Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Joys of Boys

Mighty Max, ready for battle.

 Every afternoon in our house we have "quiet time." Theoretically, the kids are each in a separate room upstairs, listening to their books on tape while I am downstairs, experiencing desperately needed mental and spiritual rejuvenation in the midst of a quiet house. Theoretically is the operative word there.

It seems that lately, the boys need less and less quiet even as I need more and more. The less energy I have, the more they do.

A few days ago I was sitting in the living room, which happens to be below the boys' bedroom, trying to ignore the thunderous bangs on the ceiling above me as I worked my way through a chapter in Phillipians (joy in the midst of trials, people!). Sam was supposed to be listening quietly to a book. Max was supposed to be in my room down the hall, quietly playing with the legos he had chosen as his quiet time entertainment.


I thank my God every time I remember you, claimed the words on the page I was reading.

BANG! Rattle Rattle BANG. Hysterical laughter.

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. Focus... focus! I willed myself.

GET OFF ME! Angry scream. Angry cry. GIANT BANG. 

...he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Just ignore them, I said to myself out loud.  Ignore them!


Hammock?? That was it. I was off the couch. My Bible thumped onto the floor. I hit the stairs at Mach 10 and practically flew through the door of their room, I was so furious.

There they both were, sitting on their upturned Pottery Barn chairs, each wearing about six pairs of underwear on their heads and four more over their jeans.

In that moment, the hilarity of the scene was completely lost on me. All I could think about was that I had just neatly folded and put away each of those tiny pairs of underwear, and now they were wearing them on their heads.

Four wide eyes blinked at me beneath crowns of Spiderman underoos.

The rest of the story is uneventful. I lost my temper, and then felt terrible. Tears were shed. Boys were separated. Undies were refolded. Forgiveness was offered, and accepted. The sun set on our day, as it always does.

That night as Greg was reading them a story before bed, I wandered in and puttered about, putting toys away, picking up a stray sock. I saw one of the chairs still upturned in the corner and remembered the earlier catastrophe.

Hey guys, I said, what were you playing on these chairs anyway? Why were they upside down?

We're Mowgli! Sam announced. These are our hammocks in the jungle.

Oh. Okay, I said. But... why were you wearing underwear over your pants like that?

Because we're also superheroes, Max explained impatiently, as if this were something I should have already known.

And wearing the underwear is, ummm... what makes you the superhero? I asked.

Yes, Max nodded, nearly rolling his eyes at my lack of imagination.

Oh, and, boys? What about the underwear on your head?

That's our disguise, Max explained.


Here's Mowgli 1 and Mowgli 2, asleep in their "hammocks."

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ."
Phillipians 1:9-10

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