Sunday, February 03, 2013

A Great Commodity

Writing from a hotel room in St. George after Day #1 of our California Road Trip to visit grandmas and visit with John and Julie Wright along with other Kaz adoptive families, and I am so relaxed other than the nagging sound of High School Musical 2 playing in the background.  We are one shy of a full family, as Dominick had to remain home which we all hate, but I was reminded all day long why I often shake my head and consider myself so blessed.

I woke up this morning to hear dishes clanking and found Joshua filling the dishwasher while still in his jammies.  No one around, no one to ask, and when I poked my head in the room he said, "Hi Mom!  I wanted to help us get ready to get on the road.  Why don't you go wake up the other kids and I'll finish here."

Throughout the day I had help from every corner...gas being pumped, bags carried, phone charged for me (Don't laugh, those who know me and my phone issues well...), and just such a comfortable ease to our time together.  I am spoiled rotten in so many ways, and love road trips with my family.    I know many dread them,  but for us it is always a treat to get out of rural Colorado and...well...um...travel through the middle of nowhere! HAHAHA!  Guess we live a VERY dull life, considering we must have said a million times today that we had seen hardly anyone for 2, 3 then 4 hours driving.

We are at "that stage", the one so many dread...and we have it times 4!  You have no idea how many times upon learning that we have 5 kids, 4 of whom are early teens and a year and four months apart, I hear "Oh man, I am SO SORRY for you!" as they give me a look of great sympathy and compassion.  While once in a while I do miss those sweet younger years, and occasionally yearn a moment or two for the years we missed with Kenny and the girls, I wouldn't trade this time for ANYTHING.

Earlier in the week I was picking Matthew up from Civil Air Patrol, and somehow we got on the subject of teens.  I told him, "Well, don't you know, this is the phase when I am supposed to wish you away for several years and maybe let you return around 25 years old?  This is when your parents are supposed to not trust you, get mad at you, and say they don't understand you!"  Matt laughed and responded, "And I am supposed to yell at you and slam my door all the time, right?  Isn't that what teens do?  And roll my eyes at you, that's a good one, too!"  We laughed and then he asked, "But why, Mom?  Why does it have to be like that in families?  I don't get it, none of us hate you and dad OR think you are stupid! What starts first, the kids acting up or the parents?"  Good question, and one I am glad I am not silently asking myself each night.

The kids had dinner over at a friend's house a week ago, and they had such a nice time.  The next day Angela said they were all laughing, despite Josh burning his hand on hot spaghetti and getting whacked accidently by Olesya with the Wii remote when he walked behind her.  Angela said, "They asked us if it is like that at our house all the time, if we always laugh and joke like that."  She then said,"We all said yea, pretty much all the time."  then she said, "Mom, sometimes I think we don't realize how lucky we are, that we are happy." and Olesya added, "Even when things are hard,  we still laugh.  Even when you get mad at us, we end up laughing afterward.  I like that because it never feels like we are in super trouble."

I know we are barely entering the toughest years.  I know that we may find ourselves at the bottom of a pit looking up and crying out in great pain.  I have lived long enough to not be fooled into thinking it will always be this way.  The truth is, for each of the kids, it has already been a long road and they also know life can be very, very cold.

Maybe though, we just might get through what is supposed to be the "worst" years with laughter tempering the hard stuff.  Maybe their prior struggles have helped them have a greater appreciation for the loveliness of what we all share together.  As we said goodbye today to Dominick at the airport where he was working, and all five kids didn't hesitate to give him a good long hug and shout out "Love you, Dad!" as we walked out the door, I had nothing but a strong sense of gratitude for love expressed so easily by those whose very age dictates it ought to be hidden, or at the very least whispered...not shouted out for all around to hear.

Love's expression delayed might as well be love not expressed at all.  Laughter is a commodity worth far more than anything available on Amazon.  Yes, the teen years are going to bring a wide variety of challenges for us, a family whose teens will remain in high school longer than others, a family whose teens may find it harder to mature at the same pace as others.  But I pray that the laughter is always present, and that the love is always expressed through it all.  If so, no matter how hard these teen years become, we will be OK.

Laugh on!!

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

i always, always have a smile when i read about the enjoyment your kids get from simply being with each other.

and on a totally superficial level - i want to know how the new van is for road trips :)

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