Monday, January 26, 2015

Mom, What's Adultery?

Often I have been telling people that I reached the "acceptance" phase of grief.  And it is a silly thing to grieve over, not having a girl.  I am in no way sad about having another boy though.  The other night, I went to go rub little Caleb's head because he is my snuggly touchy feely kid and must have attention from me at bedtime, or usually an hour or two past bedtime.  You know how that goes.

 Well, I went back to their bedroom (all four of them sleep in the same room, it really works great even if it is insane sometimes) and the three older ones were laying on the floor all in a row, and totally asleep (well, Caleb was too five seconds into the head massage).  Andrew was just a few feet away in his crib, probably fell asleep wishing he could have been on the floor too.  And I just sat there and stared at them all.  All these boys.  They are such good friends, all sprawled out like baby tiger brothers.  They are my boys and I can't wait to see all five of them fast asleep with these little slumber parties (which consist of playing pirates and yelling and screaming and jumping until I finally yell at them and then 10 seconds later they are all passed out looking perfectly angelic).

So I have really been soaking up my renewed mom happiness.  It is funny how you realize you haven't been particularly happy with your life and you think, "What the heck is wrong with me?" and the Lord blesses you with a shift in perspective and you see life through a grateful light.  It is a much better way to see the world.

Well, my Joshua is renowned for his curiosity and the massive amounts of questions he asks about EVERYTHING.  He really is a carbon copy of his daddy, but with his own special flare.  And Caleb, although not in the same way, is also very curios and interested in learning new things.  I find them asking me lots and lots of questions lately.  Most of them I have no idea how to answer.  But I try.

There has been a few families that we know that have gotten divorced in the past year or so, and between that and Josh learning about the ten commandments at church, the topic and marriage and how it falls apart has been a lot on Josh's mind the past week.  It makes me happy that Tyson and I are so happy and secure in our marriage that the boys cannot possibly understand the word divorce and why you wouldn't stay married.  But it also makes it really hard to explain.

For example, one of our friends just got remarried.  I was excited for their happiness and so I mentioned it to the boys how their friend had a new dad.  It didn't go over well.

Josh: "Mom, why would they have a new dad?  What happened to their old one?  I thought he just moved.  I don't understand.  How do you just get a new dad?"

Then later.

Josh: "Mom, what's adultery?"
Me: "Uh, where did you hear about that?"
Caleb muttering: "adultery.  adult-ery.  adulllll-tary."
Josh: "It is one of the commandments.  Thou shalt not commit adultery.  I figure it is something only adults have to worry about since it is adult-tree.  Is it something about adults and trees?  Can adults not have trees?"
Me: "Oh no, adultery is just a word, it doesn't have anything to do with trees.  It means that you need to always be faithful to your spouse, like your husband or your wife."
Josh: "What does that mean?"
Me: "Faithful?  Oh it means....(looking at his face I realize he doesn't really know about sex, so that would freak him out way too much) means you only kiss your husband or your wife.  Adultery means you kiss someone that isn't your spouse."
Josh looks horrified: "WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO THAT?!"
Caleb (who also looks stunned and shocked, but also a little smug like he would never make that mistake): "When I'm married, I'm never having adultery."

The conversation went on for much longer than that, but that was for sure the highlight.  I am so thankful that my boys can't imagine me and Tyson ever wanting anyone other than each other, because I don't ever see that happening either.  Not saying we are perfect, but we work really hard at making our marriage great and there is no one in the world as wonderful and nice and patient as my Tyson guy.  He really is and becomes even more so every day, my perfect fit.  So although it is awkward and I worry I don't always teach the right things, I am thankful that my little ones challenge my knowledge of the universe and the principles that I try to live by.

What a wonderful gift to raise boys.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Adam, Eve and Steve

Every night we read scriptures with the boys.  We usually read a column a night since their attention spans can't take much more yet.  It is really fun to explain the stories with the boys and have them learn about the different prophets and hear their testimonies. 

A few nights ago we were reading about Alma and Amulek teaching about our spirits and our bodies and how the Atonement saves us not only from physical death, but also from spiritual death if we repent. 

