I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bringing up Boys

(Laci was crying, so Jess joined her!)

By Jennie Atkins

I was able to travel to Ohio earlier this month and see my twin boys with their children. My mind wandered back to so many memories of when they were little. Of the good times…and the times I threatened to resign from motherhood.

Ah, but I didn’t . . . because in between the times I wanted to run for the hills, they’d do the neatest things…like pick me a handful of daisies…or wrap me in a hug and say, “I love you.”

Or, do the following:

One day when I came home from work tired and wanting nothing more than to crawl into bed and forget the world existed around me. As I trudged up the steps of our bi-level home, I found bed sheets affixed to the ceiling blocking off my view of the kitchen.

Any of you who are mothers of multiple sons, know exactly what darted through my mind—did they set something on fire in the kitchen? Did they have a food fight, forgetting to remove the food from the plate before they flung it across the kitchen? Or my favorite—which DID happen at one time—did they act out the Battle of the Bulge using a five pound bag of flour as ammunition and leaving the contents of the bag dusting EVERYTHING in my kitchen.

No, this time their imaginations elevated them in the status of angels.

My oldest son, darted out around the sheet closing it promptly so I couldn't see inside. He wore roller skates and had a dish towel hung over one arm like a waiter in a fancy restaurant.  He instructed me to have a seat in the "dining hall" (the kitchen table). So I sat down at the table, already set with dishes and silver, and a vase of flowers from the yard.

One of my other sons poked his head through the curtain and smiled. (Now, remember, I know this young man and that smile had mischief written all over it.) My third son came out from around the curtain asking me what I wanted to drink. He had everything written on a card: water, orange juice, milk, iced tea.
I chose my drink and it soon appeared being carried on a tray by one of the boys. The night went on and we had several vegetables, no meat because they were afraid they WOULD burn the kitchen down, and a fancy potato dish I had circled in my cookbook.

My boys took care of me that night. And their angelic status? Well, when the sheets came down—let’s just say their halos started looking a little tarnished. They had used almost every pan and dish in the cupboard trying to fix me dinner. But now as I look back, I’d be willing to scrub every dish again to relive that night.

So, now as I put the usual parent’s curse on my kids—you know—I hope your kids turn out just like you.

I mean it! :-)

What memories do you want to share?


  1. Aww. What sweet boys you have and sweet memories. My kids would follow my lead and it wasn't always the best. Once the three of us decided to ride my horse...except the saddle wasn't where we were. But who needs a saddle? We climbed on the baby in front, me in the middle and my oldest who was about 4 holding on to me waist. And everything was fine until the horse climbed a hill. Yep, we all three slid off in the grass. But no one was hurt and we still talk about our ride.
    Great post, Jennie

  2. Jennie, What a fun story. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Pat,
    Oh, what fun. I'm glad no one was hurt!

  4. Roxanne,
    I can't wait until I can use it in a story!

  5. Ahhhh, Jennie. Your story brings tears to my eyes. What a sweet act of love. :) My guys are getting to the age where they start to think of sweet things they can do. My youngest has a knack for knowing when I really need a hug. My oldest gives me the most beautiful smiles when I'm frustrated. And he's getting to where he'll step in and do things without being asked. That blesses this mother. :)

  6. Jeanne, I know exactly what you mean. Even now they do kind things and I thank God that something I taught them sank in! LOL

  7. Jennie, I love this sweet story! My boys have given me lots of novel fodder through the years. One of my fondest (now) memories is when our youngest was five. He had been playing outside and was pretty grubby by the time he came into the house. I took him to the bathroom, stripped him down and put him in the tub. While he splashed in the tub, I gathered his dirty clothes and screamed. Worms wriggled from his pockets. I asked why he had worms in his pockets. He replied, "Daddy said we might go fishing if it stopped raining, so I just wanted to be ready." That cute little kid will be going off to college in the fall. I'm thankful for the wonderful young man he's becoming, but there are times when I yearn to hold my babies again.

  8. I understand about still yearning to hold our babies again, and am thankful to hold their babies.
    In grad. school after I'd driven us home 1,000 miles non-stop across country & ended up sick w/ a fever, I heard my cherubs age 5 and 3 saying, "Mommy's really sick. If we clean our toy box, she'll feel better." We had a plywood Army footlocker I'd painted orange (I think orange was on sale). They took everything out & put it back neatly. I DID feel better.
    Sometime later I needed to change the furnace filter but to do so I had to crawl out of sight through crawl space under the house. I had a flashlight but it was dark between me and the exit. It took me several minutes. I heard my oldest sadly tell his bro., "She died under there. I'll tie a rope on her and pull her out). Precious days. Thanks, Jennie

  9. Lisa,
    You'll get to hold your babies again...in the form of grandchildren! What a great story.

  10. Dee, How fun. I can just imagine you listening to those voices. I had something similar while I had to fix the liner of our pool. I was under water for quite awhile. The kids voices, which I could hear, were wondering just how long I could hold my breath!

  11. Jennie, I loved this! What a great story!

  12. Oh I love this post. I have three boys too. Mine are 9,7, and 5 and they are so amazing. I did get poked in the stomach with a nerf sword this morning while I was getting ready for church, but I also had a little guy leave a bottle of water on my desk and tell me: "When you volunteer, when I miss you, when I think about you thirsty, I'll put a bottle of water on there." Such prescious moments. I love it!