Bird feeders and soccer games
Today is thankfully warmer than yesterday. The sun sinks through my jacket, which I abandon to sit in the backyard with the kids. Adam recently put up a bird feeder, which isn’t my favorite, because bird make me jumpy. But Isaiah likes to chase them, and Jayci notices the different varieties and colors. Caden, meanwhile grins his newly toothless grin and begs me to play a sport, any sport, with him. I prefer my book, truthfully, but will occasionally put it down and kick the soccer ball with him for while. The other two will want to join in, which inevitably leads to fighting. Two of our children at a time can occasionally play without bickering, but never all three for long. Some days Jayci gets jealous of Caden, who is a natural athletes, and accidentally elbows him in the head. Other days Caden is determined to be the biggest possible pest and drive one sibling or the other to the edge of madness. And some days Isaiah will cry anytime someone else takes the ball, no matter how many times I try to explain that this is simply how the game works.
We tromp inside, where the kids disagree over who needs to do what chores or homework, and disagree on what to watch on tv. Isaiah has inexplicably decided he loves Little Baby Bum which is aimed, I believe, at very small babies, and is also over an hour long. He forces his older siblings to watch with regularity. We all agree zay has all the power in the family.
I worry sometimes (constantly) that I am not strict enough, not measured enough, too breezy, not providing enough structure or schedule or discipline. I try, sporadically, to rectify this, but it is difficult for me. Chore charts never last long and schedules or budgets find their way to the middle of the paper stack on the counter that eventually gets thrown away. We do our best to love and show grace. To keep our household from toppling into embarrassing disarray. But mostly we choose each other. We choose love and belonging and working it out even when we have never been more angry. Even when we have been accidentally elbowed in the head, or when we have been the one doing the elbowing.