The humidity was high, the a.c. was cranked, and our house was packed with our 5 kids who ALL wanted some “date time” with mom…as I was attempting to finish the final edits on my book. There is nothing like a deadline to bring out the insatiable, unquenchable desire in every family member for personal, uninterrupted attention.
I grabbed Marissa and Ruby, our daughters, and announced; “If you girls want to spend time with me before I start the final edits; please grab a pan and start greasing!” They obliged, and we started pulling apart the pre-made dough and rolling up the breakfast sausages. We giggled and teased each other as we worked, simply enjoying each other’s company.
Ruby whipped through her assignment quickly and hurried to take her turn with the video game controller. Marissa and I continued wrapping the “pigs”, and then discovered that we had one extra chunk of dough left. Marissa was quick to suggest that we give it to James, since he is the “Daddy who takes care of us all!”.
I agreed, and her next idea triggered a string of snickers from me.
“Let’s make it into a beer bottle, so he can have a biscuit and beer at the same time!”
We crafted our “beer biscuit”, and I obligingly carved into it with a knife so it read; “Dad only”.
I love the creativity and imagination of children!
We placed the pans in the fridge, the girls snuggled in to watch a movie; and I was soon tapping away on the laptop right in between them.
James taught me a while back that headphones are indeed a gift of God. I turned on my ‘get off your butt and write” playlist (seriously, that’s really what it’s called), and got to work.
I am not exaggerating when I say that every 90 seconds or so Marissa proceeded to air type over my keys, or say, “Mom! Did you see that? Pretty cool movie, huh?”
Each time I would gently poke her or hug her or tickle her or mess up her hair and after answering her question I would say, “I see you , love. I am right here. Even though I have to work, I still love you and I am SO Glad that you are our daughter! We are so glad that you are ours!”
There are a lot of different issues at play in her life right now. She finally opened up to me a bit, and then after supper, James and I took her on a walk so we could dig deeper into what is bothering her.
Through our talk, we realized that adjustments take many different forms. All parties involved need to consciously be aware of other people and their feelings. One child may very well have needs that are completely different from another. I need things that James doesn’t.
That’s okay; it’s all part of adjusting to normal.
Maybe I spent too much time yesterday in the air conditioning, but it seems to me that our individual needs are kind of like the pigs in the blanket. Some of them had an extra thick blanket of dough wrapped around them, some were exactly symmetrical, some had barely any dough around them. We all followed the same recipe and instructions, but our individual personalities shone through.
That’s what family is like. We all are following the same guidelines, but we need to be aware that we will not all look the same, or share the same exact needs. It’s been fun to rediscover that truth this week as we have learned how to serve and love one another individually. I understand that there will be moments when it doesn’t seem like any forward progress is being made, moments when the kids forget that they are to think of each other first; but all in all, I think we are becoming a “pigs in the blanket” family! (Beer biscuits and all!)