Monthly Archives: February 2013

Rude Folks Are Everywhere

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Apparently, there is a great need for people to take some serious manners classes in this society. Because some of the junk that spews out of folks mouths…..I swear.
And once people learn my husband and I are the parents of six sons……forget about it. All bets are off. All filters are removed. And the oh-so-original (heard ’em all before)witty comments begin.
“Wow! SIX!? You do know what causes that, right????” (Usually followed by a slightly awkwardly discomforting LOOK and nudge to my hubby.)
Uh…..no. Not at all. We haven’t made THAT connection yet. Here are our six sons, behaving in public, dressed in clean matching outfits, obviously being raised just fine. But we must be two very naïve, ignorant folks. PLEASE do enlighten us, oh-arrogant stranger. Teach us the wisdom of your solution. Because clearly your assumption that each and every one of these kids was created by pure mistake is very appreciated. And thanks for saying it right in front of my kids. We’ve been making the mistake of telling them they are loved and cherished and gifts from God. Our bad.
Or this one “So, are y’all gonna be trying for a little girl” or “Were you trying for a daughter?”
Ugh.
Ok. I will be 100% honest and say yes, there IS a tiny corner of my heart reserved for that possible someday daughter. In a house full of males I long for it at times. But I also have pondered the fact I may never have that. BUT, to insinuate that these beautiful boys are mere prototypes, just unwanted boy-models while we were actually wanting a girl…..how cruel and hurtful to say such a thing. (again, usually while my sons ae RIGHT THERE listening.) And to ask me if we are going to try for a girl. Like we arent blessed YET. A person actually asked me that at church while I was holding my then-4 day old son. Four days old. I looked at them in perplexity and replied “I really would just like to focus on THIS baby right now!”
Then there are the ones who assume my life is stressed to the max and my house must be a pigsty. They have these odd visions of me sitting in a house filled with stinky socks, mud streaked walls, boys screaming like banshees running through the house in filthy clothes while I frantically toss them oreos and McDonalds French fries.
Couldn’t be further from the truth. We have a routine. We have daily chores. We spend time as a family reading, playing board games, watching movies. I cook my sons healthy mostly organic often vegetarian meals from scratch. We are teaching them empathy and how to behave like gentlemen. They respond with “Yes Mam” and “Yes Sir”. I have massive organizational skills, yo. 🙂
My sons were not accidents. Nor do I feel my life is out of control. My greatest joy is being their mama. I truly do not require the advice and suggestions of strangers. I don’t need to answer your questions about my sex life or my use of birth control. It’s NOT YOUR BUSINESS. I don’t ask you what position you and your spouse use most in bed or why you don’t have kids or only have one…..because that’s not MY business.
So, the next time you see a family with more than 3 kids, try biting your tongue and NOT assuming the parents are clueless, stressed-out, lacking-something-you-THINK-they-need people. Maybe, just maybe, they are simply blessed and happy and livingin a home that may be a little noisy and chaotic at times, but is also overflowing with laughter and love. ❤

