Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hummingbirds and a beeeautiful man

As we hammered the nesting boxes into place on our new chicken coop, I discovered an old wasp nest. I showed it to the boys and Madigan asked, "What's a wasp?" (apparently the long winter months have faded a few things from his memory). Before I could reply, Paugie confidently said, "A wasp is a kind of hummingbird." I giggled under my breath and waited to see if he would elaborate. "They fly all around, looking for things to eat and then they come home to sleep in their nests and lay eggs so their little babies will hatch" he explained. 

When I went in to see why the boys were still not sleeping, in spite of the late hour, I discovered Jevy laughing out loud and completely dripping wet. Every curl on his head had a droplet of water, and his clothes were heavily drenched and plastered to his body. There was a prodigious puddle at the base of his bed and no piece of his bedding had been left unscathed. I was perplexed as he was in his tent and didn't appear to have a cup of water at hand. I found Madigan faking sleep (a sure sign of guilt) and Paugie in genuine slumber. Before I could question him, Madigan sat upright and blurted out: "We were pretending to be firemen, and there was a raging fire {in the general direction of Jevy's bed}. The good news, Mama, is that we got the fire out." No doubt. Alas, the casualties of overactive imaginations. 

I was busying myself in the kitchen getting a very late dinner (thank you wretched DIY project #438) ready for a very hungry crew and realized with great frustration that I had forgotten to turn on the burner, so the already late meal was going to be 10 minutes later. After chastising myself again, a few minutes later, I started to have doubts. I turned around to watch the stove for a few minutes, only to discover that during the stampede of the dump trucks through the kitchen and around the house, one truck paused long enough for a chubby paw to reach up and turn the stove knob to the off position. When he noticed that I was watching, Jevy gave me a clever chuckle, as if to say, "I wondered how long it would take you." After a reminder that such activities are not actually sanctioned by the parental figures, he happily moved on without another attempt. I'm not taking anything for granted. Life just got a little more complicated. ARGH.

Yesterday Daddy was home, so I splurged and decided to take a nap while Kelty took his nap. I let him curl up with me on the bed and he wrapped himself into my arms, snuggling down underneath his blue blankie with his head right underneath my chin. After a few minutes just sitting quietly in my arms, he started stroking my hand with his tiny fingers and he didn't stop until he was fast asleep. Words cannot paint the picture of contentment I felt in that moment.

Costco seems to be a training ground (something like boot camp) for our family - the countless mishaps, awkward moments, spilled tears, weeping (mostly Mama's), impossible potty runs, unwanted advice we've been on the receiving end of... it's just our special place. This past week's Costco run proved not to be the exception. As soon as I noticed the extremely tiny gentleman (who was not much taller than Madigan) in the line ahead of us, I was anxious, as I knew my boys would be quick to notice, particularly with my extreme height only accentuating the obvious. Madigan was the first to blurt out rather boisterously: "Mama, see, that man is quite small!". As I attempted to remedy the situation with subtlety, Paugie emerged on the other side of the basket, noticing the man for the first time. Because informing me of all facts is of utmost importance at our current stage(s) of life, Paugie immediately announced excitedly, "Mama! That man is very tiny. He would fit so nicely in a Smart car." Not wanting to draw any more attention to the horror of that moment, we quickly exited with our newly purchased items and found a seat outside the store to eat our lunch. I stood the boys on the bench so that they were at my eye level and explained: "Boys, even when we notice something different about someone else - whether it's because they're short or tall, fat or skinny, in a wheel chair, or missing arms or legs - we need to remember, always and first, that every person is made in the image of God and therefore, they are beautiful, just the way they are. If you point out how someone is different from you, it may hurt them." Madigan: "Why would it hurt them?" (I loved this question so much because it showed me that he sees the difference, but he doesn't see differences as a problem).  I replied: "It might hurt them because they might not like that part of who they are. If someone is short and doesn't want to be short, it might make him even more frustrated about being short if you say something about it. Does that make sense?" Madigan nodded soberly. It wasn't apparent if Paugie had grasped my speech, but he had stood patiently listening to me, nevertheless, though it was obvious his pizza was beckoning his attention. 10 minutes later, the same gentleman exited the store. I braced myself. Paugie looked up, smiling, and shouted out: "Mama! Look at that BEAUTIFUL MAN!" Our new friend glanced my way, gave me a wink and his whole face lit up in a smile. I have so much to learn from these small humans. 

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