Forty Year Old Pony

(Cutting it close today, I know.  We just got back into town and I forgot that I had to post today.  If it weren’t for my wife, I would’ve had to have back dated a post.)

We just got back from my folks house and there I got the opportunity to watch ~A~ enjoy one of my favorite toys from ancient times:  “Wonder Horse”.

Back in the day, I was a real cowboy, and a cowboy has got to have a horse.  (Sorry, but I didn’t have a picture of me riding the horse…)

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I remember riding that horse for hours at a time, rounding up cattle and galloping like the wind.

I was a real cowboy and “Wonder Horse,” with a “WH” brand on his haunches, was my horse.

Believe it or not, he was still alive when my parents dug him out of the attic for little ~A~ to enjoy.

~A~ was a bit lukewarm towards “Wonder Horse” at first, but warmed up to him after a bit and he started to really enjoy himself.

 

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And decided to bring a friend along for the ride.

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And just a comment for all those toy safety advocates out there: This sucker would never pass muster today.  Springs that could pinch little fingers, sharp edges not covered in plastic. You could get bucked off this sucker and get hurt easily. 

But I never remember any injury from “Wonder Horse.” I never remember pinching my fingers, and I’ll tell you what:

There is no way that some cheap, nanny-state-manufactured-hunk-of-plastic horse could ever last as long as or give a ride as good as that 40 year old Wonder Horse.

Another future cowboy agrees.

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Uncharted Waters

2010_02Feb_2853I found the following entry in my journal about the same time as I finished the nursery.  It gives an idea of my thoughts a month before the baby was born:

March 2, 2010

When Christopher Columbus set sail, he had no idea where he was going.  He was trying to sail west to go east and prove a crazy idea. But it could have all ended with his ship falling off the edge of the world.

We’re heading in uncharted waters with a new baby on the way.  Only another month.  We’ve traveled this path before, but never like this.  How do I be a father to a newborn and a teenager?  I guess I’ll have to figure that out as we go along.  This is a baby of promise. An answered to a prayer, although the timing wasn’t expected. So what does that mean?  How will this change the life that we’ve been living up until now.

In more ways than I can imagine, I expect.  I’ll have to be less selfish, have less free time, spread myself thinner.  Make ends meet.  But it will be good.  There will be new jokes, new laughter, new surprises, new perspectives.  And that is a good thing.

When I walk by the nursery, I picture a little wad of a thing all curled up with eyes closed, breathing baby breaths, sighing baby sighs. I hear the plaintive cries, the flailing arms, the helpless babe.  I can help him.  There is room in this house for another.  There is room in my heart for another child.  It wasn’t there months ago, but it is there now.  We’re going through with this thing whether we like it or not.

I also can see ~D~, especially, driving the kid crazy.  I was merciless to my little sister (10 years younger than me), making her cry on purpose.  A frustrating older brother.  Oh, I’m sorry little one. I will try to help you, but you’re in the family now, so you’ll get picked on like the next guy.

But I think you’ll find a pal in ~K~.  He’s more sensitive and patient.  He’ll show you the ropes and play with you and be a big brother to you.  He talks big, but is a real softy underneath and will defend you when you’re down.

Oh, and don’t worry about Mommy.  You’ll never feel unloved with her around.  Yup, kid, you’ve picked a good family and we’ll be glad to see you when you decide to come.

 

Extreme Office Makeover

One of the sacrifices that I had to make before the arrival of our 3rd son was that I had to give up the room that was my office.  A new coat of paint and some nursery accessories was all that was needed to transform the room.

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One thing that I’ve learned in the last few years was how to put paint on a wall (much easier than wallpaper!), so getting the room ready only took a couple of Saturdays.

We dusted off the old crib and changing table that had been in storage for about 9 years. They cleaned up pretty good.

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Five Months

A little over a year ago, we were a happy family of four without a clue that our world would turn upside down.  We planned a yard sale to get rid of all of our baby stuff. And a week before the sale, along came news of number 3.

Little ~A~ turned 5 months this week and he has certainly stolen our hearts.

After being out of the baby game for 10 years, you forget all the little stuff:

  • Their complete and utter helplessness to do anything at first. Luckily they learn quickly.
  • The baby sounds: breathing, cooing, laughing. It melts your heart.
  • The smell of curdled baby spit-up.
  • Phantom crying: You think you hear the baby crying in the middle of the night only to get up and find him sleeping soundly.
  • Sleep deprivation.  (It gets better after the first month or so.  But oh, that first month is a kicker.)

~A~ has some of his own uniqueness that he has brought to our family.  He is very easy going and mild mannered little boy.  He loves music of any kind.  He’ll sit and listen to the older boys practice their piano.  He’ll listen to me play my guitar (when nobody else can stand it).  He loves it when you sing—so much that I just make up songs anymore and make up a tune, because I can’t think of any of the baby songs that we used to sing.

He laughs at just about anything his older brothers do.  They make a funny face and it cracks him up. And ~K~ comes looking for ~A~ during the day, to talk to him and play with him just because he misses his company.  Little ~A~ has his brothers wrapped around his little finger.  They would do anything for him (except change a stinky diaper).

A year ago, I would never have believed that we’d experience all this again. But we are certainly blessed that God chose ~A~ to be a part of our family.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

One Day at a Time

It’s those days when you didn’t sleep well and wake up realizing that you have 5 meetings before noon and 3 afterwards. And then those meetings turn into beatings and you want to go hide in a cave.

It’s those days when you end up with more work to do when you finish than when you started.

It’s those days when you finally get the baby down and sit down to catch a breath, only to find 2 other children needing your attention because you’ve practically ignored them all week.

It’s those days when you can’t hardly see straight.

2010_04Apr_3021 It’s those days when you realize that in only a few short years you’ll be teaching one son to drive and taking another to pre-school. And then you realize that only a few short years later there will be 2 out of the house and you’ll have an only child.  Should we go for one more? Oh, I don’t know if I can do this again.

How will I survive? I don’t think I can make it!

One day at a time.

I don’t think that it was an accident that Jesus said:

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

– Matt. 6:34

I can say a hearty “Amen” to that last statement. 

And in the same passage, Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  God gives us the strength to make it through this day, not the next week or month. 

Taking a day at a time seems to come fast enough without trying to handle the upcoming years.  And I can’t do anything about those right now anyway.

So I’ll keep praying for the strength to make it through the day and take it one day at a time.