Thursday, May 20, 2010

Good Company, Unruly Children, and Metamorphosis

We just had some overnight guests from Maryland leave. These dear friends knew Kevin and I before we married. When they were here, they said, “It’s so fun to see you all grown up now!” This made me laugh. I guess we do have a lot of responsibility now, compared to then. We’ve added three kids, a mortgage, disability insurance, etc., etc. Whew!

We had a great time visiting. Maybe it’s just the history that we share, or the personalities involved, or both, but you know you have true friends when you have both good conversation and comfortable silences. When no one is talking and that’s okay, it’s a great feeling.

I also appreciate how my friend Natalie encouraged me in several areas I’m struggling with—the two biggest ones are: 1) the overwhelming feelings of taking my children’s education upon my own shoulders (wanting to get it right, also wanting some me-time and not foreseeing that happening very often) and 2) having a husband who works many long hours, and trying to manage everything in the midst of that. Her encouragement came in the form of passing comments, and brief conversations, but it was medicine that I needed for the moment. I love how God’s grace often works that way.

Here is an e-mail I sent to my mom last week, just to let you know what I was dealing with while Kevin was away at a trial in Denver:

“We’re doing pretty good, except that I’ve been really discouraged about Clara. She has been over-the-top disobedient since Kevin left. She has always enjoyed crossing the line, but this week it’s been especially bad. Last night I was praying that she would pleeeeeeeeeze just go to bed so wouldn’t have to discipline her yet again. It was 10:30 p.m. at this point. I had planned all these fun things to do with them this week but we have done ZERO of those things because instead the kids have been having to take a nap every day—since they have been staying up to 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. and getting up between 6:30-7:00. They are extra whiny because they are tired. I put them to bed at 8:30 but they are STILL up that late because Clara is always screwing around and antagonizing poor Meredith. Ugh!!!

“Hopefully when Kevin gets home she will be back to her normal level of rebellion and it won’t be this bad. I don’t know what to do with her. I’ve tried to give her positive attention this week and be consistent in disciplining her, all to no avail.”

Sometimes I just feel at the end of my rope. Fortunately Kevin’s parents really helped out when he was gone last week and Kevin’s mom gave me a break at the end of the week so I could run errands by myself. Again, God’s grace to me!!

Thankfully, as soon as Kevin got home, Clara’s overall attitude changed. She has since then prayed sweet little prayers, with each one ending, “Thank you for bringing daddy home safe. Amen.”

And mom heartily seconds that Amen!

And in other, exciting news, the metamorphosis is complete and we now have five butterflies sitting in our kitchen, eating orange slices!

I had purchased a butterfly garden online so the kids could experience watching caterpillars make their cocoons and turn into butterflies. I thought they would enjoy it but I think I got an even bigger kick out of it. It was truly awesome. These skinny little caterpillars got so HUGE and then they all crawled up to the top of their container at the same time and started spinning their cocoons. After a week, we watched all the butterflies hatch within about 24 hours of each other. One of them we saw immediately after it hatched, and watched him stretch out his crumpled wings.

The kids were jumping up and down with excitement during each phase. I will definitely be ordering more caterpillars in the future. So fun!


jennie said...

I am so very sorry that you had such a hard week. Those times can be very trying. I too enjoy my me time! I need it to be a good mom. Don't feel bad if you don't want to educate the kids yourself. Next year Edy will be going to WB 2 days a week and the other 3 will be in full day school. Connor will take his daily 3 hour nap. Give yourself some breathing room. Do what is right for your family, not what others think is right for your family. Only you and Kevin can decide what is best for you and yours.

Rachelle said...

It is so entirely unfair how kids behave so much better when their dads are nearby. Just the threat of "Well, Daddy is going to have to take care of this when he gets home" causes my kids to shape up.

And what is it with the second one being such a handful? Mine pushes me to no end.

Hang in there.... :)