Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Full House

Well, it's happened. Our kids all grew up and moved away ... moved back ... moved out again ... and now we're at the point where three of our four adult children have moved back in to our home. We just finished moving two of them in this last weekend. There are still boxes, trashbags, and crates of things sitting around ... but the kids are here. I know this is not the first choice for any of them. It's more of a financial necessity than an overwhelming desire to live with Mom and Dad.

My husband and I are excited about their being here ... and nervous at the same time. We're excited because our kids are fun to be with. Wes loves watching football, guy movies, and Ghosthunter with his boys. He likes all of the guy jokes and the looks exchanged between the kids when Mom says something "mom-like". He enjoys all of the laughter, the inside family jokes, and the cuddling he gets from his daughter. Me? I like the fact that our house doesn't seem to echo with emptiness, that I'm not the only female in the house anymore, that the dogs don't follow only me because there's no one else around, that there's always someone to talk to (I don't know if THEY appreciate that!), and that we all basically enjoy being around each other.

But we're nervous, too. Our children are all adults. They're not 15 anymore. We can't treat them like they are. We can't MAKE them pick up socks ... can't MAKE them eat green beans ... can't MAKE them make the choices we think they need to make. Do you know how difficult it is to NOT act like a parent to your own child? After all, I've been doing this for a loooong time. At this point in their lives, our kids don't need a mommy.

For me, that's really difficult. I AM a mom ... and I'm THEIR mom. Our relationship with our children, however, is temporary. Eventually, they all will move out and have families of their own. Yes, we'll still have a relationship, but it won't be the same as when they lived here with us. They won't be here anymore ... leaving shoes in the living room ... leaving dishes by the dishwasher ... leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor. What will they be taking with them? What will be their memories?

My prayer is that while our adult children are living with us that Wes and I will be godly witnesses ... that the kids will see Jesus in us and in spite of us. I don't want them to have memories of a mom hagging about the cleanliness of the house, but one who served cheerfully and gratefully as if she were serving Jesus. I want them to see me as a woman who lives deliberately for Jesus and doesn't react to circumstances. I want them to feel accepted and loved for who they are regardless of their choices ... and their cleanliness!! To me, this is another opportunity to teach, just in different ways than we did when they were younger.

So, it's a full house around here again. What I thought had been a finished chapter has been opened up once again. Obviously, God's not quite finished with the writing of it! In the meantime, we're bursting at the seams (this once empty house is packed!!) and looking forward to all God is doing in our lives and in the lives of our children.

2 comments:

  1. I think you're blessed not only with your lovely family, but having another opportunity to spend quality time with them. THAT BEING SAID....my youngest moved in with us for a summer between college. We were SO careful not to treat her like a kid- no problem coming in late, etc. It didn't work. She was so angry with us for impeding on her summer...never did figure out WHAT she was upset about. Things are good now, but I never figured out how we became so stifling without ever firing a single shot...LOL! Keep us posted!

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  2. Diana, our son Grant (now 21) lived with us in September -- a time for him to pay off some bills and set up different roommates. And we live in a one-bedroom! He was on the fold-out sofa, with his clothes across the Lay-Z-Boy. We wondered how it would go, with him on his own now for more than a year, but it was good. We tried not to pick at him or lecture him (much), and when we did, he was respectful and open to our thoughts....! In between, I got to iron for him a little and do a load of wash, cook for him, and mother him -- just for a month! We discussed books, movies and music a lot, and he played guitar for us. So, it was short-term and a good time. Enjoy the full house while it lasts, and enjoy the different (and improved?) relationship we can have with our children as they grow into young adults. I still can't believe you and Wes have children in their 20s! You are both so young!

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