All eight of the troops are different. I don't say this out loud for your benefit (I'm sure you're thinking "DUH!"), but for my own. Because sometimes I forget and try to parent them like they are all the same.
I'm learning (slowly) to enjoy and encourage these differences. They are all unique and there are things about each one that make them such a vital part of this family and hold such a distinct and HUGE place in my heart.
There differences are also what annoy the tar out of me. Just sayin'.
But one of our kids (I don't have favorites, but it is what it is), is particularly thoughtful. Helpful. Kind. Generous. Intuitive.
He has a way of realizing "Yes, Mom is about to lose it, again." and jumping into help. Picking up the living room (it's my sanity), vacuuming when the latest craft project has left teeny tiny bits of paper everywhere. Or beads. Or Legos. Or laundry.
He knows when I need a body guard for a late evening trip to Wal-mart (although the early morning trips seem to be more risky). And then suggests a stop at Starbucks on the way home - his treat.
When I need some news songs on my running playlist, he's the one I ask. We like the same music. Which is saying a lot considering the various genres on my ipod. And we look over the race schedules each season to decide which 5K or 10K or 1/2 marathons we are going to run. Although he's about twice as fast as I am.
And his brownies are THE BEST! It's my recipe, but it tastes way better when he makes them.
He takes care of the chickens, the hamsters, the fish AND the crabs. He and his younger brother mow and care for the yard and he shops for, plants, and waters ALL of the flowers each season.
Then week before last?
He tore his ACL in a pre-season football scrimmage.
So my independent, helpful, thoughtful, extremely hard-working son is pretty much totally dependent on me and the rest of the troops for... well... everything.
Super hard for him. He's had a great attitude about it all. I've let him "vent" to me as much as he needs to. But then he turns around and shows such kindness and humor. We've had some good laughs through it all.
Last night after the season opener football game, while I was helping put the compression tight on his hugely swollen foot after he finished his bath (that I had to run for him), then putting the stabilizer back on his knee (while he grimaced the whole time), I was SO frustrated. Not just because I was exhausted and trying to get the littles bathed and to bed, as well. Not just because it had been a super long day. Not just because it was LATE. Not just because we lost our first home game and our quarter back was injured. Not just because I wanted to SLEEP so I could get up and run.
But also because I am sick and tired of my boy being in pain. And we have a long way to go. And it turns out...I have grown to depend on HIM so much.
The gaps around here have been HUGE. We've had to reassign care for all of the pets and to be honest? I don't care for feeding the hamsters. And last week? I threw the hanging ferns on the front porch away because I kept forgetting to water them (also his job).
So yes, we are all different here at the troops. And thank the Lord we are all still learning how to love one another and serve one another and get along. Me, included.
Surgery is Wednesday. Prayers appreciated. Coffee donations accepted.