The Dude was up all night Saturday night due to the beginnings of a cold, not that he is ever a model sleeper! In exhaustion, I fell asleep next to him at about 5 am and woke to that bright sun streaming in the window at 7, and The Dude's hand insistently in mine, with an "uh, uh, uh, uh" pulling me toward the door. It's really hard to be grumpy when the sun is shining through the window, and through your little boy's snaggle toothed smile. Even though he did have green stuff dripping out of his nose.
Off went JT to work, and on went the boys and I to church. It was our day for 3s and 4s, so we added 3 more boys to the mix along with, thankfully, a teenage boy helper who was just amazing. Have I mentioned that I love little boys? Oh, they drive me so crazy and they fill me up with life at the same time. I was only slightly irritated, but secretly delighted (because this means that my own little boy is normal), when I asked if anyone wanted to color and they all screamed in horror at the prospect of having to sit down with crayons in their hands. So we skipped the coloring. To their credit, they sat side by side like little angels and listened to the story about Joseph, and then Aquaman demanded that the story of Jesus rising again be also read, as this is his favorite Bible story since Easter.
Since our theme was forgiveness, it seemed an appropriate request. After all, there would be no forgiveness of sins without the blood of the Lamb. I loved that they loved it. My overwhelming desire for these kids is that Sunday school would not be a dreaded task of "having" to sit and learn, but a delight, an opportunity.
On to music. Where "my" class, and especially my own child spent half the time crawling on the floor and making their brand new toys that an older gentleman of the church just donated fight each other. But I didn't mind. Because every week my son sits on the floor and refuses to participate, and I think...how embarrassing and how useless, but just last week, I heard him, halfway through the week, on the floor playing trains and singing to himself "oh, happy day, happy day! You washed my sins away!" and then I realized that he was listening in his own way. And for Aquaman, listening is easier when his body is in motion.
I read a blog several months ago that helped me relax a little about this constant gross motor activity. The writer wrote of her 4 year old son who was refusing to sit for crafts in preschool. She said she started to get frustrated until she realized that her son's ancestors were hunting with their fathers by the time they were 4. Not gluing buttons to paper cups.
Aquaman is just like his dad. Even now, JT shudders at the thought of having to sit still for longer than 5 minutes, unless he has just run 20 miles and can't move.
It's how they were made, and it's a blessing. But these days it is treated more like a curse.
I sometimes really wish that I could home school Aquaman at least the first few years of his schooling. So that he wouldn't have to endure the anti-little-boy school system of being forced to sit still for hours at a time. But alas, this does not seem to be an option. So I will begin now to pray for teachers with a heart for little boys. And JT is just going to have to take him running (or surfing, or swimming) every morning before school. :-)
After a children's ministry meeting which I didn't make it all the way through due to The Dude being 2 hours late for his nap and Aquaman trying to eat all the candy in the middle of the table, we headed home. The Dude was passed out in the stroller within 2 minutes. I was getting excited. Though Aquaman no longer naps (if he does, he is up until 11 pm, ugh!), he does take a nice "rest" in our room in the closet playing with his trains. This meant I might actually have a few minutes of quiet! I hurriedly made his lunch and cleaned him, brushed his teeth, read him a story, and whisked him up to the closet. I boiled up some tea, threw some laundry in, grabbed my Bible and journal and hit the Roku to turn on Calvary Chapel's service. Sat down and ahhhh.
Aquaman had to poop.
And though he is 3.5, this means he needs a diaper, because he has an irrational phobia of pooping in the potty.
"My tea!" I complained to him. "my nice cup of hot tea is going to be cold!"
He looked very worried about this.
So the diaper went on. He went upstairs to the bathroom to work his magic, and with a contented sigh I settled back down on the couch. Sipped my tea, made some notes, studied my Bible.
The Dude woke up. The banging of Aquaman's feet on the upstairs wood floor were too much for him.
Aquaman was worried when he saw me heading into the bedroom.
"What about your tea, mommy? Won't it get cold?" I was worried too.
Nursed The Dude back to sleep.
Then Aquaman was ready to be changed. Tossed the poop in the potty (which is no small task since Aquaman has some sticky poop), while Aquaman made comments about the food contents that appeared to be in it, cleaned him up, and washed our hands. Aquaman ran into the living room, stuck his fingers into my once delicious cup of tea and announced "good news mommy, it's still warm!"
I had to hug him for that. But I gave up on the tea (which was actually quite cold).
He went back up to finish his rest, and I got 5 more minutes of quiet time before The Dude was up again.
Thankfully they did let me finish the service while they ran laps around the living room.
Time to go swimming, so after a 20 minute ordeal getting everyone dressed we headed down the sidewalk with all of our gear. Within 5 minutes, the rain started, and we had to leave. Heads down in defeat, and disappointment, but God had better plans for our afternoon. Saturday I had made raspberry/pineapple/zucchini/spinach/grape juice popsicles, and they may sound gross but they are delicious. So we opened up the garage to watch the storm and ate our popsicles. The Dude kept saying "MMMM!!" with spinach and snot all over his face and I fell in love with him for the thousandth time. The brief downpour ended, and since we were appropriately dressed and covered in slime already, the logical next step was mud puddles. Warm and wonderful mud puddles. Aquaman kept throwing the mud up in the air and saying with total rapture: "it's like a bath, but DIRTY!"
Better than any boring trip to the pool on a sunny day.
I'm writing because I want to remember these days that go so fast and leave me feeling completely inadequate. I want to always remember these little boys with mud all over their faces and open mouthed burps and the sweetest of kisses. But I also want to remember the sheer movement of it all.
I've been struggling a bit lately to figure it out, to do it all. I've a true Mary heart but feel forced into a Martha world.
I'm learning to capture the little moments, and laugh. And not be afraid to do a little crying during the long nights when sleep seems such a distant memory. I've learned that one of the most important things is being willing to say that you're sorry- even, and especially, to your kids. But even bigger than that, being willing to accept the forgiveness that comes so easily to them.
Most every day I feel completely incompetent to do the task that I have been given. How, when I also am gone at work 9.5 hours a day 3 days a week, can I keep the bathrooms clean while still teaching my kids the importance of God's word (this turned out to be easier than I thought...Aquaman is actually more receptive to being taught memory verses when he is down on the floor with me cleaning the bathroom). How can I teach them to be patient without completely losing my own patience?