Know When to Hold 'em

My daughters are in their bunk beds.  My son is on the floor, in their room, in my sleeping bag. They are supposed to be falling asleep but they're playing ask-a-question.  My son just whispered Which one of the Jonas Brothers would you go out with?  I didn't catch their answer; I really don't care.  What I do care about is the fact that for now, my children love being with each other.  Oh, they've got friends, good friends, and have sleepovers and playdates and such, but they also enjoy, beyond those friends, the company of one another.  I'd love to give you a parenting nugget right now, one of those new-kid-by-next-Wednesday type tips that you could take home and try yourself and viola! your kids would love each other.  But I don't have any of those. Why in the holy s'mores my kids get along well these days, I cannot say.  I sure don't believe it's due to savvy parenting skills. What I can say is thank you, thank you very much to the Grace that keeps this world.  And keep on truckin'.  

My middle just whispered Would you rather swim with alligators or battle Voldemort?  Of course, either way you'd probably die.  Her brother and sister laugh and say yeah.  I've got to agree, although if I had to choose, it'd be the alligators; that Voldemort, he's a scary son of a gun.

My youngest just whispered Would you prefer a smoothie with fish guts or an apple-banana-mud-sandwich?  Ah, the third born a clown finally lobs a food category question.  Her siblings' answers are divided against themselves.  The house cannot stand and the game slowly dissolves.  

There's a little more laughter and then their voices fall still, not a creature is stirring.  I'll check on them in a few minutes, make sure the radio's off and the blankets are on.  Summer is here, but the nights in CO are still chilly.  I'll probably do a little whispering myself as I patrol the borders of their room:
Children of mine all in one room together, sleep well. May the Grace that keeps this world keep you safe this airish night.
The Jonas brothers and that sparky Olympian from Dancing with the Stars, or at least boys and girls who look like them, will come along soon enough wanting to date or dance or something. For now, I hope you'll dream of alligators with teeth made of squishy bananas who prefer smoothies with fish guts to kids anyway.  And if that old Voldemort should cross your mind, remember the old magic that kept Harry safe in the first place - his parent's love. If anyone should ask me if I'd rather have you or three other kids who speak two languages fluently and know all the answers to bible trivia and never sneak ice cream for breakfast, I'd say "this gambler wants the cards he was dealt."  And I do.  
If you should need us, the Beagle's sprawled out in the den and Mom and I are just across the hall...only God knows how much I love you.            


  1. This is a really sweet entry (:

  2. Hello, Michael Landon. Sorry. That was unfiltered. He was my favorite TV dad.

    You are blessed, indeed. But then, so are those fish-gut dreaming, ice cream sneaking kiddos. Yes, Grace has a great deal to do with why your kids get along. But so do their awesome folks.

    And a hat tip to Kenny Rogers, too. Lurve that song.

  3. Reminds me of the Waltons, Father Knows Best and Little House on the Prairie. Yep, think Michael Landon is my favorite TV Dad too.

    Thanks for a very touching post...

  4. my girls are loving each other too right now and their giggling and whispering from their beds at night is a familiar sound while i do my nightly cleaning. and i'm always so thankful for their relationship, because it was not like that at all with me and my sister.

  5. What a great post! LOVED it! :)

  6. An awesome educator once told me, "Don't worry! Little boys bond like bear cubs, rolling and wrestling!" As long as there's no blood, I let them bond...

    Now 17 and 14, they remind me often of bear cubs. The other night I could hear boisterous laughter mingled with some sort of grunting and a few clatters.

    Ahhh... the sounds of love!

  7. great questions from the kiddos...

    great thoughts from their Daddy...

  8. Such precious moments. Those are the ones that they will remember forever. Not the perfectly orchestrated parties/events. I still remember giggling and playing "Truth, Dare, Double Dare, Promise or Repeat" with my sister and two of our best friends.

    You are a good dad John, an example for many. Everyone falls short in some ways; but knowing the power of love and grace and embracing & your family are blessed indeed.