It occurs to me that after discussing my parenting challenges and frustrations a few times here, I should share a bit about my children to reassure you all that I do, indeed, know how very blessed I am.
We have four children ranging from 2nd grade to 8th grade. It took us several years to conceive the first time, but then . . . I didn’t seem to have any more trouble. I joke that our kids are like potato chips–we had one and just couldn’t stop.
Let me recount the wonderful things about them as a group:
- They all get (mostly) good grades.
- They can all swim passably well for their ages.
- They can all read, and two of them regularly choose to read for pure enjoyment.
- All of them have, at some point, come face to face with the truth of their sin and confessed a belief in Jesus Christ as Savior.
- Most of the time, they are a fairly compliant and well-ordered group, by and large doing the things they should do and avoiding the things they shouldn’t do.
- They eat their vegetables.
- As a group, they are a reasonably healthy lot with no serious chronic, long-term, or debilitating issues.
- I am fairly certain that all of them would test rather high on an IQ test.
- They are generous, imaginative, and creative.
Because I don’t want to give out too many identifying details, I intend to give them nicknames here on the blog. We shall call eldest the Boy Scout. Boy Scout is a misplaced warrior. Had he been born in another era, he would have begged for a position as squire to a knight, I have no doubt. Boy Scout is optimistic, though, about his prospects, even when he seems to have no prospects. He approaches life with an attitude of abandon and adventure, always willing and ready to see what’s next. He’s bright and fun, a natural leader, and he has a gift for words, both written and spoken.
Hermione, our eldest daughter, is just as her nickname implies–a girl addicted to books, driven to succeed, and unwaveringly loyal to some very worthwhile things. She is stubborn to a fault, but it serves her well; she is not one to easily bow to peer pressure or succumb to teenage-girl drama. She loves science and math and wants more than anything to be a nurse when she’s grown. Along with our second son, we can always count on Hermione to drop a witty comment at an opportune (or inopportune) moment. Such comments are often at the expense of Boy Scout, but he doesn’t seem to mind and usually laughs at her as much as the rest of us do.
Second son shall be dubbed Tiger because of his ferocity. He’s a builder, an engineer, an architect. Whether it’s a LEGO structure or an electrical circuit or a Minecraft world, he’s always thinking of something he can make. He’s wired to build things. Beauty is important to him; he’s a natty dresser who looks for any excuse to put on a tie or a dress shirt. He has a subtle and biting wit that occasionally requires us to scold him even as we resist the urge to laugh. He has an extremely strong sense of justice and right and wrong. We are convinced that Tiger will either become an evil overlord or a great and noble savior of some kind. He’s a schemer, that one. If he can just use his powers for good instead of for evil . . .
Youngest child and second daughter is our little Lucy Pevensie. Like Lucy, she’s valiant, imaginative, and diplomatic. Our Lucy is absolutely fearless and willing to try anything. She has a big personality that barely fits in her 8-year-old body. She’s a child who sparkles in a crowd. She is intensely relational and desires everyone to feel included. Our little Lucy never stops moving unless she’s asleep. She’s a constant multi-tasker who has to color or play with toys even while she’s watching TV. Lucy is as likely to be painting her toenails as to be outside with Boy Scout sparring with toy swords.
Of course, these ducklings are not perfect. They are loud, messy, frequently sticky or stinky. They often remind me of an Egyptian plague when they sit down to eat, and I have been known to call them locusts when they leave nary a crumb for our resident direwolf (all right, she’s actually a 12-year-old black lab). They bicker and fight, they talk back, they break things, they fall down, they get sick, and they often make very inconvenient and unwise decisions.
In short, they are human.
I do, indeed, have every reason to feel blessed. These children are my blessings, my joys, and my treasures–my ducklings.
Till next we meet . . .