Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Fly On The Couch And Lessons In Parenting

We should have crises more often. They can be very encouraging. Folks that have sane, quiet lives may never have the opportunity to be encouraged in the way I have recently. Of course, they may never have the need to be encouraged as I have needed, but still.

The first several weeks of morning sickness were not the most exciting of days, but they were manageable, and I was able to function with relative normalcy. I was beginning to think that the dandelion tincture I had been taking to help clean up my liver before the next pregnancy had worked. Gleeful that I might make it through this season unscathed, I was rather taken aback as I rounded the next corner. Apparently I rounded said corner only to run smack in to a wall.

From my perspective as a couch vegetable these past few days, I have been surprised by some gaps in my parenting (was the four-year old always this good at talking her way out of trouble?), and tickled pink by others (when did my ten year old become so good with the baby?) My dizziness and nausea from being pregnant and my fatigue from nursing while pregnant left me a good excuse no other option but to be the proverbial fly on the couch wall. Sometimes I was able to give instructions, other times I could only be at the mercy of whatever training had previously taken hold.

As I watched the children manage their work and help each other, I realized that this was a definite step above the workings of normal life. This Mom's-out-of-commission emergency has allowed my children to rise to the occasion and grow to a new level. Their head knowledge is getting some practical, hands-on experience and I can see their individual and collective self respect increase. I am also watching as their level of respect for each other is growing.

Tonight, because all hands were on deck and needed in other areas, our eight year old son (you know, the middle child, who the experts say is supposedly left out and ignored), made dinner. I laid on the couch and read him the instructions, as he made Sue Gregg's Salmon Quiche alone. When the children asked (as they always do) what was for dinner, I proudly announced that the Dreamer was making it, and they should ask him. When the shock wore off, it became obvious by the children's expressions and exclamations that this boy had just risen to a higher level in their estimation. Wow, he can make dinner? Yeah. He can.

I think he was as shocked as the rest that he really did it. In the midst of a great need (we were hungry), this guy just added to the list of things he can manage well. With three capable child-cooks older than him, If I hadn't been sick on the couch, he may have never had the opportunity. I'm not a big fan of feeling this yucky. I'd gladly avoid it if there were a way. But this I can tell you with certainty: If I had to go through this ten times over, I'd do it... just to see the children look at my Dreamer that way.

And to see him so beaming in pride. You did good, Buddy. You did real good.

Spring 2007 173


  1. Hurray, Dreamer! What a fine young man to rise to the challenge. It sounds as though everyone is really coming together. What a blessed family you have. :)

  2. This is just beautiful, Julie!

    Sowing, and tilling, and adding amendment after amendment to the soil, and weeding, and watering, and praying for sun....and watching and waiting for your seedling to blossom into that strong and fruitful olive shoot...

    ...and then... it's there! And you didn't actually 'see' it grow, but it did. And you stand gazing at the tree with eyes of wonder...

    And you, my lady, found rest and comfort in the shade of that growing tree. The tree HE planted in your garden...

    Enjoy... be blessed...and be satisfied...

    Carla Lynne

  3. Julie Bird,

    I meant to add two things before I hit send...

    One... that dreamer has the smile of one who is a confident chef, and tell him when I come down, I'm a lookin' forward to some salmon quiche... :-)

    Two... four words to remember... during the puking and other glamourous byproducts of bringing forth new life...

    C'mon... repeat after me...


    Made you smile..... :-)

    Carla Lynne

  4. I didn't realize you were expecting.. I knew you were sick.. I didn't put two and two together.

    I'm 13 weeks.. and yes, isn't it lovely to have well trained children! You're a blessed woman indeed!

  5. Congratulations on a successful dinner, Dreamer!
    Isn't it a blessing to have children who take care of momma when she needs it? My 16 yo son is much like Dreamer - he began by cooking eggs for himself-no one was up to do it, so he decided he could do it himself (at age 6)-he's been cooking ever since! I love that I can count on him to help with meals when needed and sometimes he just enjoys cooking as a creative outlet. :-)
    And once you're feeling better, I'd love that Salmon Quiche recipe! :-)

  6. HI I just came here from LAF!!! I love your have so much great info..I can not wait till tonight (when I am finished with the days chores) to come back and read some more!!!

  7. You have been given the gift of observing your children AND seeing how they do when they are somewhat on their own. I went through a season where I was quite ill and my children were left to themselves for approx. 16 months. I was so blessed to see how they did "on their own" and I was somewhat suprised and disapointed to see what hadn't "stuck". It was a good experience for me, not the illness part but the rest of it. :)

    Good for you, Dreamer. :) You did well, better than you may realize.

    Julie, you and Mr Visionary are wonderful parents. Keep up the good work.

    Blessings ~


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