all the time and when they do there is always a cell phone in there hands. When Hope plays she always has several babies she is juggling on her hip or in a car seat. She even lets me babysit sometimes. And man can she pack a diaper bag. I listen to Michael even when it is hard and believe me he really wants to talk about one thing so it is hard. I also listen when he is in his room or in another room ranting about how bad his life is and what rotten parents he has. Speaking of listening. I think sometimes we get so caught up in rather our kids are doing what is right and wrong we forget to admit to them that we are human. One day last week Michael was mad at me, I mean like teenager my life sucks and everything you do is to make me mad, mad. And I could tell he was not going to get over it for a long time. Part of his anger was understandable but it was not worth all he was putting into it. I was frustrated and he was frustrated. I honestly did not know what to do or say. So I went into the kitchen, set down beside him and took his hands. I held his hands firmly so he could not move away and I prayed. I prayed that prayer I knew I needed to be praying daily but have not been. So while I held his hands I prayed and asked for understanding for both of us, I admitted how lazy I have been, I admitted that I had done things wrong with him and too him. I asked for help for me, I asked for help with him. This was one of those blubbering, crying kind of prayers where you just lay it all out there. At one point I felt his hands relax and that touched me. Then a few minutes later I felt his head on my shoulder and I completely lost it. I continued to pray with him for him, for me, for us as parents. When I was done we spent a long time talking. Not about games or school or the things he had done wrong but about the man I know he is, about the parent I want to be. About how important our relationship is. About how important his relationships with his sisters are. That the words we say today and apologize for saying are still there tomorrow. I felt so much better after our talk. I felt exhausted the rest of the day but I knew that it was important that we get to the heart of some issues. Now the goal is not to go so long between talking to him. We are so busy with life that we forget that our our kids are not a business and they are not employees to obey without question. Yes they need to know to obey but sometimes we need to explain why we want them to obey, they do not have to agree but they need to know. And this is something I really want to work on with my kids. They are growing up so fast.
Okay I need to close and decide if I am going to move hope from the love seat into her bed or let her sleep there. She will wake up thinking we had a sleep over if I let her sleep in here. I am sleeping on the couch because I do not want to hit Rob’s leg.