Tonight Mark comes home after being gone most of this week. The boys and I have kept ourselves busy, and we're all sufficiently exhausted from our attempts at making the time alone go faster. And, we were all doing okay until some point last night when, quite suddenly, all my patience, which I had been carefully rationing, had run out.
It was during the course of the morning when my weakness got the better of me. I often read Testerhome, about a mother who had five boys in a row, and definitely related to her recent sentiments. She questioned her ability to adequately mother five in a row--and why did God do this, when she felt that she wasn't cut out for the specific challenge it was.
The boys are loud. They roar at each other, and growl, and pounce. Their favorite games are 1) Chase 2) Wrestle 3) Swords. Often, 1,2, and 3 are done all at the same time--with a fair amount of growling and roaring thrown in.
I'm okay with this. They are sweet and mannered when they need to be, and when they are free to play, I deal with the boisterous behavior. Except for today. Today I'm not being a very good mother of boys. Without Dad here to circumvent the wrestling, to take on some of their activity level, my weaknesses get the better of me. I'm not sweet, patient or gentle. I yell, lose my temper, and say mean things out of frustration with their boyishness.
We find out very soon the gender of our new baby. As always, I am completely at peace with whatever God blesses us with. It was only today, after being frustrated, that I thought for a moment "What if...What if it's another boy...???" Not that I would be disappointed--absolutely not, but that I doubted my ability to be a good mother to a FOURTH boy in a row. It's understandable--This tired, pregnant, emotionally fragile woman without a husband for five days that can't keep up with the energy level of three little boys is bound to wonder what God would be thinking to send us another boy.
But then I checked myself. These attacks are not of God. I am weak and vulnerable and alone--a perfect recipe for self-doubt. These boys have a Mother and a Father. God didn't bring these boys to raise on my own, he gave them a Dad, too. A dad who was once a little boy and wrestled with his brothers, was loud and crazy, and can now share that with his three (maybe four??) sons.
We might be functioning on a "basic needs" basis today until reinforcements arrives. I might be making several more trips to the bathroom just to hear the faucet run instead of the shouts and hollers, but it's okay. Soon enough I'll be delighting in snakes, snails and puppy-dog tails again, and marveling at the affectionate sides of my sons, who will overjoyed to be once again with their Daddy.