Letting Go

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Went to church this morning. The topic was all about letting go of obsessive control and giving things to God. The preacher asked for a show of hands as to who might think they had an issue with being too controlling in areas of their lives. I didn’t raise my hand. Not because I didn’t think it was an issue for me. But because I was too busy straightening the sleeve on my shirt and lining my pen up in the crook of my notebook justsostraight. You see I am a self proclaimed OCDer. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Or, as the joke goes….CDO. As it SHOULD be. My issue is order. I dream of living in a world where everything is in its place. Everything is matching and smootha nd in perfect symmetry. I waste hours of my life doing menial tasks like organizing he inside of my fridge. And I mean ORGANIZING. Cooking condiments in one spot, sandwich condiments in another, pickled products in another, all lined up smallest to biggest with labels facing forward. I get a sick satisfaction and joy when I look at all my matching towels folded identically and evenly spaced on the bathroom shelf. I get giddy when I organize the pantry shelves and will drag my hubby into the pantry to revel in the beauty. (Where I expect and assume he will applaud and kiss my feet at my artistry)
You can imagine, living in a house with 7 guys, how very easy and non-time consuming it is to live like this.
Now, some organization is called to order when you are a mama of six. No doubt about it. Could you imagine what my house would LOOK like (or smell like) if I didn’t keep on top of the important stuff?
But it’s dawned on……this home will be here forever. There will always be time to line up the knick knacks or scrub the outside top of my fridge (yeah. I do that. Once a month.) But these boys…..these precious amazing silly marvelous boys will not BE boys forever. Someday they will be men and gone from this home. Then I will perhaps miss the fingerprints that drive me so nutso on my windows. I’ll miss the tiny little toys scattered on my bedroom floor. I’ll wish I had spent more time playing and making memories.
I know my mom must have kept a tidy home when I was little. But I only assume this because I know she keeps a tidy home NOW. Do I honestly recall what state of cleanliness my home was in when I was a child? Heck no. What I do recall is the days she took me to the beach or played outside in our yard with me or sat and read my brother and I The Hobbit. Because that is what TRULY matters in the long run.
I think part of the reason I get so obsessive about my home looking “perfect” is I worry what others will think of me. I have gotten some rather rude messages on FB rom folks who apparently think they know me, accusing me of being lazy because I do not have employment outside of my home. (Man I WISH I only worked 8 hours a day!) My brain tries to convince me that if the house looks immaculate then its at least physical proof I DO something with my days. (As if Im going to invite all those jerks over for tea at some point or something.)
But is a spotless shiny house proof of a life well lived? Seriously?
How about the fact I can name all of my sons friends and tell you who my 9 year old has a crush on and what subject my oldest son struggles with the most in school. My 6 month old almost never cries because Mommy is always there to comfort and nurse him. Im here when my 4 year old has a nightmare or my 5 year old has an upset tummy. No one else cares for my sick children. They have my comforting presence. I get to show them edible flowers and roots on hikes through the woods. I get to teach them how to throw a perfect spiral in football and how to catch fireflies in a mason jar. I get to sit on the deck and watch them learn to ride bikes without training wheels and play soccer together, their shouts and laughter floating through the air and echoing off the mountains that surround our house. These are moments never to be retrieved. Engraved on my heart. I am here to guide and lead and love and teach.
I’d take that over a perfect looking home any day.
So, the next time you come to my house and the dishes are piled up or the laundry pile actually speaks to you as you walk past it in the laundry room….the next time you take note of the peanut butter smears on the door or the dusty tv……well, take a look at my kids. They are healthy and happy and oh-so-very-loved. Maybe I haven’t gotten around to matching up that basket of socks yet today, but I did laugh with my boys and read to them in a british accent and teach them about hummingbirds and talk to them about respecting ladies……They might go to church with moms mismatched socks on their feet. (True story. My 5 year old had one pink and one purple on this morning) but go ask him when was the last time his mama played with him. (I made a playdough zoo with him today.)
I’m shifting priorities.
Letting go never felt so good.

Confession

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I LIKE being a mom. My children were no accident. I am a married woman who is devoted to her husband and LOVES being a homemaker. Seriously. I love it. I have no desire to dump my kids in daycare for strangers to raise so I can climb a corporate ladder. I do not feel as if I am lacking anything. I do not feel like my sons are holding me back or hindering my life. I don’t party. I don’t drink. It doesn’t even appeal to me. I am past that point in my life. I far prefer a fun family night at home with my hubby and my sons. Sure, life with 6 little boys and a hubby can be strange territory to tread. Its a lonely land at times being the only female in a land of testosterone. But it is SO much fun. People often make comments to me about how trashed my house might be, how stressed I must be. Right in front of my sons they will ask me if Dave and I plan on trying for a daughter someday. As if these sons of ours are just mere prototypes. They do not understand. They are not a fly on my wall here.
Ah Family Nights. My boys all dragging blankets and pillows into my bedroom to set up pallets on my floor. We watch movies together. We munch on deliciousness. (Baked kale chips is the newest family favorite.) We play Uno and CandyLand. Its simplicity and its heavenly. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Recently a friend of mine suggested I get my tubes tied because my sons were clearly holding me back from stuff I should be doing like vacations alone with my hubby. (There will be plenty of time for that someday. This friend didn’t spend a weekend last summer at the beach in SC with my clan. I wouldn’t trade the fun of those 48 hours for ANYTHING) Never mind the fact it is unbelievably RUDE to comment on anyones birth control options. (But you would be surprised how many people think its totally prudent to do so once you bypass the four children range in your family.)
What is it exactly that I am missing? Drunken nights of acting like a moron with next-morning regrets? Getting to sleep in on a weekend? Watching a tv show uninterrupted once and awhile? Meh. I’d rather take what I have now. Early morning wide-toothless smiles in my bed from my 6 month old. Being home teaching my 5 year old how to write his letters at the diningroom table. Cheering when my 7 year old wins an award. Being there to see them learn to ride bikes, how to play a new song on the keyboard, how to read a chapter book, how to use the potty. Talking with my 12 year old son about his future plans for college and a career. Talking with my 9 year old about his faith in God. Kissing boo-boos. Listening to bedtime prayers. Taking pictures of gaps in grins from recently lost teeth. All 6 of them piled onto my bed, the baby at my breast as I read chapters fo a book until my voice is hoarse and they beg for just one more chapter…….
Life is good. Life is a blessing. And I carry no regrets. I live in a small town and I frequently hear the most ridiculous gossip about myself. I mean ridiculous. It used to really upset me. I felt like my character as a wife, mother and woman of God was being slandered. But these days I find it amusing at best. I spend my days cleaning house, teaching my sons, being as honorable as possible in my daily life. I guess some people just need to talk about something. I guess some people really need a hobby to occupy them a bit more.
But anyway, that’s my scandalous confession.
That’s all.