During a nap yesterday I found myself hearing this phrase over and over:
"Don't wake up yet, you are still falling down the rabbit hole of words."
I shared this thought with my family later using the word chuckle to describe what the thought produced- a quiet laughter, a giggle. Of course there were thoughts of "Are you really losing it now? And if you are, why not..... or isn't it about time you did?"
The word chuckle remained so I assumed it would spark my next blog post, this post, and indeed it has.
Because when I think of "chuckling".... and what inspires me to giggle, I think immediately of two boys, my middle sons- Josiah and Chad- also affectionately known as "the sons of thunder."
Their nickname came after hearing a sermon about James and John one Sunday morning. A few days prior I had run away from home- well not quite run away, really- just got into my car and pulled down the winding driveway far enough to make the kids think I was gone- where I sat thinking "I can't do this God.... I can't parent these kids without going crazy!" Tears were flowing and I was exhausted.... physically, mentally, emotionally.
A few minutes earlier that day I had walked into Josiah and Chad's room to find they had taken baby powder and sprinkled it all over. I wanted to scream, but no sound came forth as I walked around their room in disbelief, almost stumbling over the myriad of toys on the floor. Their closets were wide open and when I saw the fine film of baby powder in there also, that was it.... the "sons of thunder" had succeeded in pushing me over the edge.
I went to Dale and Amber and told them I was running away... that they would have to take care of their siblings after I left until Terry could get home. I can't remember if I called Terry.... I believe I did, and poor Dale and Amber, seeing the desperation in my eyes, knew I was more than serious. They contacted their Dad after I left, scared their Mom was not coming back.
Not one of my finer moments as a mother.
That sermon I heard a few days later spoke about James and John being impetuous, bold, silly even...... and created by God with those personality traits to advance his kingdom. I understood and sighed, hanging my head in guilt.
Josiah began life crying constantly, a collicky baby who only stayed quiet while eating or getting a bath. Yet when he grew out of the crying phase he quickly became our son with a flair for drama, dressing up and impersonating all his favorite Disney characters- most notably the evil villians- or putting on a dress shirt and bow tie while making himself a pulpit to preach at, while we would sit and be his audience. Josiah could hear a favorite line in a movie once and recite it perfectly with all the correct intonations. Making us laugh came easy for him, and still does.
When I was in transitional labor with my daughter Lisa-Noel it was Josiah's antics I chose to recall, making me feel better for a moment during the labor pains.
Chad was a much easier baby- a cuddly, sensitive little boy who started walking at 91/2 months and could run (and did!) shortly after a year old. He was a natural athlete, although it was apparent early on he had a big temper- one he didn't know how to control until he got older, much older. Yet he could make my heart melt in an instant with his big smile, and still does.
The combination of the boys together was(and is) both volatile and entertaining. So different, but definitely partners in numerous crimes! Both are now 6'2" tall. Josiah is a talented writer and film maker, a junior at Temple University pursuing a degree in film (look out Steven Spielberg!) Chad is a freshman at West Chester University studying nutrition. Ironically the sport that became his passion was golf, even with all that extra energy he was born with!
When they are home the house takes on a whole new level of energy, something positive they carry with them wherever they go. And we won't mention any current stories we hear of their college exploits....( Terry and I just shake our heads and smile, trying to offer wisdom).
These delightful and slightly crazy boys of mine have taught me what it means to live well and laugh (chuckle!) often.
How I needed that in my life.