It’s quiet in my house. Where there should be five offspring now there are only two. The quietest, Kevin, and the noisiest, Kira. On Sunday Kira and I drove Jack to west Texas so he can have his “social binge” at Prude Ranch for three weeks. We put his trunk at the end of his bed, he kissed me, and he was gone in search of the frisbee game with his name on it. The parting took mere seconds. We’ve homeschooled together for two years now. I think both of us need this break. He is my partner all day every day and we share a lot of good times at the stables with the horses. At home I chase him around to make sure he isn’t wasting too much time. I’m always one to poke and prod anyone too comfortable around here. I generally take it easy on the guests, unless they stay too long, in that case I put them to work as well.
Donny and Jordan are settling into their new routines in Uganda. They love it even though it is hard work. If you are interested, Donny shares a blog with many of his friends and he posted yesterday. It is called: Thirsty Thursday and it is also on wordpress. They are learning so much about parenting.
I want to assure all the sponsors that I’ve got the updates on my kitchen table and we are trying to get them in the mail this week. In my busy life as Mama Tonya I normally have Hannah who is my assistant and helps me keep all things moving smoothly. But for the summer she is the coordinator of the counselors at the camp where Jack attends. Without help all things begin to move at a dribble pace while piles grow and what’s for dinner is a good question I can’t answer.
Now that Kevin has finished his sophomore year in high school, has his drivers license, and an adventurous attitude, he is my new assistant! He needed a job for the summer and I was hiring. This week I’ll be training him and he’s going to earn that paycheck, this is what we both know.
Our kids in Uganda attend school during these months of ours when American kids sleep late, swim, take vacations and go to camp. Their school year has three terms. They are in the middle of their second term. There is great social pressure to perform well in school. It’s a little stressful. Donny and Jordan are learning how to help 16 children do homework, devotion, prepare their uniforms for the next day and get to bed on time. It’s an ordeal. Someone is always crying. Someone has always misplaced articles of clothing. Homework is never done on time. Tattling is a sport. Herding and shepherding require more patience than the average Joe has in his pocket.
Jesus never said life will be easy. I recall… “when you experience trials”… not… “if”… I’m thankful God has given us all a sense of humor in the mixed bag of tools for making our way along the path towards him.
I have a feeling we are going to have one big sneeze and find the summer at the end. It always passes too fast for my taste. I’m hoping to try and slow down at some point and enjoy it. With the spectrum of parenting in our hands, it’s a little hard to find the deccelerator.
On one hand as a parent we have successfully launched one child through university. On the other hand the caboose still needs naps, a car seat, and help with the bath. We have a long way to go before it’s an empty nest around here. And I think that was our purpose in having a big family. We didn’t know how to factor in our own aging. I confess we are pretending to be young until we can get Kira to a more independent stage. The fifth one might finish us off. I’m beginning to think one girl is equal balance with four boys on the parenting scale. Each morning we have to do our “parenting calisthenics” to be able to keep up with her dramas.
Kira and I shared a nice dinner in a restaurant on Sunday and spent the night at a hotel in Fort Davis before driving the long six hours home again on Monday. During dinner she told me, “when I get big I’m going to be a mzungu mama who is in charge of everything all the time.” Oh look out world if this one wants to be in charge of everything all the time. She’s in training now so remember me in your prayers. She would very much like to push me out of the way and take over today.
Yes, Parenting is the hardest job…with so many rewards…so worth it…no regrets…but oh it will age ya. My only hope is knowing they belong to God and He has a plan for them. My job isn’t to make the plan, just help them along and find HIS plan.