Monday, November 23, 2015

Charles Ingalls is Right, Dadgummit

(First of all, my blogging has been pretty much never the past few weeks, not on purpose, but life has been...full. That sounds better than "busy." I am working on that and have a plan. More to come on that. But not today. Too "full.")

Evenings that aren't full of basketball, projects, homework, and piano practice have found us nestled into the couch watching Little House on the Prairie with the girls. (Sounds cozy, doesn't it? It is...after everyone finds their spot where no sister is touching them, no one is sharing a blanket, no one is blocking anyone else's vision, the bean bag tower involving 3 beanbags, a poof-type footstool (is there a better word for that?), and a giant pillow has been awarded to the person whose turn it is (Oh my word, the taking turns with everything under the sun is sucking the very life out of me. "Mommy! I put away that Barbie shoe last year when we cleaned up Barbies! Don't you remember? It was that day and the sun was out and it was one of the days of the week and I did so pick up that shoe! I'll pick up everything else but I am not picking up that shoe! It is her turn!"), and the TV volume is set to the most appropriate level (earth shattering) and the five year old has been shushed and threatened. Cozy times.)

The Ingalls Family - just pretend this is us
and consider it your Christmas card.

Anyways.

The show is so good. It actually seems a little too old for them at times, but I think maybe that's good. I was starting to wonder if we were possibly sheltering our girlies too much. They haven't seen ANYTHING. But this show is introducing them to things like bullying (Nellie Olsen is the worst, and Laura isn't too kind to her in return), drinking too much (Mr. Edwards - he's probably my favorite), legalism (Walnut Grove's pastor is a mess), community and the value of extremely hard work (all the women come together to thresh wheat "like Ruth" when it was flattened in a hail storm.) All three girls were caught in a fit off giggles when Laura took her bath outside in a washtub and spurred to pray for others when I told them much of the world bathes that way still. 

Reverend Alden...
He's watching you!
Nellie...biggest bully in town.

She's just Mr. Edwards' type.

We have had some sweet evenings and powerful discussions that started with this show. And "Little House" actually helped with the discussions because God, Jesus, prayer, church, do for others...all these themes run through each episode.

But the best line so far has been Charles Ingalls to his wife, Caroline, when discussing their own three girls: 


"They are going to grow up whether we want them to or not... 
might as well want them to."


Preston cut me a meaningful look.

I stuck my tongue out at him (just like Nellie), which is an accurate example of my role in this relationship. He, calm and wise; me, not so much with the wiseness. Or calmness. Pray for Preston.

More and more and more it feels as if time is a wave upon the sand, a moonbeam I can't hold, an elusive cloud refusing to be pinned down. (Name that musical!)

We got a new (to us) car over the weekend. The girls love it because it's clean, and they haven't had time to crap it up yet. (It's like they don't realize they are the ones crapping it up. "It's so clean! I can actually see out the windows! Let's buy this one!") Eva asked us how long we would have this car. Preston said he reckoned about 7 or 8 years. (He uses words like "reckoned." This is why he is my Redneck Man.)

Then Eva spoke very evil words:

"So I'll be 17 when we get a different car."

I couldn't deal. I felt like I did when I was ten, and my brothers intentionally bounced me off our netless, unsafe-but-so-fun trampoline. I landed on my back. I was sure they had finally done me in because I couldn't breathe.

That's how I felt.

Seventeen?

Are you sure? I mean, math has never been my strong suit or really any suit, but yes, yes, it does appear 9+8=17.

And she will be nine in six days. If she doesn't get bounced off the trampoline first.

This whole season of change and Stupid Kindergarten has been a constant pain in my heart. It started around July, and it feels like a little tear that keeps being ripped open - when I drop them at the door of the school, when I watch their backs disappear behind the doors, when they say horrible things like, "I'll be 17 in 8 years." 

Just so you know, I'm doing a really good job keeping these feelings from them. They think I support education. They think I want them to grow up and often tell them if they don't hurry up and get out I am going to start charging rent in the form of Halloween candy. 

But inside, I am a little shredded. 

I do know Charles Ingalls is right. I cannot freeze time or squish them to keep them little as I used to tease my baby nephews who are now giant man-boys. They are going to grow. They are doing a great job of it so far. New shoes all the dadgum time. The little lines on the kitchen wall at my parents' house keep climbing higher every time Grandpa stands them up there. ("Quit standing on your toes! In my day we didn't even have toes to stand on!) 

And I do want them to grow spiritually, too, and fall more in love with Jesus everyday and spread His name and be light bearers and sunshine oozers and make His name known and have children and families of their own.

I just want them to do it from the basement. Okay, Charles?


He approves. 

Grace for the Pain of Growing Up,
Martha