Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sacred Almonds.

Bedtime can be nutty.

Attempting to get the little birds three bathed and pajama-clad with brushed teeth is sometimes the equivalent to herding blind cats. Add in the fact that this occurs at the end of the day when we're all tired anyway, the bedtime routine can be downright exhausting.

However, after the books have been read (by me), the tall tales have been told (by Dad), the songs have been sung (by all of us) and everyone is tucked in for the night (assuming at least one of those things has actually happened as planned), I begin my favorite occurrence of the day: I go to each of the kids' beds and sing The Doxology over them before they fall asleep. 

If you aren't familiar with its words, here they are:

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

No matter how tired I am, or, honestly, how much I might not feel like singing it, the kids are eager to remind me (Naomi: "Sing The Soxology, Mom!") and I'm always glad that I do. Regardless if the day was a good one or a not-so-good one, this poignant moment stirs my heart to be thankful that, above all else, I had one more day with the people I love. Praise God for that!

We spent last week at the lake and we all shared a room. One night as I finished The Doxology, with Cub and Naomi tucked in their beds, my heart swelled at the beauty of this sacred closing to the day... when suddenly Cub piped up:

"Mom, why do you praise God for an 'almond'"?

"Wait, what?"

"We praise God for things that flow and then we end it with almonds! It's cool."

Oh my word, I busted a gut when I realized that he meant the "Amen" ("Ah-men") at the end of the song. 

This whole time he thought I was praising God for almonds. That as I tuck them in and stroke their hair and kiss their cheeks, I sing a song of praise to God for the beauty of a healthy nut that we use as a spread on our sourdough bread. Fantastic. 

I explained that the word "Amen" is usually sung as "Ah-men" and that it was simply the end to the prayer I was singing. "Ohhhhh," he nodded before he snuggled back into his pillow. 

It was so funny to imagine this moment from his perspective. He knows nothing of the word "sacred" or "reverent", he just knows that Mom is thankful to God for stuff and she sings about it at the end of the day. 

And, really, that's all he needs to know.

Have a lovely day. :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Water. Wha-TER.

The other morning, Cub and Naomi had a discussion at the breakfast table. It went like this:

Cub: "Mama, may I have some water please?"

Naomi: "I want wha-tuh, too!"

Cub: "Naomi, it's wha-TER. WATER."

Naomi: "That's what I said, Caleb! 'Wha-tuh'!"

Cub: "No, Naomi, you're saying 'wha-tuh'."

Naomi: "I am not! I'm saying wha-tuh ... wha-tuh. Whatuh."

Then she looked down at her plate with tears in her eyes.

"Mama, I can't say it right."

Break my heart, baby girl.

Okay. So, Naomi (obviously) has a hard time saying her "r"'s. I haven't thought much of it because, in my opinion, she's barely three and pronouncing your "r"'s incorrectly seems like a fairly common practice in toddlerhood. I know that it could potentially be an issue down the road, but for now, I'm not worried about it.

But this was the first time Naomi ever worried about it.

I tried telling her that we all learn to say things as we get older, and for her not to worry. I told Caleb to pronounce "Pre-millenial Eschatological Theology", which came out "Pre-millenial Eskapodogical Pedigree" and I told her, "See? The older you get, the easier it is to say things correctly!"

But, am I wrong?

I know I have readers who work with kids and are experienced with this kind of thing. What do you think? Any tips? My gut says to let it fly, but, sometimes my gut can be a tad ... optimistic. ;)

Thank you in advance.

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ready, Go.

I enjoy spontaneity.

It's something in my personality, I think. I love last-minute trips and moments that present opportunities for unexpected fun. I was thinking about this the other day, how I tend to view life as an adventure--each day brings something unknown and potentially wonderful, and I love being in the middle of it.

And then I laughed because I was thinking these thoughts whilst flying down the highway ... with my kids. In my van. In Oklahoma.

It's safe to say that I do not, by any means, lead a life that many would consider daring or even noteworthy. Did I mention the Oklahoma and minivan parts?

I have a quote by Andy Warhol hanging in our piano room that says, "You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you." I know that on the surface, my life probably seems quite boring to most. I make waffles in a toaster and fold laundry and bandage boo-boos. I live in a quiet, rural neighborhood. With chickens.

And yet, to me, my life is adventurous. Whether it's a trip to the grocery store or to the science museum, I love seeing life through the eyes of my children. I love seeing life with them. The things that would ordinarily bore me suddenly come to life with my kids. Piles of laundry become mountains to climb and buying shampoo at Target becomes a treasure hunt. The days that leave us breathless, dirty, and exhausted from the fun we've had ... those are my favorite days.

I was thinking the other day of what I really want my kids to know from me, as their Mom. Of course I love them to the ends of the earth and I want them to know that, but I realized, too, that I really want my kids to know how much I enjoy them. It's always nice when you are with someone who enjoys your company and I want my kids to know the same. That yes, I love you more than words can express, but, you know what? I like you. I like our time together. Despite the rough patches and the messy parts, I really love being with you.

On the days where we pack up and see three smiling faces in the rear view mirror, we revel in the blessing of parenthood. We love that it's better than we hoped it would be. Some days it's harder, too, but we're thankful that we're all a work in progress, learning it together.

And a life that may seem mundane to most, is, to us, filled with possibility and joy.

The things that ordinarily bore us, suddenly thrill us.

And we're really thankful for that.

Have a lovely day.