Some days I live in an opera. Ronan and Callum are both into singing right now, and they will sing whole conversations just for the heck of it. A recent song-convo had me shaking silently with laughter as I got out the night diapers:
Callum: “It’s time for bed. Go to sleep, little Ronan, go to sleep.”
Ronan: “No, no, NO, no NO! It’s not time for bed.”
Callum: “Yes, yes, yes, YES yes. It’s time for bed so don’t say no.”
Ronan: “I want to say no. Noooooooo ….. no.”
Ronan is still a fully devoted mama’s boy. Last week I asked Dr. G to handle naptime so I could get some extra sleep and try to recover from a cold. Ronan sat outside my closed door wailing for me for several minutes. I heard Callum clomping down the hall to visit. I heard him scramble down next to his sobbing brother and say in the most sympathetic tone he could muster, “I’m so sorry, brother. You are sad. You want to be with mommy.”
Ronan stopped crying. “Yes, I do.”
Callum: “I’m sorry. Why do you want to be with mommy?”
Ronan: “I just want her.”
Callum: “Mommy has to be in there because she’s feeling so yucky. Daddy will take care of us. Is that good, brother? Do you feel better?”
Ronan, crying again: “Noooooo. I just want mommy!”
Callum gave up and clomped back down the hall. I was a little teary over his wonderful attempt. He showed sympathy, validated Ronan’s feelings, invited him to talk about it, explained the situation, offered an alternative. This from the kid who thinks it is really fun to whomp people on the back of the head with a plastic bat. This from the kid who would rather moan through gritted teeth for ten minutes than say aloud that he would like another cracker. What a sweetheart.
Another sweetheart in the family, Abigail, has been wondering lately what God’s plan is for her life. She thinks maybe she will have lots of wonderful children that she can tell about God, or maybe she will be a church. “Not like a building. Because a person can’t be a building. But somebody who gathers people together to talk about the Lord.” I told her I could see her doing either, or both, or maybe even something totally different. The fun thing about the future is we don’t know exactly how it will turn out. I reminded her that God has a plan for her right now, while she is only five years old, as the bible verse she learned in Sunday School said: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” I love how that verse takes away some of the complications I tend to add to life. If we see something good to do, most of the time we should just do it. Voila, God’s plan. Love grows as you share it. Abigail was glowing at the thought of being part of The Plan already. She started thinking of people she could be kind to. In fact, like many children her age, she is already generous and thoughtful. We accidentally came to the park with extra juice boxes and she asked if she could pass them out to her soccer team. She had been given money to buy a gift and she added her own money so she could buy two. When she sees me getting stressed out, she asks what she can do to help. Also like many children her age, Abigail is capricious with her kindness and she wails often at the horrible unfairness of her life. But when she sets her mind on doing something nice, she doesn’t count the cost. She will empty her piggy bank or give up her TV show or let her brothers rampage through her room without complaint. None of that is as important to her as doing whatever nice thing she has settled upon in her heart.
I wish I sang more often, and sat on the floor with somebody sad more often, and emptied my piggy bank for others more often without feeling the pinch. Sometimes I wish I were more like my children.