Sunday, January 31, 2010

Son, You're the Man Around Here Now . . .

Mike has been gone the entire weekend working. This morning (after doing a million other things) I was just dawning boots to go shovel the driveway when Abe (all dressed in his church clothes) said, "I can do that, Mom." And, it wasn't the kind of "help" kids so cutely generally give. Like . . . say . . . this kind of help: (she was trying to help)He really shoveled the entire driveway, sidewalk, and walkway. Once, when the dog had escaped into the front yard and Abe was getting him back in the fence, I came out and picked up the shovel to finish the job. "You're not supposed to be out here," he said, taking the shovel out of my hands and sending me back in.
I already try to make my kids pull their weight -- you know, folding and putting away their laundry, emptying the dishwasher, etc., but there are some things that it hadn't really occurred to me that my own kids would be able to one day do around here. It is strange to think that when Mike is gone, Abe can shovel the driveway and, maybe in a little more time, mow the lawn, or run errands for me.

That sounds like I am just evilly drumming my fingertips together and thinking, "Oh good, they can soon do MORE MORE and MORE work for me!!" but that isn't what I mean. It just seems so unreal that they are on the verge of being able to do actual grown up kinds of helpful things. Strange that if something were broken in the house, it might actually be my son who would get out the tool box and fix it, my daughter who would make dinner on a hectic evening, my kids packing their own things for a family vacation, or putting a younger sibling down for a nap for me.
h
I have just been so much living the life of a mother of many young children -- whose every need is my responsibility, that imagining them not only handling things all on their own, but actually taking care of some of my needs is totally novel (and a little crazy).
h
My kids do help a lot, and even cleaning up is great. It was just that today was so hectic. Mike gone, one kid throwing up, another kid dumping a chocolate drink all over the carpet, me trying to make calls to get someone to cover for my calling at church so I could stay home with sick kid, and trying to make other calls to see who could let my older two sit by them in Sacrament mtg., etc. Abe just taking over and shoveling the driveway for me made me feel so much like it wasn't just me here alone handling everything. It felt like I had a responsible and capable teenage son rather than another little one needing my total care. It was just a very surprising and very comforting feeling.
n
Thanks, Abe. Don't forget that you are only nine too quickly though.

14 comments:

Tia Juana said...

Oh, this makes me want to sing the praises for HONEST ABE - which is kind of strange given that this post wasn't about his honesty but his hard-working spirit full of determination to help his mother care for the house and home. I suppose though, when all is said and done, that giving an honest days work - for pay or blessings - earns him the title of Honest Abe. And, jsut for the record, you should be sitting back thinking about more and more ways that your children can work for you. It is a lovely thing that you will soon find out. Wait until they can make dinner and do their own laundry. You might just one day, be as lazily happy as me.

Tia Juana said...

I just realized you have 5 kids under the age of nine. ARe you crazy?

Mandy said...

They grow too quickly, don't they? My Shannon will be 14 on Feb 2nd. Totally uncool...

marzee said...

Great post. I love this. Yes - I was thinking similarly about Bert the other day. Even though she is hopping or crawling around - she still tries to keep her brothers entertained. Yesterday morning I came downstairs to find her leading them in a Superman craft project. I thanked Heavenly Father for my wonderful little helper. They certainly do have their moments. Go Abe!
-Marz

marzee said...

PS - gotta tell ya - reading about all the calamities and hectic events of the day I thought, "And she had time to post this?!"
I also thought about how I stayed home from church with Bert today.

Yesterday - when that decision was made - I attempted to call several substitutes (5 or so people) - and couldn't find one. So - I just called the presidency and told them, "I tried - and will see if anyone calls back - but just so you know - I won't be there."

You are so good - so much better than I - sticking to it until you find someone. And calling to find someone for your kids to sit with. I'm a lazy mom these days.

Perla said...

what a super cool thing. and it was weird because the whole time i was feeling like you--like that is nice of abe, but he can't really do that...wait...he can? when did that happen? grace has done a few things recently where i have been totally feeling this strange feeling of her transitioning...glad you got to document this. cool.

Nancy said...

Tia, yes, I am crazy. Whether it was before the kids or caused by the kids is uncertain.

Marzers, I wrote it while the two older ones were at church and the two little ones napping and sick Goldie lounging sickly on the couch (remember, I don't have any studying or school assignments hanging over me as my poor Marz does). Also, I'm not as great as it sounded -- I just serve in nursery, so I just had to make sure two of the other leaders would be there to hold down the fort (and to give the 3 minute lesson for me).

Krissy-loo said...

Oh, what a sweet, good son that Abey-Abe is. That is a cool thought--but funny that it is so surprising to us--that our kids can become self-sufficient and productive and genuinely helpful.

Ashley said...

Let's hear it for the boy-oy! Let's give the boy a hand. (Imagine me singing that.) Seriously, what a dang nice little man you've got yourself in Abe. I can't wait to see Israel grow into a responsible and helpful son just like yours.

London said...

Why is Abe such a good and cute boy?! I just love this kid!

Tia Juana said...

Okay, Nance. You know that I was totally kidding about the being crazy for having all the kids in 3 or so years. Right? Sometimes I say things like that, or write them in comments, and then I rue the day I did so because you might not "get" the tone in which I write the sarcasm or joke and then someone might take me seriously that I think they are crazy for having a big (or little) brood when, in fact, I am quite admirant of them and their valiant bravery for doing so. You have to remember that I am the whimpy whimp who had to talk myself into getting pregnant (aka sicker than a dead dog) each and every time so I really admire anyone who has kids - more or less than me, it don't matter. I think, though, that it is about time you and Mikey boy started to think about another little one to help you feel the crazy a little more. What with Honest Abe all geared up to do the shoveling and the lawn mowing and such, it really shouldn't be an issue. Golds and Daize can start making some meals and then, wow, look at that, you are good to go make a baby. And if its a girl, it is really okay for you to name her after me.

And, I think your crazy came before the kids. Because mine was WAAAAYYY before the kids - they just exasperated it.

Also too, is admirant a word?

Nancy said...

I well know that your saying, "You're crazy" to me means, "You are my favorite."

Karen said...

Your sweet Abe. I love that he totally wanted to be the person to take care of you and family when it came to the drive way.

Mugsy said...

I love this. Was this the very same weekend that i was visiting?

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