Tyson and I try really hard to keep things spiritual, but with four little boys, things don't usually go down like that.  Tyson is also really great at helping the boys understand and apply the scriptures to themselves.  So this is kind of how the conversation was going:

Tyson: "Okay guys, how many times can we die?"
Older boys: "2!"
Matthew: "Oh, yeah, 2!"
Tyson: "And what are those ways?"
Older boys: "Our body and our spirit."
Tyson: "Good, and what are some ways our bodies can die?"

Well the boys LOVE this question because well, they are boys, and therefore horribly gruesome.  I guess it is just born in them.  Their usual answers have been, "poked with swords," "drowning," "burned alive," you know stuff like that.  Well during this whole scripture reading time, Andrew was surprisingly quiet and it was because he had found the iPad and was pushing the on and off button over and over again.  It is mostly because he loves to hear Siri's voice.  Well, he had pushed down on the button and it was recording what was being said, and it just happened to be for Tyson's last question.  So before any of the boys could give their horrific answers, Siri says:

"Oh, that is a great questions, here are some ways our bodies can die."

It was great to have Siri join our scripture reading experience, too.  :)

Then a few minutes later, we were talking about the Garden of Eden.

Tyson: "Who was in the garden of Eden?"
Caleb: "Oh, I know!  Some guy..."
Tyson: "Well, there was Adam and Eve (and then of course because Tyson has to add in something funny) and Steve."
Caleb: "Oh yeah, Steve, that is his name."
Tyson: "Caleb, who is Steve?"
Caleb: "You know, the snake."

We sadly had to explain that the snake was actually Satan, but we thought calling him Steve was funnier.  So just so you know, Adam, Eve and Steve were all there in the beginning.

Scripture reading may someday be spiritual and a great learning place for our kids and us, but for now we are just striving for consistency.  And hopefully the good stuff sinks in to their little spirits.  It can be really funny, really frustrating and such a blessing to have this time as a family.  You should try it out, great memories are made.  :)

Siri "here are some ways our bodies can die:"

Adam and Eve and was Steve in the garden too? Yes! He was? He was the snake!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Life is Fair

Life really is the most fascinating thing.  The most common phrase I probably said as a kid was "it's not fair!" because life so rarely seems fair.  And I can totally tell my boys feel that way often.  It is hard to make things fair for them.  Even splitting a cookie so perfectly in fourths is the challenge of a lifetime. 
"He got more than me!"
"His piece has more chocolate chips than mine!"
"It's not fair because he had three cookies earlier and I only had two!"

Who know how it goes.  Then of course there is the additional they are different ages so things really don't seem fair.  Josh can stay up later sometimes and it is okay, but the others are still too little.  Or Caleb gets a treat for doing his reading lessons, but Josh feels that is unfair because he doesn't have lessons to do, because he already did them all.  But I don't know how to make that fair.  He already did them, he already got the treats a year ago.  But it probably really does feel unfair to him now, so I totally get how he feels.

Life is like that for adults too, but we are like kids, it is hard for us to see how things are actually really quite fair.  It is hard to break life up like a cookie, God has a hard job to help us see that things are fair.  Some get some things, some get other things, and they come at different times, some are more grateful than others so they feel like they get more than the other person that is less grateful even though they actually have "less."  I don't know how He puts up with all our whining all day long and not take everything away.  Because that is totally my fall back.  "You think this is unfair?!  Fine, you get nothing!  Now you know the meaning of unfair!"  Yup, totally don't know how he doesn't take everything away, every day.  He really is infinitely patient.

Tyson and I LOVE our boys.  They are adorable and crazy and full of life and spontaneous and terrifying.  They make us laugh and cry and pull our hair out and gasp for breath and cringe and plug our noses, they are our lives.  But it is hard to not want what you don't have.  It is plastered all around us.  Cute little bows and frills and daddy-daughter dances, the way you see the Dad's melt when they reach up and take their hand.  There are the ADORABLE shoes and the cutesy names and nail painting parties.  Not to mention making a little person that actually looks like you and acts like you, whether that is a good thing or not.  :)  It is hard not to want it.  Tyson and I really want a girl.

