Spiritual Lessons/Practical Homemaking
The Keys to our Siblings Hearts
How thankful I am for my little siblings. As the oldest I have many fond memories of all of my brothers and sisters through the years. I don't remember life without Chris. And I remember the raptures of holding bald chubby Tim when he was just a baby. And FaithAnne's birth.
After the oldest set came Jeremy, Beth and Abbie. The Chubs. When Jeremy, our little premature babe started (finally!) putting on some wait, we fondly called him the "chub". Fourteen months after Jeremy (or "Bud" as we sometimes call him) came Elizabeth. She became the "chubette" which we later shortened to "chub" also. And then a couple more years later came Abigail Grace who now makes the trio the "Chubs".
With a 15+ year gap between the chubs and I, I've felt more like a little mother hen than a sibling to them. I wasn't just playing with them but helping feed, bathe and teach them also. Sometimes "playing" no longer sounds very appealing, but just the other day I succumbed to the pleadings and romped with them. They were thrilled. The were re-enacting a book (the entire novel, mind you) and I had to recite my lines. We had a great time. Once, while riding the Gryphon (my bed) we were screaming so loudly that mom called up the stairway -- "Chubs! That's too loud!" We laughed until we cried because I had been yelling just as loud as the Bud, Beth and Abbie. Having a 23 year old getting in trouble for yelling is pretty funny. Not to mention watching a "grown up" sword fence and killing goblins.
Why do I ever hesitate to give my siblings such a little portion of my day? It means one hour sacrificed to me. But to them it means the world. What a trade! I love my chubs. It's amazing how distant you can become with people you live with in the same home. And sometimes I don't even realize it until I make the effort to spend quality time with them. Then the gap stares me in the face. After riding gryphons and stabbing goblins the chubs came to me and talked for quite a while about serious subjects and thoughts only a seven and eight year old can have. Their precious hearts were held out, wide and open. Why? Because I had taken the key to their hearts when they offered it. How simple. The only difficulty is recognizing their offering. It normally looks impish and sounds like "Toni, you want to play with us?" How many oppertunities of reaching a child's heart are missed, simply because we adults can't take the time. We forget the way to their heart.
I've heard so many regrets from older siblings or adults. The child they wish to reach is closed off and distant. They no longer seek quality time. They aren't offering up the key because it's been rejected too often. Even young teens hold the same key as the younger children. They just are shy about offering it up. The key of quality time. It's a love language most children yearn and need and understand. But we can't give one hour. The other night I played "castle set" with Abbie. For only 20 minutes and she loved it! It made her evening and she came to my bed that evening and kissed me and said in her sweet three-year-old way, "Thank you for playing with me Toni."
I'm so blessed to be given this time in my life at home. I have so many passions and hobbies and work and such....but I also am given the gift of sisterhood and before I am given the gift of wifehood I have the ability to take up these offered keys. It's a privilege. So here I come -- where's my sword? I'm about to take on some goblins!