Monday, November 26, 2007

My Big Brother's Backpack

This is a story that I remembered while driving to work this morning. We were getting ready for the start of school back in August. Our third son was starting Kindergarten and needed a real backpack for the first time. I went to the local Target store and found the best backpack that was, not too large, plenty of pockets for stuff and, a dark color to hide the inevitable stains/dirt that will accumulate on it shortly. I was eager to show the NEW backpack to my third son. Meanwhile, my second son saw the NEW backpack and thought it was the coolest thing. "Do you want to trade?" he said, to his younger brother. My third son jumped at the chance to have his big brother's old backpack. I, of course, stepped in and said that it would not be fair since one is NEW and the other old (and dirty already). The younger brother (my third son) insisted and was thrilled to have his big brother's backpack. After many months at school, both brothers are still happy with their backpacks. Little brothers do look up to their big brothers and in ways that I would not have thought.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Kids Are A Gift

I was sitting at my desk, late last night, working on the computer. In the other room, I could hear the sounds of multiple boys giggling and tossing in bed, trying in vain to get to sleep. A little background on our current living situation. Shortly after having our fourth son, we decided that our 3 bedroom, 2 bath house was just too small. We set off on a long, seemingly never-ending, journey to remodel the house and add more living space. We have been staying at my in-laws' home for about 8 months now, while our house gets worked on. Lucky for me, my in-laws are terrific (I hope they feel the same about us after this long stay :) ).

During the remodeling the boys, with the exception of the youngest, all stay in one bedroom at night. There is a large king sized bed in which they all sleep together on. The boys ages are 9, 7 and 5, so they all fit fine. It is the getting to sleep part that is difficult. Inevitably each night, I have to play the bad guy and threaten to have them sleep in the garage, if they don't quiet down and get to sleep. Tiredness eventually wins over silliness and the boys fall asleep in a large ball of jumbled blankets and pillows.

On this night, I was at my laptop in the next room and just quietly listening to their giggles. If ever you want a group of boys to giggle, just tell them all to be quiet and go to sleep. It works everytime. I had had a long and difficult week, but I just sat there and enjoyed their laughter. I was very thankful for our boys. They're exhausting on a good day, and frustrating on the bad days, but a blessing nonetheless. I need to remind myself more often what a privilege it is to have kids.