So with each pregnancy we keep thinking, this one has got to be a she.  Each time I try harder and harder not to daydream.  But those blasted thoughts sneak past my defenses and little glimpses of a tiny person sitting in front of me letting my play with her hair will hover in my dreams.  I don't know how to explain it without sounding like I don't want my boys or don't love them.  It isn't that at all.  No weddings to plan, and all the babies my boys' wives have, I will be the mother-in-law, the one that isn't right there when things happen, the "other" mom.  That is a wonderful job and I am really close to my mom-in-law, but she knows too, her own daughters are different than me.  It just isn't the same.  And every girl knows that there is nothing quite like your own mom there.  Your own mom can say things and do things for you no one else can. 

Everyone tells me, "be so thankful because girls are so much drama," "boys are so much easier," "girls cost so much," it goes on and on.  But people wouldn't keep them if they weren't worth it.  And why is it that some couples and families want so much for a boy and keep having girls, when there are people like us that so want a girl and keep having boys?  Why are their couples that want so desperately to just have a baby but never can, when there are tons of unwanted babies born all the time?  Why are there people that struggle with health and breathing and would give anything to be without sickness, when others are so healthy even though they take horrible care of themselves?  Can you see why it is hard to see life as fair?

But it is!  I don't know why we keep seeing this image on the ultrasound:

I don't know why I don't appreciate more when there are people that would give anything to have an ultrasound!  Or live in a place that had this kind of technology so their children could have a greater chance of actually surviving.  It is so easy to get caught up in our little bubbles of the piece of cookie that is ours and only see all the other cookies given out, when we don't notice how awesome our cookie is or how great it tastes or how maybe it will be our last so just enjoy it. 

So, yes, as much as I fought it, I so wanted to find out today that I was going to have a mini me, a little Cami, a girl for my sweet Tyson to have wrapped around his finger.  Oh I SO wanted that.  I have a whole box just full of little girl ribbons and bows and cute dresses and books that I was so excited to share with my own daughter.  Knowing I won't get that is heart breaking.  The chance of me being able to go through pregnancy again is really slim.  This time has been hard enough and I am only halfway through.

But God knows everything.  He knows the whole picture.  He knows what I need, He knows how blessed I am to have the piece of the cookie I have.  And I am SO blessed.  Why he trusts me with boys, I doubt I will ever know.  I still remember the first time I tried to help Josh pee in the toilet and I just about died.  I know so little about the priesthood and scouts and boys emotions and anatomy and the way they think.  I am completely in shock and terrified most days at their need to create fires and war scenes and weapons and farting and burping and display their buggers or tell me about their poop.  What the heck am I doing with boys?  But He knows.  And He apparently trusts me.  Not with just one, but with five.  Five.  Five boys.  I am going to be a mom to five boys.  That is a huge responsibility.  It scares the crap out of me.

But maybe it is because there are so few guys like Tyson.  What a man.  And what a man to teach them how to be men.  So few boys out there have great role models and my boys have the best. 

If you find yourself also surrounded by boys and a little daunted or reluctant at the task, maybe this will help.  My mom sent me a list of the top ten reason to have five boys, here are some of my favorites:
-easy for hand-me-downs
-no special bedroom arrangements are needed
-I'll never have to pay for a wedding
-I have 20 years of people complementing me on my courage
-I should be able to get a mileage out of the "I need some girl time" excuse to get out of the house
-I will never have to mow the lawn or change a tire
-Tyson will never have to buy a gun :)
-My makeup and jewelry will always be my own

She is pretty awesome huh?  So I have a lot to be grateful for and I really am, so grateful.  I just have to shut that box away for awhile until I am ready to give that stuff away.  And then be done and move on. So I may not ever get to have girls nights with my own girls, but that's okay.  There are plenty of things to make up for that.  Like the fact that I have yet again to go stop my boys from playing some mash up of spider man and pirates and minecraft and get them to lay down in their beds, again, so there won't be any ER trips tonight.  Because we all know we have a lot of those in our future.  I will consider it a miracle if we don't.  :)

So in case you didn't figure it out, we got an ultrasound for baby #5 today and he is adorable.  His little feet were kicking and he was yawning and stretching, less than two pounds of perfection.  So we are very blessed with that.  I know I have moments of whining and wallowing, but I am trying to look up and say "Thank you Father for this wonderful life that you have given me.  Sorry I don't always see everything great about it and I am often jealous of others, but I am so very thankful."

I will just keep looking at this picture and that helps me see how perfect life is.