Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Home..and a happy recognition that life is different with big boys

If you saw the sidebar widget you know that Jonathan is home. He got in very late on Saturday night. I stayed up, of course, til he got home and then even longer because, of course, we had to talk for awhile. Oh my, it is good to have him home.

And then yesterday, we brought Andrew home. After he finished his last exam of his first semester of college he was very ready to be out of the dorm and on the way. After a great lunch at the Pita House with my folks, we hit the road back here. I sat in the back while Andrew drove and Jonathan acted as DJ for us, playing music from his Zune, computer, and for the last little stretch, the radio.

You know, it's just a different world now...imagine, you younger mothers, the day when you will sit in the backseat and knit while your sons in the front drive and handle the music. One of them will even get out and pump the gas and pay cash for it from his wallet in order to get the lower cash price.

When you arrive home, you will find the floors vacuumed by the son who remained at home and the dishes from the day and a half you were away will be washed. There will even be a load of laundry in the washer, put there by your son who noticed that the hamper was full.

After dinner, you will go about your business while one of your sons washes the dishes and another dries and puts them away. And then one of them will turn on the kettle and ask if you'd like a cup of tea. While you are sitting at your computer, one will come up behind you and start rubbing your shoulders. (is this sounding like a fairy tale???)

They will discuss economics and world affairs and draw supply and demand curves on their napkin. They will play games and say very funny things. They will talk and laugh and tell stories and tease each other and sometimes cast a sideways glance at you to see if you are giving a disapproving look at a comment just made. And you might be. You might even say a few words of reprimand. Or maybe not...because sometimes it is better to remain silent, trusting the maturing to continue. But if you do speak, they will listen and maybe not agree, but come up and hug you anyway.

A massive undercurrent of love will be flowing beneath everything. And your heart will be warm and you will know that every minute of diaper changing, every sleepless night with a crying, fretful baby, every incident that required discipline, every broken mug or plate, all the the noise and rambunctious behavior that tried your patience, the moody teenager, the stinky socks everywhere, the piles of athletic shoes in the garage that you stumbled over, the times you threw up your hands and wondered how in the world you'd ever get anything done, the times of frustration and worry and sheer exhaustion...all of it, every bit of it, will pale into nothingness in comparison to the incredible joy of having these big sons who are growing into such incredible young men, home again...

We are still awaiting the arrival of Erin and Luke and Thomas in a few days, and dear, wonderful Kandyce, who we are all so eager to meet, on Christmas Eve. I cannot remember a time when we have anticipated the arrivals of far flung family with such excitement.

Oh, and lest I give the wrong picture, I still stumble over athletic shoes in the garage and pick up stinky socks. We are not in heaven, yet!


mommytodd said...

After a day like today, Beth I needed this post to tell me that getting through the tears and repeating myself so many times that I think that I might have become delusional will come to an end. And the never ending disciplining. Are you sure that it works with multiples of girls too.....?

Josh and Dana said...

Oh Beth...this made me cry. In fact, I'm still crying. I really needed this. I love my boys so dearly, and am really trying to cherish and enjoy each stage with them...but sometimes it's hard and you lose the big picture. You're just trying to keep them fed and clean clothes in the drawers and even that can feel impossible some days....I know you understand this.

So thanks for the beautiful picture of what God has in your boy's lives throught your faithfulness and even in your lack of faithfulness. I needed to see that today.

kk said...

beth amma,

i can't wait. i can't wait to see firsthand all of this love and joy and deep care for one another that i've been reading and hearing about for months and even years now.

these next few days until christmas eve are torture.

love, love,

Beth said...

I can't say for certain about girls. You know I only have one. But, I expect it's very much the same...only the things you trip on when they are younger and the noise level are different :) and the things they will do together when they are older will probably not include wrestling, knocking each other down, or mud football. But I know how you feel about the endless correcting...hang in there, consistency makes a difference.

Yes, I do remember feeling like it was impossible to do everything...and sometimes it was. I don't think boys remember the clean clothes so much but the meals and times around the table leave indelible marks.

Hope you women can look up from time to time and see down the road a ways...

Beth said...

Love and joy and deep care and dirty socks and crowded bathroom and lots of dishes and won't it be wonderful! Oh, yeah. I pray the torture won't be toooo painful and the days will fly. We'll see you in a week, dear heart.

Erin said...

Ohhhhh, I CAN'T WAIT to be there!!! We've been chomping at the bit all week (literally! ;)). Pray that the major snowstorm coming tomorrow won't hold us up! :-/ At least we're bringing the truck, so we have 4-wheel drive if we need it. :)

Amber Benton said...

Sigh... we do have moments - glimpses that are usually gone when I blink. We are all stones being polished -- AGAINST ONE ANOTHER :)