Thursday, January 16, 2014

From Babies to Boys....In A Blink Of Mom's Eye!

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I tend to refer to our two youngest sons as "the little guys."


Recently, it occurred to me that they are not so little anymore. In fact, they have been kind of spoiled because I have thought of them as "little."


Since the three older kids are becoming increasingly more involved in activities outside the home, the fact that I have thought of our two younger boys as "little" has become shockingly apparent.


Last night, after dropping off our three older kids at a youth event, we walked in the front door of our home, to a shocking scene. Turtle action figures were strewn around the living room floor. Apparently these were the guys who didn't "make it" in the latest battle. Blankets of varying sizes and colors had been dropped like bombs throughout the living and dining room. School books, coloring crayons along with an array of art supplies peppered the floor, table and piano bench. One dead Ninja turtle apparently met his demise under that bench and music books were on the floor, on top of the piano and on the bench. The kitchen looked like a master explosive expert had been at work in there and the dining room had remnants of the last meal....or maybe even two, sticking to the table, a couple of chairs and the floor.


In that moment, realizing the older kids who are experts at all the household chores, were not available to bring aid to the situation,  I felt completely overwhelmed. It was the end of a busy day and I had spent the afternoon/early evening running a child to the orthodontist and home again, cooking dinner and getting everyone through the meal process, running three kids to the church, then over to the dealership to pick up license plates for our new van and finally back home. I had to put my taxi driver's hat on again in an hour to collect the three older kids and I really needed to do a workout in between. How was I going to get the house back in order after an obvious tornado had left it's after effects and get my workout in? It then occurred to me.....who had actually created all this wreckage. I suddenly had an epiphany, much to the "little guys" regret, and in a blink of an eye, I was ready for them to be the more grown up boys that my blinded mommy's eyes had not noticed before now.


The blinders had come off. The cradle was gone. The babies had grown, slimmed down and taken on quite a mature look. When I surveyed the damage done to all those poor turtles lying dead in my living room, I realized if they were capable of doing this much damage without any help, they were capable of engaging in some "man size" elbow grease and I put them to work cleaning up the salmagundi (yes, it's a big word, I know....goes with how "big" my feelings were in that moment) they had created.


Their Daddy and I quickly switched out the "mommy and daddy" hats to the "drill sergeant, I mean business" hats and you will never guess what happened next!


Within thirty short minutes, every speck of turtle carnage was removed from sight, the blankets were neatly folded and put away, the music was tidied up, the piano bench was clean and clear of debris....and pushed neatly under the piano. All art supplies, coloring crayons, school books, and pencils disappeared. All clothing remnants that had been scattered throughout the house, were gone...out of sight. The dining room table looked like it had never even seen a meal and the shrapnel that had graced the kitchen a short time before, was gone. The kitchen was now declared a "safe" zone for bare feet. Even the dishes were washed (by hand), rinsed and neatly stacked in the dishwasher for drying. (Broken dishwashers make great drying racks, by the way).


It's amazing what "little" guys can accomplish when we tell them we believe in them! It's shocking how much they are capable of when their beloved Ninja Turtles, Leap Pad devices, favorite books, blankets and clothing items are on the possible chopping block. Why, at the mention of a little trip to the "Good Will," with said items, those two young men went the "extra mile" and even cleaned up their bathroom! Their beds were made, all dirty clothes ceased their former positions as bedroom d├ęcor. Clean clothing was folded and put away or hung up and these little "soldier boys" even worked with smiles on their faces....as a team. GASP! Who would have thought THIS was possible?


The most astonishing part of the whole awakening, was watching these two formerly resistant workers, smiling, laughing, talking and SINGING while they worked TOGETHER! And why yes, their Dad and I did get that workout in...at the same time. Imagine that!


I captured one of my two guys happily washing dishes this morning.


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I sure loved my "little guys" and now it's time to move on to loving and enjoying my boys. It's time to put their babyhood memories in the memory bank and move with them into the present. It's time to prepare them for manhood, by teaching them good work ethics, responsibility, teamwork, and grateful attitudes for the things God has provided them with (like Ninja Turtles and art supplies). These "big guys" are great! They are fun, funny, sweet, loving, forgiving, caring young boys and it's time to help them develop their characters further by believing in them enough to award them with more responsibility which will bring them more rewards.....long lasting rewards when they find themselves ready to become employed and care for a family.


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Sometimes we moms need an "ah-ha" moment, a wake up call and a fresh, new perspective.


How about you?  If your "little guys" are as old as mine, they should be contributing members to the home by now. If they can create amazing messes, they can also clean up those messes and show thankfulness for all the things they have with which to make those messes, right?


Soldier up, boys!


Mom has awakened.

4 comments :

  1. Great points! I know that I sometimes expect less from my 2 youngest and I know that is such a disservice to them. Maybe it is for selfish reasons and I want to hang on to my "babies". Really enjoyed reading your thoughts!

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  2. Thanks Jodi,

    I know what you mean.....I want to hang on to my babies too. It's a bitter/sweet thing to embrace the change and to see them grow up so quickly. It's also really cool to see them doing things I didn't have the faith they could do before now. It's really nice to have two more capable helpers around the house and they feel more like part of the family when they have more "mature" jobs to do. They are actually smiling more and Levi asked to wash the breakfast pans this morning. I know this may be a fleeting "good" attitude, but I intend to embrace it and encourage it as much as possible in hopes that it will last as long as possible. <3

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  3. Yes! I know what you mean, Mom. I tend to still think of them as my baby brothers, even though they are now 9 and 7. I think I frustrate them.

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  4. I'm sorry, Christine! I didn't even see this comment until now.....apparently you left it last night? Anyway, Love you and it's always fun to see comments from my kids. <3

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