Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Man Cold

Everyone watch out -- the husband is sick with a man cold.

What does that mean exactly?

Well, for starters...please, whatever you do, do NOT expect him to do anything that doesn't involve lying in a bed. Also? Can you please shut the door behind you on the way out? Those kids are way too loud.

Truly, you should be grateful that he can walk to the kitchen to eat the chicken soup that you made him. And in reality, the only reason he is getting out of bed at all -- rather than have you bring it to him -- is so that he doesn't get "cracker crumbs" in the bed. Cracker crumbs in the bed is akin to sheets made out of poison ivy? They make him all "itchy".

You will continually be asked to check his forehead -- for he is sure that a fever is starting any minute. Have your thermometer on standby, because you touching his head and saying, "You don't feel warm to me" is not enough. He will need thermometer proof.

Most of all -- UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES -- should you ever ask him to "keep an eye on" any children. Are you crazy?!? He has a Man Cold for heaven's sake!!! How is he supposed to lie there and be sick and watch his Star Trek movie if there are kids running all over the place??

Now of course what happens when you -- the mom --get sick??

Exactly: Nothing!

Please stick to your normal routine and carry on life as usual.

I mean really.....you don't think that your husband, who deserves the gold medal for surviving the horrendous, crippling cold, should stay home and take care of the kids so you can lie in bed and be sick and feel sorry for yourself, do you?!?

Sheesh.....go cry to your Tylenol bottle, lady.

I mean, come on.....it's not like you have a Man Cold!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Brothers

They're brothers, ages 12, 9 and 5. The two younger ones share a bedroom, a love for soccer, and they all have a penchant for Nintendo Wii, and a tendency toward violence of the brotherly kind. They are mortal enemies and the best of friends, the pendulum often swinging from friend to enemy and back to friend again within 60 seconds.

They're all athletic dynamos. The middle of them is lean, small, and lightning-fast. The oldest is tall, thick, and strong as an ox, and the baby......well, he's just starting to come into his own.

Tonight, after an especially vigorous session of carpet wrestling, I heard them pause, breathless, to formulate impressive plans. They determined that they would take the professional soccer world by storm someday, three feisty brothers who would team up to strike fear in opponents. The oldest would be the speedy, agile Scorer Of Many Goals. The middle one would be the brick-wall goalie around whom no ball would fly. And the youngest would just be the bestest, bestest, player in the entire world.

Then they went back to the floor for more wrestling, until I went in to interrupt and tell them it was time to head to bed. We sat on the couch, mom in the middle, for bedtime prayers. Their sweaty, smelly heads leaned in on my shoulders. They were still out of breath. It was the first moment of quiet that room had seen in hours.

The oldest offered to say the prayer. After it was over, the youngest, in a voice thick with sincerity, said softly, "Heavenly Father, thank you that my brothers and I enjoy each other."

I caught my breath. Yes, thank you, I thought. Then--I couldn't help it--I peeked open my eyes at the boys, still sitting at my side. Something settled over them.

They were struck by the moment, too.

The oldest looked over at his little brothers, affection unmistakably written on his face. He gently, quietly nudged middle sone with his elbow. The youngest returned the glance, and the nudge to his youngest brother.

There was a perfect pause.

And then, at exactly the same moment, they erupted into grunts and laughter, diving for each other and heading straight for the carpet. I think the .7 miliseconds of tenderness was all they could bear.

I watched them, smiling, observing to myself that the moment had surely passed.

Or had it? I'm inclined to think--to hope--that a moment like that settles deeply in the hearts of three sweaty boys. It surely settles deeply in the heart of their mother.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baby Mine

The other night, I wandered down to my twelve-year-old son's room at bedtime.

He was settling into bed, and I lay down next to him for a few minutes. We chatted for a few minutes, my mother's heart full of quiet joy at the sweet moment with my son. My mind wandered to the days when he was a newborn, just over seven pounds. In those day, when he lay on the bed next to me, he curled into a tiny little peanut, burrowed tightly up against me. But now his long, lanky form takes up almost as much space on the bed as I do.

I thought about these things with a sigh, and I reached over and brushed my fingers across his hair.

And then he tooted.

I mean, tooted. The kind of mattress-rattling honk that almost lifted the covers a little.

And we laughed together until our sides hurt.

I loved that little baby, but oh, how I love the young man