So, I've spent the better part of three days sitting on our couch, and in that time I've watched five year olds that have been cooped up in the house for way too long bounce off the walls and older kids pull together to fill in where I've left off. Dinners, they've been made in a team effort by all the kids. Homemade pizza, chicken burritos, fried chicken and mashed potato's, cheeseburgers. Even The Rose helps. She is our official can opener. Lord help the person in this house that opens a can of corn or tomato paste without giving that girl an opportunity at it first. She diligently twists and turns the rusty crank on the can opener with everything she's got until she finally gets the darn can opened, and then she gets a pot and dumps the can, all smiles and satisfied. And then I listen to her tell me yet again that I need to buy her a newer and better can opener. It's funny to me, to listen to my six year old complain about kitchen appliances that need replacing. She gets so serious, because to her - opening cans is serious business. It's her (self appointed) job and she wants a job so that she can feel as much a contributor as anyone else. She feels needed when we call for her......Rose! Where is Rose? And then she comes running wanting to know what is going on. I need you to open two cans of corn, one of us will say, and then she smiles and runs to the drawer with the can opener in it, goes to the cabinet with the corn, gets it all set up at the table and gets to work on the important and serious business of opening cans. It's just too cute to watch, and to watch it from the couch instead of from in front of the stove is pretty sweet.
From the couch I watch the better part of ten kids fall into place and take on the roles that are their known and familiar strengths.....they already know who does what....they know who will grate the cheese, make the sauce, roll the dough. They already know who peels potatoes and who mashes them. They know from helping and doing on all the days that I'm not sick. We didn't teach them these things so that we could sit and watch. We taught them these things so that they would know how to provide for themselves, and because little kids want to help, like The Rose, and if you let them they grow up feeling good about doing and helping and then they grow into bigger and bigger roles of helpfulness.
Today, when My Man took me back to the doctor Columbus volunteered that when they were done with their school work he would get the other boys together and they would go cut wood for the fire because our supply was running low and it is getting cold again. We didn't even have to ask him - he just knew. He knew what needed to be done and he did it. And the other boys didn't groan or argue about it because they know too.
The girls watch Baby Man even though they would rather be something else. They even took him to their room one night for a sleepover so that I could have a decent nights sleep.
This view from my couch, it is an amazing thing. For three days I've sat and watched these children of ours pull together and do what needs to be done without grumbling or feeling sorry for themselves. I've watched them show the kind of care and selflessness that is love, and in watching that I yet again see how very blessed we are. So maybe there are moments that my view is obstructed by a half naked five year old bouncing from the couch to the ottoman, but I have hope for those two feral five year olds. If we managed to tamed eight of our other kids, surly we should be able to tame those two. Today, when I told one of them to stop bouncing for the millionth time he replied that I needed to get him a trampoline to bounce on. I didn't say it, but I thought maybe I just shouldn't feed him so much so that he might have less energy!
This whole post might be entirely random, even if I am not on narcotics I am feeling rather foggy and am typing this out against my better judgement. It seems that connecting thoughts takes way more energy that I have right now, but its been a few days and so I wanted to post something.