Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ahhhh. . .

The last few days have been a blur of medicines, tea and sleepless little congested people. I believe they're called children? I think I've conquered the fifth and final dishwasher load of cups and mugs, all the tea bags have either been tossed or have gone into hiding, and the youngest of the bunch have re-learned what we do with gunky Kleenexes. I know, it sounds lovely, doesn't it? Whatever. We're all happy and nearly healthy again. Y'all have to know a mere virus couldn't take us out for long, right?

Today all of them were well enough to do school again so off we charged, full speed ahead. K confessed that the phonics book "makes my tummy hurt." We chatted about why, and I reminded her how much more easily she's reading all her books, school-related or not, these days. As we talked, her smile grew broader and broader, even as a little tear appeared in the corner of one eye and she ducked her chin. Aw, sweetie pie. Then she wanted to do two lessons. So we did. She's such a little trooper. Maybe being in the younger portion of the local demographic has fired up her will to work harder and longer. I'm pretty sure that's part of what's up with S, too. Almost two years ago, when we were hauling tree parts away from the one that fell on the house, she just went after them, dragging pieces the bigger kids didn't want to take on.

G and E are getting into tougher work for both of them, often it's more than they'd prefer to do. But we can look back and see how far they've come in each subject and relish the payoffs of hard work. It's a really useful thing, to have such experiences. And to (loosely) quote a fellow mom of five: "When you have a bunch of kids, you have evidence that the first one got out of the nose-picking, pants-wetting, ankle-biting stages. So by the time the last one is in the midst of those stages, it just doesn't phase you the same way." And she's right. Of course, one could always just refuse to be phased at all. Is someone whining about work, chores, or perhaps, each other? A little gut-busting laughter in the midst of the pre-teen glaring showdowns seems to be particularly effective. At first it annoys them, but they can't help laughing too and, voila -- the moment passes, on we go. And smiling, at that.

I've been thinking lately about "stuff." It occurs to me that too often, all the To Do lists take over. We get annoyed when we don't get our ducks lined up, then get snappish with the lovely folks around us. I'm just going to say it: consider this an admonishment. Ready?

Say yes.

When your kidlets want to throw you a picnic under the trees or on the living room floor, give up your agenda for a few minutes and say yes. When there are rainbows to chase, give chase and take a camera. When a curious child wants to toss everything but physics, find a way to work it out, at least temporarily. When your honey is catcalling and whistling at you from the shower as you finish getting ready for your day and you suddenly think, "What if I just jumped in there fully clothed and attacked him?" Do it. Say yes. The kids know where to find breakfast and probably won't burn the house down while you remind him how much you've always been, erm, attracted to him. You might want to lock the door, though.

You do know that even if things get a little off track, the world won't stop spinning on it's axis, right? Sometimes we get all wrapped up in the progression of things being just so that we forget why we invested ourselves in the order of the progression to begin with: the success and happiness of the family, for goodness sakes. Sometimes the success and happiness of the family are rather more closely tied to cutting loose, even making a really big, happy mess, than to getting things "right." Sometimes getting things right means just saying yes to the people you grow to love more every day, those you love more than you could ever have imagined.

I'm just sayin'.

My folks headed out yesterday to help get things in order for Grandpa. We'll take off after the girls sing for church. The funeral is Sunday morning. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and condolences. Blessings back at ya.

Here's hoping all the sweet punkins sleeeeeeep, for all of us. 'Night.

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