Saturday, November 5, 2011

Land of the Living

The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's; but the earth He has given to the children of men.  The dead do not praise the LORD, nor any who go down into silence.  But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.
Praise the LORD!
Psalm 115:16-18

This was my Friday.

I planned to make french toast this morning, homeschool, be domestic in the kitchen and clean stuff.  So, by 9 a.m, we were eating Cheerios and toast.  Shiloh tried to suck up the milk in his cereal bowl with a straw.  Henry copied him.  He's an expert in blowing milk bubbles.  Ben seemed hot and bothered by something, and took it out on the contents of his high chair tray.  I made mental note to add sweeping and checking baby skin folds for crumbs to my to do list.
The boys, being boys, asked to go outside.  After wrestling over the idea of wearing socks and coats, and physically wrestling such clothing onto their reluctant appendages, they bolted for the door.  I savored the moment of silence.  There was a heavy footstep outside.  I heard Henry's welcome, "Hi Wail-man!"  The postman knew better than to hand a two year old the handful of bills, but returned his greeting with a tolerant "Hello" as he reached over his head to the mailbox.  "This is the Henry." Said the Henry, wanting to redeem his importance.
He trundled over to the other boys who were apparently building a rocket out of sticks.  Didn't know you could do that.  They have hundreds of toys.  Their matchbox car collection alone numbers well over one hundred.  But their favorite playthings are sticks, rocks, and a good pile of dirt.
God made the earth for the children of men, He said.  They embrace that wholeheartedly.

I do wish for a clean house, a neat little life, a bit of organization.  I am not organized.  That's probably why God has already given me four little boys in less than five years.  They are certainly impetus to get my priorities straight, daily.  My life is not silent or clean.  But it is full of life - noise, emotion, learning, craziness, goodness, and dirt.

I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.  Psalm 116:9

I looked over their math lesson, thoughts on the grocery list I needed to write.  All I had nearby were crayons.  Added bagels to the mental post it note that I piled onto the previous notes.  That's not a good system; by the end of the day, I can't remember what was on the bottom mental note.  
Grandma pulled up in front of their rocket ship outside.  It was time to wake the baby from his nap and head off to his appointment.  The boys piled back inside with their older victim in tow.  "Shoes off; close the door!" I commanded, automatically.  They tumbled into the kitchen, hungry, as always, while I bumbled around changing the baby and dumping his extra clothes into a bag to take along.  I always stuff too much in diaper bags.  
I heard a clink and saw Gavin and Henry by the counter.  "Wash your hands before you stick them in that sugar bowl." I hollered.  It took me a second.  "No - wait!" I rushed in, mopped up the sticky counter, and stuck granola bars in their hands.  The sink still had the breakfast dishes in it.  Maybe Grandma would have mercy on me while Ben and I were out and they would magically be clean when we returned.             
"I'm taking the boys to the library." She announced.  No dishes.  At least the house wouldn't get dirtier if they weren't in it.  Could be worse.  

I returned an hour later.  She was already being called into work.  Henry dumped the canned soup from his bowl onto his lap while she was on the phone.  I fed the baby, changed diapers, reheated some leftover lentils for my lunch.  Went though the motions of nap time for each child, then added the lunch dishes to the breakfast ones in the sink.  Decided it would be a good afternoon to introduce the older boys to Winnie the Pooh since we'd read the book.  We pulled out the computer and I tracked down the old version over the internet.    The lentils were cold, but I ate some before tackling the colder noodle soup still spread all over the floor under Henry's lunch chair.  Maybe I should mop this afternoon.

We survived the afternoon and suppertime.  Daddy was working late.  Good thing, really; the house was such a mess it wouldn't be pleasant to come home just yet.  I'd get to it - after bath and bed time for the young generation.  My house looks pretty good by 10 p.m.  That's life.  

My days are dirty, messy, disorganized, but so full of life.  The dead do not praise the Lord, their bodies are silent.  Guess we're not dead.

I will bless the Lord from this time forth.  Today.  Well, at 10 p.m. anyway.

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