A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ride 'Em Cowboy

Well, we're not really cowboys over here at the Brooks. We're a tortoise-raisin' family (another post about that later), but we're working on riding bikes!

Jonah really finally mastered riding his bike well last summer when we were living at my parents' house. We were finally on a quiet street, and we didn't have to worry about much about crazy traffic. So, we got him out on the bike a lot, and he was zooming up and down their street fairly quickly.

Reuben is struggling a bit more to master bike riding. He is just a different kid. What makes it hard for him is that he sees Jonah zooming down our street now, and he so wants to be able to do it too! And many five and six year olds already are great on two wheels. But he isn't yet. And he asks for help riding, but often ends up a little frustrated and hops on his scooter. I know he'll get there. He is actually very athletic (I could imagine him a great gymnast because he is smaller and muscular), but it is a matter of balance, and then having the courage to push off and keep trying. He gives up easily because he truly just wants to be where Jonah is at, and he isn't.

There are probably daily opportunities in which we have to sit down with him and remind him that he is two years younger than Jonah. And Jonah has had two years to work on math, or drawing, or building forts, or bike riding ...  further along than Reuben. And it is okay to not be as good at Jonah as things. And that he has different talents, different areas in which he excels.

Life of a sibling, right?

And Matthias is unafraid - sitting on his trike, standing on his scooter, trying to catch up. Riding down the sidewalk, yelling "Bye Mommy!" Imagining himself on great adventures as he heads down a full three houses down before heading right back to announce "I'M BACK!!!!" = )

I think my three boys would nearly live outside if that were possible. Right now we have lots of rain, which make outside time a little more challenging because our back yard has standing water. But, we tromp out in muddy boots, or head to the sidewalks for bike time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday Nights

Each Wednesday is a late work day for Eli. He is running youth group, and so a "normal" Wednesday workday is 10-10. But often he gets home later than that, meeting with high school or college students after youth group is well over. Tonight I don't expect him home til after 10. It is a normal routine for us, and the boys adjusted long ago.

But when Abram was born, Wednesday nights became much more of a challenge. I don't nurse my babies to sleep during the day, but I do before bed. And my commitment is to be at youth group with Eli on Wednesdays if at all possible. I want to connect with the teen girls, see how things are going, help if I can, and participate! We are partners in ministry. I used to stay until it was over around 8:30 or so, but I also knew I would have to adjust once Abram arrived: I had to for quite awhile when Matthias was born.

So, we leave sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 to head home, and nursing him, getting all the other boys in jammies and teeth brushed, have a cup of milk, etc etc etc, isn't super easy on my own. We aren't a late to bed kind of family.
If I know Eli isn't going to be home at bedtime for a trip or something, I start waaaaaayyyyy earlier in the evening starting to get things and little people prepped! = ) But that isn't possible on a Wednesday.

So, my dad has just been coming over for the last five months on Wednesday nights. He is amazing. Completely volunteered himself to be assistant get-everyone-ready-for-bed. He reads the boys a book, sings them songs, prays for them. He's even had to help with baths because they found a sand pit one week (side note: SAND IS SUPER ANNOYING!!! IT GETS EVERYWHERE!). No complaints.

To my boys it is already normal. This is how Wednesdays just are.

But I listen. I hear him sing some of the same songs he sang to me when I was little. I hear him pray over them. I listen from my glider as he reads books, does silly voices, and the laughter floats down the hallway. I hear the boys convince him to quickly play a game of Go Fish before he puts them in bed. I sit and rock ... and feel overwhelmingly blessed.

Yes, I could do it. But he doesn't want me to have to. He loves me, he loves the bushel, he loves Eli. And he demonstrates his love in this way. In a practical way that blesses me far beyond he really knows. I always say thank you, give him a hug, tell him I love him as he leaves. But, I wish he could understand HOW MUCH it means to me every week. I tell him! But, I don't know that he can even see. I don't take him coming over for granted. It's like a breath of fresh air to end the day. And it is creating memories that I know sink into my heart, and I pray stay with the boys as they grow. Hearing Opa's voice read certain books, sing those favorite songs, and reassure them how much they are loved. By him. By us. By our Heavenly Father.