Every Monday, Amber and I, along with Joy and Scott Bennett, and others, write Marriage Letters. It is an effort to encourage others to fight the good fight, to do the hard work. Did you write one this week? Visit Amber’s blog to link it. This week’s topic–My Job, Your Job.
Yesterday, Isaac propped a trellis against the side of a tree and climbed 12 feet into its boughs. Jude stood beneath, throwing old hickory nuts into the tree while Isaac wobbled back and forth, dodging precariously. It was their new game.
Sensing the onset of a trip to the emergency room, my face filled hot red and I bellowed from around the corner, “BOYS!” Isaac scurried down the trellis; Jude about-faced, drew up all the innocence he could muster and said “what, Daddy?” Realizing I had made my point, I turned and caught Ian filling his backpack up with leaves and sticks, treasures he intended to keep under his bed. He beamed, “look, Daddy!”
That’s when I took a deep breath and mustered a side-ways smile.
This mothering thing is difficult, I know. You’ve given me four boys in seven years and they build kingdoms and stage perpetual wars. They draw scenes from the Hobbit, litter the house with paper airplanes, and create daggers from tinker toys. They’d rather read My Side of the Mountain than Charlotte’s Web. You’ve never complained about the lack of little dresses, the absence of Easy Bake Oven smells, or the missing baby dolls. You’ve embraced your role as the mother of boys, the arbiter of the last great war.
I know it takes a good prayer for peace and a few minutes of shelter every day to survive this Rock House. I know that you listen to Jordan, Josh, and Dave from time to time; you try to create little refuges like that. And most days, when I have a coffee break, I pray that you find rest in those little refuges. Weathering daily onslaught of Orcs, bandits, and linebackers is hard work, after all. You always weather, though. And you manage to bring order to it.
Our occupations are different, there is no doubt. But while I work in the kingdom of men, you toil in different fields, shaping the souls of four little boys. You are teaching them to be good men, teaching them to be sensitive to Spirit things. You allow them room to play rough–that’s what boys do–but you rein them in for moments of quiet. You teach them to rest, but also allow their imagination to explode across the great plains of our carpeted living room.
You are living a high calling, Amber. You wear it pretty well.
Here’s to Narnia, and plane crashes, and swords, and stuff,
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