There is a new double digit member in our family and he couldn’t be happier about it. Jack turned ten on Monday. I was steeped in the boiling water of towering boxes and piles of scrambled things, so there was no real way for me to pull together a birthday celebration. I could have hit pause, and taken the day off, but I’m working against a real deadline here. My mother-in-law has been so gracious to stay at Craig’s apartment this week so Kira is safe from all the mess here at the house. She leaves on Sunday and the lease is up on Monday. I have seriously given myself one week to finish moving into this house. And guess what…I’m going to make it with time to spare! I foresee taking Friday afternoon off and leaving this new house in a safe and excellent unpacked condition. (but it’s at the cost of being worn out and sore at the end of every day)
So I didn’t take Monday off for Jack’s birthday. The boys and Grandma stepped in and made it wonderful. Jack hit Dad up for some cash with the request to buy his first air soft gun. What is it with boys and guns? I will never understand it, but we have allowed it because they are so wired for hunting. We had a long walk down memory lane about the times when we lived in Arizona and the arsenal was confiscated because they ignored the “don’t shoot above the butt” rule. Promises were plastered all over the walls about how they only want to hunt all the deer in the neighborhood. (our neighbors are going to pass out when they see all these boys with rifles in our yard) Anyway, permission was granted, they went shopping, and Jack suited up like an FBI agent. He couldn’t have been happier. (even though I give it two weeks and I’ll have it all locked up again.)
On Sunday, we shut the Kevin and Jack in their room and asked them to organize their own things knowing they were entirely incapable of completing this task. I wanted them to experience the frustration of it so they could appreciate it more. I let them believe they were going to have to finish it this week. After all, Jordan did an amazing job organizing his room, and it was the first room to be tidy in the whole house. But sorting their own mess brought out the worst in Jack and Kevin. They were irritable and we could hear the arguing and complaining the whole afternoon, and after several hours of work and I entered their room, it still looked like this.
They had left ten unopened boxes in the storage room. On Monday, I spent all day purging their junk and arranging the things they treasure most, it was my gift of service to them. I finished their room, cleaned myself up and met them at the apartment to go out to dinner to celebrate Jack’s birthday. When I arrived Jack pretended to be eager to greet me, but mostly he wanted to make sure I had presents in the back of the car. I did. And here’s the funny thing, these were Christmas gifts I had ordered last November for him. But we spent Christmas in Uganda so I stored it all. And in the midst of preparing to move I found them, set them aside, and thanked God I didn’t have to figure out how to shop for his birthday in a city I don’t know yet. Craig watched him open all the lego sets and said, “if I had known you had all that I wouldn’t have given him so much money to go buy his guns” He should have checked with the boss first.
The big gift though wasn’t the toys. When I told them I spent all day getting their room, desks, and closet perfectly ready for them they were delighted! They were dreading that mess more than getting a hand full of shots. Kevin jumped out of his seat at dinner and came over to hug me, he was so relieved. Later he told Craig, “mom works really hard and can do a lot of stuff that I really don’t know how to do.” Yes she does. Lesson learned. Now we’ll see how well they maintain the order I achieved.