I sit in my office for many more hours than I ever thought I could endure. I’m making plans to do fundraisers to support our children and team in Uganda. There’s a window seat behind me and I long to recline and take a nap with my dog. There’s another window on my right and there was a little green lizard making a trail along the ledge of the wall. He was easy going and I enjoyed him so I shared him with Jack. And the all boy said, “I could shoot him with my gun”. I looked at him, astonished but I shouldn’t have been, “why is everything a target?” He grinned and said, everything is a gun too, he picked up several things off my desk pointed and shot my sweet green lizard. I was thinking I wanted to hold the little fella in my hand and watch his neck pop out in a big pink balloon until he was no longer afraid of me, but my son was looking for ways to kill it. Kevin will be fifteen next month and he wants to go to the shooting range with his dad for his birthday. Jordan has artillery of airsoft in the garage. When Donny is home the war games begin.
Thankfully I have Kira who appreciates the beautiful things in life. Anything pretty can alter her mood. In theory there are four warrior boys in my one hand, and four soft cuddly girls in my other (Kira, Coco the cat, Lucy the dog, and Gwinny the horse). When the boy behavior becomes too much I can relate with the girls. Don’t think I didn’t go for all girl animals on purpose, I needed some balance, some mood swings, and some gentleness. What I really need is some help understanding raising a girl because she’s tough. She keeps a tally in her head and counts all the times we have been nice enough to her, and if it doesn’t satisfy her quota she’s horrible on purpose. Getting on her good side requires a gauntlet test which isn’t impossible, just not for the wimps, the burnt out, or the over committed. She keeps us honest. The storm in her eyes can reveal we are pushing her too fast for our own good, and the sun glinting and reflecting off her bright smile is an indication that we are pacing life just right.
I came out of retirement from fitness teaching last night. Eight ladies met me in the barn aisle and I taught them exercises to strengthen our core, and stretch our riding muscles. We took a break to spray the mosquitoes who nipped our behinds while our weight rested on our hands. It was fun for me to get to know some other women who are also horse crazy. I checked to make sure my husband wasn’t the only one borderline jealous of my relationship with my horse, and they all laughed and said, welcome to owning a horse. Their advice: “keep the husband happy and then go to the barn.” One person said, “I lost my first husband because he couldn’t handle it.” I’ve already established the deal with Craig and he’s happy to know I’ve been at the barn because it relaxes me, gives me a real break, helps me satisfy my craving to learn, and gives me a general coating of happy glow when I return smelling like horse.
While I was there Daddy had kid duty for the evening. Jack went to church, Kevin had a high school tennis match, and Jordan was at his ACT test preparation class. Kira was a pill for her dad. I knew the look in his eyes when I sauntered in glowing from the barn. I said, “I’ll put her to bed.” He was relieved. Saying prayers with her is one of life’s greatest moments. A rainbow on the ceiling solves every excuse not to go to bed. She loves the glowing rain bow and we love it when she stays in bed. Craig and I collapsed into our own bed and laughed about our crazy life. Here’s one example of why I love my husband so much, he said, “this weekend Kira and I need to re-connect. I need to belong to her completely.” Yup. She’s tough enough to tell us when she knows she isn’t FIRST or wearing the Tiara. And we are clever enough to read her signals. Parenting is a humbling endeavor. We drifted off to sleep mumbling about how great God is to put up with us as we act like little Kira’s, or boys shooting up all of creation. His response to us is always to re-connect with us, give grace, love, and a soft spot to land. And the God of all creation is also tough enough to remind us when He isn’t first.