Goodnight Home

The windmill stained glass window caught your eye the moment you walked in the front door. Sure you may have stumbled over the uneven flooring of the front porch, but isuoyn2bqy677e0000000000inside…inside the house was stunning. Over a hundred years old with built-in bookshelves, dark hardwood floors, and a back “secret” staircase, the most important thing about the house was that it first held our boys (and a couple foster girls along the way as well….one dog…countless not very hardy goldfish and a beta named Lightning McQueen who had amazing stamina).

A house is a house. Bricks are bricks. Wood is wood. But when a baby enters, a special kind of mystery takes place and memories are laid down deep within your heart.  The location of the bassinet. The crack of the bathroom stained glass from a well-placed kick. The corners where the boys hid. The games of hide-and-seek and monster’s going to get you! The walls become a home. The ceilings, the skies of your dreams. The kitche, the center of life. The bedrooms, the source of peace.

is6abdz8in5vad0000000000And yet, when a baby enters a dwelling, the world shifts. The priorities change. The once “easy access” street becomes the dreaded high-speed danger trap. The easy to maintain stamp back yard quickly becomes too boring and inadequate. And the worry of school choice and the need for better options gradually stalks close enough to you that you suddenly you wake up to boxes and plastic bins and moving vans and men who don’t really know anything about safe moving except that they needed the job that day.

After years “on the market,” my sister and I closed on the old Victorian house today. The next rambunctious little boy entered tonight. He’ll pick his room. He’ll unpack his “loveys” and his little cars and scatter some Legos across the hardwood floor to help his mom feel right at home. He’ll probably fuss for a bit. He’ll probably need some lights on for the ceilings are high and the shadows are deep. But soon he’ll find the scratches on the doorframe. Soon he’ll hide in the front closet. Soon he’ll wait for the wild raspberries out back to ripen. Soon he’ll know that those walls are his home. Soon he’ll be laying down memories to cherish and share and laugh about with family.

Goodnight great big house.

Goodbye wonderful home.

Thanks for the incredible memories.

The Guardians

It was one of those weeks. One that you just want to survive. One in which you know that you have your schedule so tight that one false move is going to throw the whole balance off. So accepting the cold virus from one of the boys (nice to have 5 of them to blame) was not in the plan.

Neither, as I explained to some friends, was the fact that my “husband” left town for the week. Yes, our saving grace grandmother decided to accept the offer to go be grandmaBus stop 2 to 7 of her other grandchildren in Ohio for the week. This is all well and good – and I was happy for her and applauded her desire and energy to homeschool and cook for so many little ones…..and we did survive with the help of some friends (including one who had the pleasure of getting first-graders off the bus at the bus stop!)…

It was one of those weeks….by the end of which I am trying to tell myself to stop reacting so intensely to the screams and whistles at the dining room table, to be more patient in buckling the Little Guy into his car seat when he finds it more entertaining to swing from the ceiling handle, to give Super Tall Boy a bit more “lovings” when he’s injured than I feel like doing at the moment.

It was one of those weeks ….by the end of which I was content to have “movie night” and found a tear escaping my eye at the end of “Rise of the Guardians” that Super Tall Boy had been clamoring to watch (but ended up in too much time-out/grounding last weekend). I was touched by the reminder within the movie of our responsibility to be guardians for our children.rise-of-the-guardians-pstr-10

Santa – the guardian of wonder – to look at the world through their eyes of curiosity and amazement. To stop and catch a moth and feel its tickle in the palm of your hand. To look for the moon and wonder if it is made out of cheese. To plant some cacti in the tiniest of terrariums and eagerly check each day to see if they have sprouted. Wonder, through the eyes of my boys.

Easter Bunny – the guardian of hope – to look forward to soccer mornings on Saturday (despite the cold blustery wind), to ask me for a third cookie and hope to see a smile and a twinkle of the eyes in a head nodding yes.

The Sandman – the guardian of dreams – the dream to “grow up and be a car wash man, Mom” (is the dream of today and one which I’m hoping will be changing over time), the dream of being able to get a cell phone “when I’m ten, Mom.”

Tooth Fairy – the guardian of memories – which are delightfully enjoyed in animated retellings and amazingly accurate sometimes when I don’t even remember events.

And Jack Frost – the star of the show and the guardian of fun – enjoying each other in playing catch, running laps through the house to jump over a rubber band jump rope,paper boats folding paper boats and watching them float down the mini-rapids of the nearby stream.

The innocence of childhood. The wonder of childhood. The joy, the magic and the fun. We the parents are the guardians of our children. We are the ones that keep them safe and provide them space to dream, to explore, to grow. We hold their hope when it seems to be lost. We watch over them and protect them from fear. A noble, terrifying, exhausting and honorable role. This morning Super Tall Boy reminded me as we walked into church that I am not his boss – that God is the boss. And I had to smile and replied, “You are right. God is the boss….

And He has made me a Guardian.”