For the record, James said he wasn't laughing at my dream but that he and Spence were in full Ben Stiller/Jack Black mode. They said they couldn't switch gears fast enough to feel my dream, especially when I made the sound I made in my dream when I tried to talk, which I admit was kinda stupid sounding. Apparently that's when he lost it, and was trying to hold it in, hence the tears. He said he intentionally stayed up with me because he realized how undone and needy I was. So I finally had some closure to what felt like a serious lack of care and tenderness on the boys' part.
Bill attended an awards ceremony Friday night in Ohio with his new company and he was introduced as the father of eight children. He spent the rest of the evening answering questions from The Fascinated. I honestly don't understand what all the hoopla is about because I don't feel like we are that large of a family. I suppose people imagine our home to be loud and rambunctious, especially when they hear we have seven boys, but actually, our house is rather laid back.
I've always taught the children the whole inside/outside behavior thing, and even so, I still don't let them act like little yard hooligans. They are required, at all times, to exercise self-control. I say this and yet, just yesterday, one of them got into monster big trouble for cracking an egg on his head while wearing his newly washed down jacket and hood. He said that Spencer doesn't like it when he brings extremely dirty eggs in from the chicken coop. How he concluded that it then made sense to crack said extremely dirty egg over his head, I will never know. What I do know is that he will never do that again.
What is curious to me is how many people marvel at our eight, and then confess that they can't handle their two children. I wonder if they really mean that or if they are exaggerating in order to pay some kind of strange homage to us. Why would seemingly responsible adult citizens have trouble raising two children?
I know our rush-rush busy-busy culture, with so much time in vehicles, and everything on the fly, is no good for children. I know that even as a stay-at-home mom, I'm stretched to provide what the children need. Here are just a few things my children need from me:
They need me to make everyday things lovely, like simply slicing the fruit for snack time and fanning it out on the plate.
They need clean sheets, bodies, teeth, and bedrooms for peaceful sleep.
They need hushed calm.
They need me to provide three square meals a day and to keep up with their nutrition.
They need me to notice that they're troubled when a permanent tooth is coming in crooked.
They need to read the Bible everyday and worship the Lord with their family.
They need whole foods.
They need me to know when to watch them play with undivided attention and when to give them their space.
They need hot cocoa in the winter and homemade lemonade in the summer.
They need to see their parents deeply in love with genuine affection.
They need to see us serving each other.
They need me to love them enough to notice when they're under temptation, or to root out a secret sin.
They need spankings from their daddy on their bad fat arses when they sin.
They need Sarah Grace and me to pull them into our laps and rub their stinging bums and remind them that Daddy loves them too much to let them go on sinning against God.
They need an occasional root beer.
They need their whole family to sit together at the breakfast and supper table.
They need to linger after dessert because they don't want to leave the conversation and fellowship.
They need to be read to.
They need screen doors and windows in breezy cool weather.
They need good manners.
They need me to mind their business and harp on them.
They need help developing magnanimous personalities.
They need the Church, the whole body of Christ, and individual members.
They need deep affection for and from aunts and uncles and cousins and neighbors.
They need nosy neighbors who'll tell on them.
They need many more responsibilities than their peers have.
They need picnics.
They need candlelight dinners with things they've never tried...
That's all for now because this list just reminded me of some things I need to tell Bill they need while I'm here at Ma's. They need to wash the piled up cat's dishes that are stinking up the half bath, and they need to get the damn Christmas tree stand out of the front yard where they left it.