This picture was taken late several nights ago. As you see, it is a row of sleeping children. Five to be exact; and even though it looks like a spotlight is on in the room it's actually dark there except for my camera flash.
We have been "camping out" at Gramsie and Pop's these past weeks and having a marvelous time in every way.
Sharing a room in this fashion might not be considered "marvelous" by most folks - especially when you imagine how long it often takes to get everyone sleeping in sinc. I'm sure you don't have to have first-hand experience for your imagination to make an accurate guess at the noise, games, and shenanigans that go on after all five have been tucked in!
As much as possible I ignore it because... because hey, what a party - and every night too!!
With ignorance comes bliss. For a time. But usually my powers of persuasion are called upon to intervene before the room stays silent.
These children do EXTREMELY well sharing such tight quarters and as I was telling a friend of mine, it has increased camaraderie significantly more than if they were all divided up into their own conveniently separated spaces.
But... it hasn't come naturally. . . . .
This night I went in to check on things because I had listened to Susanna sniveling and carrying on for a while.
It was the usual ailments. You know, her knee hurt from when she-tripped-over-the-stick-that-so-and-so-left-in-the-path.... etc. etc. etc. that AND Zachary wouldn't let her move the corner of her sleeping bag towards his own and she couldn't sleep because... etc. etc. etc.
I just grinned at them.
I did - really!
I looked at Zachary and said
"Com-mon Buddy! Seriously? You have the most space of anybody!"
And then I looked at Susanna.
"Susanna. This is silliness! This is a party in here! Even when you're supposed to be still and quiet, you can still wink at each other and give secret smiles and grins - like this: ;-) ;-) ENJOY each other!!
And to them both:
Guys, you're sleeping arrangements won't always be like this. One day soon you'll be in your own bunk beds and will remember what a privilege it was to share this time together.
Now. Is there a REAL problem? Or do you just need me to pick your noses?"
We laughed some, woke up Carolina, gave more hugs, picked some noses...
and that happened to be one of those times when my "powers of persuasion" were a pleasure to wield. No serious action was needed or taken to get things back in order, and so far it has been quiet since I left. All very very good things!
It doesn't always go just like that, but always with the same outcome: they know what dad and I expect of them; and they know that life's not fair so they may as well get comfortable with that idea now.
It's a hard lesson to learn, but the sooner the better. Often the glass that appears half empty, is actually half full. It all depends on ones decision toward a thankful and grateful heart which creates contentment - no matter the circumstances.
And when I finish my own bedtime chores and climb into bed I can't help but smile - every night, and even in the darkness - at the soundly sleeping "party" at the foot of my bed. I smile because they look so amazingly sweet while they sleep. And because I made it through the black room without stepping on anyone! I smile because they are my treasures, and all within arms reach - literally.
And I smile mostly because one day they will look back on this season of their lives with great fondness.
I AM sure of it! Fondness for the memories, and a fondness for each other that comes only from being "stuck - unfairly, and at times uncomfortably" together, and choosing to make it a party.
Life will be good to them if they have that perspective.
And contentment belongs to those with a heart gratefully thanking the Lord God for everything He gives them!
3 years ago