Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Knights in Shining Armor

I am sorry I haven't blogged recently. We have had a lot going on, many things I am trying to process right now, and I just can't seem to find words to write at the moment. This is not an attempt to sound melodramatic or anything, I am actually a "low drama" kind of chick and can't stand that kind of stuff. However, I am feeling rather conflicted about a lot of things and they are taking up brain space. Please forgive me if you have been checking frequently for updates only to find the same old post in place. I just don't seem to have it in me at the moment to be witty or profound, yea...like I am always so witty and profound here! Hahahaha!

I also am tired and feeling defeated for many reasons, and need some down time to regain my footing.

We heard from our agency, and we have a new list of documents to gather, some more challenging than others. At the moment I am just sitting with that list, praying for some sort of divine guidance about it all, looking for discernment that isn't at the moment clear.

Ski season is over for me, I am officially back to my role as mommy and wife again. This year was very difficult for all of us, and frankly I couldn't have made it through without a couple of men in my life...Matthew and Kenny.

With about 5 weeks left in the season, I lost an employee. For various reasons I was sad about this, but one reason was that I now had to figure out how to cover the shifts for such a short period of time that it would be hard to find someone. I was able to work it out during the week, but Saturday was going to be my downfall. But I needn't have feared, for my Knights in Shining Armor were near!

Matthew and Kenny both overheard my dilemma and told me they could do it...they would work every Saturday for 5 weeks. I thought about it for a few minutes and realized that this might actually work. Although not ideal, it was possible for them to be helpful in the kinds of ways that would help us make it through to the end. At first I didn't want to do it, but after discussing it and having them remind me that we are a family and we help each other (Yea, I heard my own words replayed by my children!), and after all "We are LaJoy's Mom, we can do ANYTHING!", I relented.

So, for the last month and a half they both delivered orders to tables for customers, they stocked our soda coolers and chip racks, the took the trash downstairs and out to the dumpsters, the cleaned tables and vacuumed, they assisted at the front counter getting fountain drinks for customers. They got up at 6:00 AM every Saturday, they rode in the car for the long drive there and back, and they spent the entire day at work with me. They did so without a single complaint from either of them, and they are 9 and 10 years old. They learned a lot about themselves, about developing a work ethic, about doing whatever is necessary to support your family. I know it is not something that many families would do, as many would say it was unfair to the kids or was expecting too much of them, but they begged to do it and because of this winter I learned that my sons are becoming people who can be counted on to do what they say they will do. I couldn't be prouder, and neither could they.

As a reward at the end of season, we gave them each a $100 bill, and their faces lit up!! Truth be told, their help was worth far more than that. They both showed me a glimmer of the men they will one day become. At first there was deep discussion about pooling their money to buy a Nintendo Wii, which Dominick and I are not very hot on for a variety of reasons, but we felt that it was money they earned and they should be able to make that decision...if they followed our stringent rules about its use. After further discussion, much to our joy, they decided to nix that idea, not because of the rules but because they realized how expensive the cartridges are.

Instead, they had both Dominick and I in tears at various times over the past few days as they have proudly offered to pay for meals for the family, or to pay for a night at the movies for us to have a date night. They even both offered their entire pay to use to bid on a 15 passenger van on Ebay that we were casually looking at, excitedly counting out their dollars and pennies as the auction drew to a close! While we, of course, didn't allow them to spend a dime on anything for any of us I can't begin to tell you how moved we were by their gestures of love.

Have I told you lately, boys, just how much I love you? You are both simply amazing young men. Thank you for caring about your family so very much, thank you for your generous spirits. May you be this way with your own wife and children one day...

So we are taking Spring Break and having some time for all of us to relax and unwind a little. We have sleepovers a couple of nights this week with friends hanging out here, in fact as I write this I hear the giggles of 5 little boys in the next room as they watch a movie and get to stay up late. I will try to gradually get the house back in some semblance of order, I have a day long annual garage cleaning project planned for this week which usually leads to our Annual LaJoy Argument about how messy Dominick is in the garage...and I am vowing to keep my mouth closed just once this year. I'll let you know if I succeed :-) Somehow, I doubt I will...hahaha!

And in time, soon I hope, many things will be clearer to me and life won't feel so off-kilter.


Corinne said...

What a wonderful story to read about your boys! They are also blessed to have parents who teach them well.It is so refreshing to know others still teach the true meaning of family and hard work!

Shannon said...

I am speechless - those are 2 amazing young men you have there! Don't forget you and Dominick are a huge part of WHY they are so amazing. I hope you enjoy your little break and we'll be thinking of you as you sort through more documents. Oh, and the messy garage argument....I know that one well! Perhaps I will join you in the quest to keep my mouth shut, too! :)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful childhood your boys have. They will look back on this opportunity with pride and joy. Boys want to be knights and you gave them the opportunity to shine. And thank goodness they did not choose the game.

Anonymous said...

Totally character building for Kenny and Matthew - as a kid I spent most vacations and some weekends in my parents' business and I carry those valuable lessons with me to this day. You are teaching them more than you will ever know...hang in there! From LV

Lenore Ryan said...

All your boys are totally amazing kids, but with the parents they've got they can't miss! I'm always grateful for any time my little one can spend with your boys, as I see the good "rubbing off"!!

Maureen said...

My prayers are with you in your struggles.

You have every reason to be proud of your boys. They just sound so wonderful and giving. After seeing so many selfish and greedy children in various places, it is refreshing to hear of your boys selflessness! Someone must be teaching them well. :-)

I understand the mess argument! Good luck holding your tongue. I need to practice a bit of tongue holding on that issue with my hubby too.

Kelly and Sne said...

It sounds like you are raising some really great boys!

Victoria said...

You go girl!!! I didn't let my kids watch tv except on Friday night and it was a movie they had to choose together that meet my rules. If they argued they lost their time. They learned to argue very quietly, but also learned about negotiation. My children learned not to say "I'm board" for they knew I would find things for them to do. They actually came up with many creative skits, plays, songs, and other activities that used their imagination. I didn't want toys that did the work for them, ie making noises and all the action. I wanted their minds to be creative.
The funny thing was; our house was the smaller one of their friends, we didn't have any of the fancy compute equipment, TV's, cable, computer games, etc., but the house was always full of kids. Many sleep overs, dinners, cookouts, and camping in the back yard.
Playing outside, being creative, getting dirty, are all things that help stimulate the mind. Being in relationships, engaging in all ways is what is important. Children are loosing the skill of communication and one day this will catch up to us all. We were created to be in relationship, fist with the one who created us, second with each other. How will our children learn if they don't learn at home.
You are not a weirdo, but a parent committed to the health and well being of your children. Being in a car for a long road trip playing "car" games and even fighting with your sibling teach far more skills then being an inactive isolated watcher of a movie.
My hats off to you and your family.