out of the mouth of babes: reflections on 2008

Sometimes parenting (or cleaning/organizing a house with) young children feels Sisyphean: that I, just like this mythological man, am striving to push this boulder up a hill, only to watch it crush my toes and roll to the bottom where I must start the process again. Disheartening, I know. But, think of it: the repetitious training involved without any immediate signal of reception, and just when you expect a breakthrough moment, the expected unexpected occurs returning you to the beginning (at least it certainly seems that way); it can leave any parent  (and myself in particular) feeling, well — desperately futile. Mark often jokes that you all (blog readers) get the “cream” of our little life: the best parts, without the rubbish. For the most part, it’s true. However, the hope, the truth, the place where the metaphor to Sisyphus breaks down, is that I am not condemned to a life of futility and frustration, and this “cream,” these glimmers in the mundane, remind me to laugh and to thank the Lord for these little ones and what He’s doing in me through this seemingly ineffective process. On that note, here’s some more “cream”: happy 2009.

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Knowing the time is approaching, we’ve been asking Liam what instrument he’d be interested in learning to play, the violin or piano. Last year he determined to learn the violin, but recently when Mark posed him with the same question, Liam responded like this:

“I’d really like to learn to play the electric guitar, but most of all I want to play the GLOCKENSPIEL.”

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Burke (storming into my room, abrupt and annoyed): “Blythe told me ‘I’m sorry’ FOUR times, and I told her ‘I forgive you’ THREE TIMES! (humph.)”

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Burke (pointing to my protruding belly button): “Look! There’s Olive’s penis.”

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Blythe: “I so FUNny.”

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I’m brushing my teeth in my bedroom, trying to multitask in some way.

Liam (looking at me in all seriousness): “Now Mom, we’ve talked about this. Remember? You brush your teeth in the bathroom.”

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(It’s apparent after these two blurbs, I need to clarify relational titles for little Burke.) After meeting my brother Dave and his girlfriend for lunch the other day, Burke exclaims, “But I thought we were going to Dave’s HUSband’s house!”

After telling Burke something he didn’t want to hear, he threatens, “if you don’t ____, I won’t be your mom ANYmore.” “But Burke, YOU’re not my mom.” “Oh, YES. I. AM. (as he stomps out of the room, arms crossed).”

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While the kids and I were Christmas shopping, we spoke briefly with this saleslady, who at some point mentioned that she doubted she would receive anything at all this Christmas. Later that night Liam approached me to say, rather tenderly, “mom, you know, I think we need to give that lady a Christmas present, so she can have at least one this year.” (We couldn’t find her again, though.)

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Burke has been praying frequently and unsolicited for people to be healed.

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Blythe: “More amen.”

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