Sunday, April 16, 2017

I guess I just needed to eat my baked squash in silence today

A while ago  - maybe even a couple of years now  - when my back was hurt and I finally called it a day and laid in bed with an ice pack on my back  ... trying to decide if I wanted to live through the pain .....  ... All the lights came on and feet started running and I heard things hitting walls. Which turned out to be the boys running from a bug.

And they came in and told me all about it so I could then be afraid along with them.  And mostly I was thankful that the bug appeared when Kid 1 was home so he could be the man of the house instead of me.  But before we could move forward, I had him bring the flashlight into my room and check in and under my bed before we took even one more breath.  First things first and all that jazz. 

Story goes that the bug was on Kid 1's arm, then it flew and got lost somewhere under the bed.  So Kids 2 and 3 jumped into another bed on the other side of the room while Kid 1 went about the hunt - with the occasional report on the progress to me. 

And they know and everyone in the world knows that I would rather be dragged to my death behind a moving car than find a giant bug in our house.  Such a poor choice bringing me into any of it.  So I left them to it and I crawled under my covers with just enough room for a nose hole, and hid from all the fuss. 

And I woke the next morning to find all three kids crammed together on one side of their room, 2 in a twin bed and the other on the trundle squeezed as close as he could to his brothers.  And I wished I had a camera. 

Because truth is, they call each other idiots all day long, but when the bug came crawling, they totally found where they belong. 

Good stuff.  

I needed to be reminded of this story today for a couple of reasons.  First, the new spring and fast approaching summer means time for me to get Fireman Dave to go to extreme lengths to exterminate, spray, dust or do whatever to spare me from even the thought of bugs. 

But even more than that, I needed to be reminded that these boys love each other.  Because Y'all, no one would ever guess it.  On the way to church, on the way back from church, all during lunch,... I couldn't tell.  Sitting at the cafeteria where they insulted each other all the live long day?  I couldn't tell.  When they got back in the car after we ate and Kid 1 pulled down Kid 2's pants and Kid 2 fought like he was in a prison riot and I just sat there waiting to see if there would be blood involved?  I couldn't tell they love each other. 

The sport in season around the Walters house is called Roasting.  Roasting as in some premium insulting each other in every way imaginable.  Does Kid 3 really look like the old man substitute math teacher at the high school?  That's what I hear....

I think I could put up with it in small doses, but not in an all out tournament of insults.  Going for the gold and all.  Are there college scholarship opportunities to be found in the creative art of insults?  Fireman Dave says that's pretty much the go to past time at the station, too. 

But y'all.  Call me overly sensitive.  My family sure does.  But if I've said it once I've said it a million times,  words matter.  And the words that we use so pointedly to hurt others never go away.  They can't be erased with apologies.  And for some of us, they can't be forgotten in any length of time.   Because some of us have been to the Battle of Words and learned the hard way that we could never win.  So we learned to hide and cover our feelings with distractions and other loud noises, maybe a firmly planted smile and wanna be strong spirit, and mostly pretend not to hear.  But every word of it got in - past our minds and right into our hearts - words that taught us that we don't matter enough to deserve kindness. 

And it doesn't matter how long the walk is away from the source, the voice travels with me wherever I go.  And the voice becomes the voice of anyone who makes me doubt my worth, my value, my confidence.  This weekend, with just a quick comment about Easter and forgiveness and new beginnings, I heard so much more.  And I couldn't put a wall high enough around this sensitive soul to not take it to heart as a sadness. 

I guess I just needed to eat my baked squash in silence today.  Or in a front row seat in the Walters boys Roasting prize fight.  Because I didn't feel the joy of the Lord in my Easter.  Fireman Dave diagnosed me as having mood swings.  He is after all, an emergency medical professional.

But the good news is that Easter is more than just a Sunday when we get dressed up and go to church and hope for the promises of sunshine.  We're just starting the Easter season - Eastertide - which so very lucky for me, gives me a whole lot more time to locate my resurrection spirit. 

post script - here are a couple of weekend pictures.  I could, but I won't show you the family picture of us at the church flower cross, because I woke up with a case of Not Quite Myself Today....  In other words, what I look like when I don't sleep and I obviously ate something salty.  So though my heart didn't really swell all that much this Easter, my hands and face did.  Darn it all.  But here are the handsome Kids 1, 2 and 3 out front this morning at church.  

And here are Kids 2 and 3 falling asleep in early service because they didn't believe me when I said we would need to go to bed at a reasonable time last night.  Thank you Kid 1 for the stealth photography. Is that guy behind us asleep, too?

And here's some driveway basketball.  I loved sitting out there with them that night. 

Yes, down deep I know that our boys love love love each other with all that they are.  But I want them to be bigger than our culture that makes it nearly impossible for people to show genuine caring and expressions of love for each other.  I want them to talk, not only in the darkness of their room every night before bed, but out in the open  - about what family is and means and how they will always be the first line of defense for each other in this big ol' place.  I'm hoping that for them, as I could've used some of those things for myself.   

Would you like to comment?

  1. This is great! And yes when siblings fight it is an expression of love.

    1. I woukd only be concerned if there are no words. Shunning hurts.

    2. Maybe.... but sometimes silence in golden.... Says the mom of three boys.

  2. Kristi, I love love love reading your blog. I had a similar Easter experience, the kid fighting and all. My own mom gave me the evil-eye about my lowly parenting skills. But reading your story helps me realize I'm not alone. Thank you!

    1. Diana, and I am finally logging back in here to reply to comments - think world sized events preventing me from my own happy place. And no Ma'am... you are never alone in the struggles. And I am just assuming you took lessons in the evil-eye technique from your mom so you can use it on your own kids in a few years? Probably not a bad skill to have.


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