Saturday, August 17, 2013

Big Brother

Every night we have the same routine. The kids get into their pajamas and brush their teeth, and then we meet on the couch to read a story together, read some scripture, and say a prayer as a family. Then we give hugs, take one last drink of water, one last potty break, and it's off to bed. Some nights bedtime seems to last for hours. This is particularly true when Sebastian chooses to yell during the scripture reading, dance around during the prayer, and run screaming when Lizzy tries to hug him. So basically every night.
Last Saturday, Isaac wasn't home for bedtime, and I had already had a long day. I told Sebastian, "We're going to pray now, and if you don't kneel down with us right now, you're going to miss it. We're not waiting for you this time." He laughed and ran away, so we prayed without him. We had barely said the amen, when Sebastian came running back, crying, "Me too! I pray too!" He was extremely upset that we prayed without him, but I just shrugged and said, "Sorry, Buddy. You missed it." I walked away as he threw himself sobbing to the ground, and I honestly didn't feel that bad for him. Like I said, I'd had a long day. Luckily for him, he has a big brother with much more compassion.
Barak ran over to Sebastian and knelt down. "I'll pray with you," he said. He then very gently helped his little brother say a prayer. This made Sebastian completely happy, and he gave his brother a big hug.
Witnessing such a tender moment between my children brought me more joy than I can express. I am so grateful that my children have each other. I am a big believer in the importance of siblings.
Barak has proven many times over that he is a great big brother. Henry was not more than two weeks old when I heard Barak teach him this very important lesson. "Watch this, Henry," he said, snuggled up close to us on the couch. "Here's my finger. Here's my nose. Here's a booger. There it goes!" The little poem comes with hand motions, but I'll leave those to your imagination.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Normal stuff

Last Sunday after church I suddenly woke up nose to nose with my two-year-old. "Moooooooommy. What mommy doin'? Mooooooommy." Somehow both my husband and I had fallen asleep on the couch, leaving the four children loose in the house. I stumbled into the kitchen to get Sebastian a drink of water and discovered half a pint of blueberries rolling around on the floor. "Why are there berries all over the floor?" I asked the two older children.
 Lizzy shrugged and said, "Oh, We were trying to juggle them."
"Yeah," Barak added. "We kept dropping them." No kidding. I instructed them to clean up their mess, and was met with a stream of complaints. 
"I don't want to sweep them up!"
"It's not fair!"
"Why do WE have to do this?!"
As I strove to remain calm and loving in the face of such absurd questions and supervised their clean up, I overheard Sebastian making a lot of noise in the living room. "What are you doing, Sebastian?" I called to him.
"I playing baseball!" he answered proudly. I was a bit distracted at the time, but I could tell his version of baseball was strictly an outside game. "Knock it off," I said. 
"Okay, Mommy," he said and ran off to his room to make a different mess. 
Twenty minutes later, when Isaac woke up, I thought I had things pretty well under control. The blueberries were off the kitchen floor, the kids weren't trying to kill each other and I had almost figured out what to have for dinner. That's when Isaac discovered the broken window. I guess if you throw a baseball against it  enough times a window will break, even if it doesn't give you your mom's undivided attention. 
Later, I told this story to my mom, and I could hear her smile over the phone. "Aw, your first broken window!" she said. It was in that moment, that I realized two things:
  • I have four kids. THREE of them are boys.
  • When people with grown-up kids say things like, "Enjoy them while they're little; kids grow up so fast!" they are LYING.