The bible says that where two or more are gathered, Jesus is there. In my house, where two or more – or in my case, three – are gathered, there is sibling rivalry, lots of noise, and lots of laughter.
Now, with my kids being 25, 22, and 19, you’d think they would have outgrown sibling squabbles. Nope! It’s alive and well in my house, and unfortunately for my youngest, she’s the only girl. So, she often finds herself in the middle of a “Sister Sandwich”. Her older brothers still love to do this – hugging her from both sides, with poor Caite squished right in between them as they squeeze her and declare how much they love their little sister. She, on the other hand, squeals and wiggles, as if she’s trying to escape their clutches. But her laughter and broad smile tell a different story.
The holidays are a time of great joy for most of us. This is especially true for parents whose kids are still at home, come home for college breaks, or just come to visit. My house has been exceptionally quiet the past few months with my oldest son working, my younger son in grad school some 500 miles away from mommy (that’s a subject for a whole other post), and my baby girl now in college.
How did he end up 500 miles away?? From his Mommy???? Doesn’t he know how far away that is???
The truth is that I love having them all home, even if just for a brief few weeks. I find myself staying up much too late to talk or play games (they’ve introduced me to Cards Against Humanity and 5 Second Rule – Oh my!). And some nights, I find myself lying in bed, listening to their voices and laughter waft down the hallway.
It’s the most beautiful music in the world.
I think back to times when they were little. Three-month-old Coleman giving his first belly laugh to his older brother. Ron and Coleman rushing into the nursery the minute their baby sister would wake up in the morning. Even 4 year old Coleman sneaking down the hall late on Christmas Eve to see his daddy and me putting a bike together and declaring (quite loudly), “I knew’d it! I knew’d you was Santa Claus.”
He never did believe, the little turkey.
I also remember the fights and arguments, like fussing at my 9 and 6 year old boys that the grocery store is not the place to have a pretend light saber fight (darn you, Star Wars).
Or my middle one telling me (at the age of 4) that he couldn’t pick up his toys – “But mommy, my legs are hurnin”, or the same kid in first grade telling me he threw out his back and it was half way across the room (all because he didn’t want to go to school). Mean ol’ mom still made him go to school.
I probably scarred him for life.
Then there was my little girl, my sweet little angel, who at the age of 4 proceeded to get hold of a pair of scissors and cut her “bangs”. She was so proud of herself, but I was mortified to see that this meant she had cut off all the hair on the top of her head. All of it! Much to my relief, it grew back quickly.
Then there were the teen years.
Need I say more?? Every parent who has, or has raised, a teenager knows what I’m talking about. They’re always right, you’re always wrong.
Of course, things were different when you were a kid (or so mine liked to tell me). You never seem to understand, even when you repeat back verbatim what they said to you. This is often followed by the phrases: “You don’t understand,” or “You just don’t get it” (my personal favorite).
Of course, you don’t get it, Mom and Dad! You’re life was so easy in the “olden days” when you chased around your pet dinosaur and carved plates and forks out of rocks so you could eat lunch.
The point of my rambling is this: childhood goes by much too quickly. Before you know it, they’re grown and off pursuing their dreams. So cherish it…every single moment of it.
Enjoy their laughter and their stories (even the long, melodramatic ones during middle and high school).
Remember that the fights and arguments will one day end. Also, remember that you don’t always have to be right; it’s okay to be wrong sometimes.
And one day, when they’re grown and come home to visit, you will realize that your baby has grown up to be your friend. Someone you can laugh with, talk with, and just be down right silly.
And one day, when your kids are all home together, I hope you find yourself listening to the sound of their laughter as you drift off to sleep.
Blessings, sweet friends!