Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Days of Tomorrow

There was nothing that stuck out significantly to indicate that this night's established 'tucking-in' would be different from any other night.  The floor of Evan and Nicholas's room was finally clear of toys and after lighting the Cars stoplight nightlight, I pushed play on the CD player to hear the introductory notes to the theme song of their bedtime story CD.  I wished both squirming boys 'sweet dreams' mixed with 'I love you's' while giving multiple snuggles.

Turning off the overhead light I slung Dylan into his customary place on my hip and made only a feeble protest at taking him with me down to James and Morgan's room.  It's not that I don't want the munchkin with me, it's the busyness that trails alongside him I could sometimes do without.  To say he is distracting is an understatement.

Entering their room, I immediately knew Morgan was upset.  Only their sleepy faces peered at me from their mounds of handmade quilts, overstuffed pillows and various plush and hard toys.  While James's eyes lit up with pleasure at seeing his baby brother to say 'night-night' to, Morgan's red-rimmed eyes threatened to spill unshed tears.  Dylan pushed away from me wanting to be swung to the floor, forward momentum immediately propelling him in his climb up and over Morgan so he could get a drink from the nighttime water cup sitting on the bed shelf.

I stepped up onto the ladder for the top bunk and brushed a kiss across James's cheek. His skinny arms twined around my neck to hold me close so he could return the kiss and nuzzle his cheek against mine.

"'Night mom," he said.  "It was a good day today.  What took you so long?"

"I had to help your brothers put some things away,"  I answered.  "Dylan and Nicholas dumped out the Lego and dinosaurs."

Pushing at my legs, the small whirlwind informed me it was his turn to say good-night to James.  I stepped sideways off the ladder as Dylan's compact body slipped up the ladder like he had been climbing since birth.  Lowering myself to sit on the edge of the mattress, I rubbed my hand along Morgan's slim back as I leaned over to kiss his cheek.  His beautiful brown eyes filled with emotion blinked tear-soaked lashes.  He glanced at me then quickly away causing a few rogue tears to escape and trickle down the cheek I had just kissed.  He turned his face into the pillow in an attempt to hide the emotion.  Morgan's sensitive soul often causes his heart to hurt.

"Morgan, my boy, what's the matter?"  I asked him.

Inhaling deeply, he bit his lower lip before answering.  "I was just thinking tonight about when we grow up.  What are you going to do when we grow up?  I mean...", he paused, his big eyes turning to me with absolute anguish in them, "...someday we're going to grow up and then you'll be home all by yourself all day.  And dad is at work all day.  And you..."  another pause as he buried his face in the pillow again.  The next words were muffled by both the pillow and the emotion he couldn't contain. "You'll be alone all day and you'll have to do all the work yourself.  We won't be here to help you."  Looking at me again his long, dark lashes had matted together, the tears still brimming.   "And I just don't know what you'll do when we're all grown up!"

I ran my hand down his soft boy cheek.  Our bodies shifted as Dylan clambered between us, his elbow caused my glasses to shift sideways and his knees dug into Morgan's chest and arm.  I adjusted my glasses back to their rightful position before scooting Dylan off of Morgan.  Dylan began burrowing into the blankets, his feet bumping the wall and his head colliding with Morgan's shoulder.  I gently brushed those heartfelt tears from the cheek of this sensitive child and cupped my hand under his chin to turn him to face me more fully.  My mind fast-forwarding to days where floors are free of Lego, laundry piles have dwindled, to-do lists are checked off and the walls ring only with echos of laughter and screeching.

"Morgan," I said as I lowered my forehead to lean against his, "those days are a long time in the future.  We don't need to worry about them just yet."  But even as I said the words, I didn't fully believe them myself.

A long heart-to-heart kept our heads bent close until we finally brought our quiet chat to a close by lifting our burdens for the future in prayer.  He gave me a small smile, his eyes now drooping heavily with sleep.  I tucked the blankets more snugly around his shoulders before straightening myself to do the same around James's sleeping form.  From the doorway I looked back over my shoulder to make sure both sets of eyes were closed.  Turning out the overhead light, I left them sleeping peacefully to discover what trouble Dylan might have found when he left the room ahead of me.

I can only trust that there was soothing balm for Morgan's hurting heart in the words and prayers we spoke.  I can only pray that he always remembers those precious moments when we shared our worries of the future together, even if they were in the midst of chatter, busyness and bumps.  Because sometimes it doesn't matter what else is going on, there is a heart that needs tending to right now.

May those lonely days of the future never be fulfilled.  May the days of the present instead be as full of laughter and noise and dirty clothes and laid aside toys that the gusto of five boys bring with them.  And may all the fullness of life today spill forever over into my days of tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


It was a loooong time coming for James and Morgan.  We decided the multipurpose room downstairs would be renovated into a bedroom for the two of them to share.  However, the logistics behind that undertaking were extensive - at least for our limited space and the time we could designate to remodeling the room.

When Dylan was about four months old, the time had come for him to move out of our room.  The memories are a bit hazy, but I'm pretty sure I was still up with him when Luke's alarm was going off at 5:15 am.  I don't think I had even stretched out in bed that night; I was surprised Luke got any sleep at all between Dylan's fussing and my movements.  The next night I declared Dylan was sleeping in his own room!  It was an evening of bed-shifting: Dylan into the crib in Nicholas and Evan's room; Nicholas and Evan down the hall into James and Morgan's big boy bunk beds; James and Morgan into their new bunk beds set up temporarily in the living-room downstairs.

Although we functioned with the transitional setup, James and Morgan needed their own space.  They needed a room with empty shelves and floorspace, not just a makeshift area shared with furniture shoved over and instruments piled in the corners.  Their long temporary stay was in a room already full that quickly overflowed. Keepsakes and toys were without empty shelves to be put on. Clothes were without enough drawers or a closet to be put in.  And Lego was everywhere!

Luke planned and created.  I piled, shifted and finally sorted and cleared out.  And then one day, the room was finished.  The carpet was laid.  The walls were painted.  The waiting was over.

This is the beautiful end result.

A new space full of possibilities.  A room where they can carve their own story.  A room that inspires the possibilities of what decluttering and renewing a piled up area can deliver.