Last night our entire family was hanging out in the super six year old's room, getting ready for bed. The tiny toddler was all bundled up in his fuzzy footie pajamas and sitting on my lap. I was attempting to read a book to him that his daycare teacher had allowed him to bring home. Actually, I'm not so sure he wanted to bring it home. I am thinking that maybe his teacher wanted him to bring it home because it is all about learning patience and appropriate ways to gain attention. It's a great book and I wanted my tiny toddler to really listen and take to heart the theme. He, on the other hand, however, wanted to giggle at the pictures in the book and blow raspberries at my face. Spitting on Mommy is one of his favorite past times.
While I was dodging spit from the tiny toddler the super six year old was engaged in a rousing game of catch with Daddy. While I was trying to calm down the tiny toddler and wind down his more than difficult day Daddy was sitting on the bed tossing a football across the room at my oldest son. Who, to his credit, was catching it most of the time. At one point, though, Daddy lobbed the football a little too high and we all watched in horror as it flew through the air, bounced off the fish bowl, and landed on the dresser. Every single human in the room gave their usual response: the tiny toddler clapped and cheered, and then started giggling so hard that he had to cover his mouth. The super six year old looked as though he was about to burst into tears, thinking he was going to get in trouble. My sweet husband looked surprised and then started laughing as well. And me? I wanted to throw everyone out of the room. I wanted to say, "I told you not to throw that football in this room!" Instead I said, "OK, put the football away, NOW!" And then it hit me. A thought, not the football.
My husband. Two sons. The cat. The fish. ALL MALE. Cindy the guinea pig and I are the only females in this household. We don't stand a chance.
The toilet seat will always be up.
Pull Ups or underwear will always be on the floor.
Table manners will include burping and tossing rolls.
Wet towels will always be on the bed or bathroom floor.
Footballs, bouncy balls, plastic balls, soccer balls, every type of ball ever invented, will frequently be flying through the air inside my home.
I will sit through a million football games, whether from the sofa while watching the game on TV, in real life from a professional team's stadium, or on the sidelines of a youth league. Actually, I am OK with this, as I like football. But still, it's a fact. And let's face it, many of those games will not be played during blue sky, sunny, warm days.
Everything will move at the speed of light. My boys are incapable of walking. They must run everywhere or they will die.
On top of moving fast, it will be loud. As in rock concert loud.
Pirates, rock collections, dogs, mud.
And I love it, I really do. Of course I do. These are my boys, all three of them. I love what they love. I am at peace when they are happy. But in the middle of the yelling and running and cleaning mud off of everything I need to be sure that while allowing them to be the boys they are we don't lose sight of teaching them what they need to become the men we want them to be. Men who believe in God. Men who lead their hearts instead of allowing their hearts to lead them. Men who hold doors open and say "please" and "thank you". Men who know the importance of spending time with family and who want to be a part of a "tribe", whether that means family or friends. Men who won't drive their significant others crazy. And prior to that, men who won't drive me crazy as we grow through this process.
As my boys grow up it will be easier for me to find the time to sneak away for "girl time". I am already able to let them play in the child watch while I work out, which is a start. My husband watches chick flicks because he knows I like them, which is awesome. But I am quickly learning that I am not able to function when life gets too loud or too crazy. It is at these moments that I need to step back, take a deep breath, and learn to enjoy the footballs flying through the air. Raising boys takes me out of my comfort zone sometimes. But other times, I can fit right in. This morning I chose to wing my husband's vitamins at him from across the kitchen table. Sadly, my aim is not as good as my boys' and I managed to toss the fruit shaped gummy vitamins right into his glass of water. Cheers erupted all around the table. Oh yeah, I can keep up!