Wednesday, February 25, 2015

When Our Boys Remind Me That Laughter is Often the Best Medicine

I am writing this post mainly as a letter of sorts to myself so that I may read it one day in the future when all of the boys are grown and living on their own.  Just typing those words makes my eye swell with tears.

If I had a million reasons why I love being the mama of boys before last Sunday, I now have a million and one.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling very sick, and decided to stay home with Joseph from Mass and try to rest.  From the couch I could see outside.  The sky was very overcast, and the cold wind swirled around a dusting of snow that was just a couple of inches shy of being deep enough to go sledding.

The boys will be disappointed, they've been waiting all winter to go sledding. 

As I stared out the window into the grey, I felt my heart sink deep.  I cannot be sick, Lord. The sick cannot take care of the sick. Please, make me well. Please.

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur.  Steve's Lyme symptoms are cycling hard again. He is miserable, and I am finding it impossible to separate myself from his pain and frustration.  (I will write more about this later.) My family needs me, I cannot be sick, Lord, there is no time!!

When Steve and the boys returned from Mass, they ate quietly and played games and watched movies downstairs so that I could rest.  I tried hard to sleep, but my restlessness could not be calmed.  I began to feel anxious, because I knew I needed to sleep so that my body could heal before Monday's demands kicked in. Joseph was in a mood, too.  He only wanted me.  Everyone tried to cheer him up, but he fussed and fussed for my arms.

I'm usually not so easily overwhelmed, but I caught myself fighting back tears several times during the day.  Not because I felt sorry for myself, mind you, but because I was consumed with worry. And, every vitamin, essential oil, herbal supplement, healing tea etc., etc. was not working to rid my aching body of the bugs!!

Okay, I was feeling sorry for myself. I do not know how to suffer well. This, I know!

Just as I had resigned myself to the couch, thinking I might try to read with Joseph on my lap, the rest of the boys came charging up from the basement like a herd of donkeys (if you can imagine). Oy vey.

When I heard them digging around for odds and ends in our junk drawer, and strategizing between bursts of laughter and grunting, I realized that they were trying to figure out how to take an old broken Nerf basketball goal and attach it to our back door.
Within minutes they somehow figured out how to McGyver the goal into place.  Shoe laces and duct tape forever, man.
For the next TWO HOURS I completely forgot that I was sick.  Steve and I were wonderfully entertained as we watched with side stitches while all of the boys challenged each other to the most crazy scoring attempts they could come up with.
Off the ceiling, over the wall,  from a headstand,....oh, we belly laughed so hard at their hilarious testosterone charged efforts to get that tattered foam ball through the hoop! I am sure that the roar from their celebration every time they made a bucket could be heard by every neighbor around the block. I saw glimpses into their future college days. This indoor Nerf competition will probably either morph into a drinking game or at least be a serious form of procrastination from studying.  Just keepin' it real.
Even Charlie pulled up a front row seat to watch the action.  He made himself a safe place in the corner with his little stash of snacks and a cup of juice.  Oh, Charlie. You are so loved! I have looked at these pictures a hundred times, they make me so happy.  Splatter stained pajama top, pants pulled up chest high (classy), bed head, bare feet (the best!), and all of his best expressions.  Pure goodness!
Dad obviously had to throw up a couple of shots, ya know, just to remind the boys who they get all of their athletic gifts from.
No basketball for me yet, mom, I'm working on my wrestling moves. I call this the cranial crunch.
I've been super anxious over the past months, praying every sort of prayer possible for the Lord to guide us to a home in the country, because the boys really need room to run and explore and hunt and camp and just be boys. Every chipped up wall and shredded carpet corner reminds me of that.   I worry over everything for them.

Sunday's events settled my heart down (a little).   The boys reminded me to choose contentment, find joy, and to make the most of the present circumstances. In doing so I am able to trust in the Lord's plan for our family and to believe He truly is taking care of our every need.


  1. Susan, I’m sure I’ve said it before, but you have such a beautiful heart. It is radiant and your boys are so blessed to have a mom like you...a mom who prays for them...worries for them...and suffers for them. Not one ounce of that goes unnoticed. I pray you are feeling better (!?) and will promise to pray for the things you mentioned - just because we all need a little boost from the outside every now and then ;) What a great family you have!

  2. I concur with Cynthia, every word! You write so beautifully about being a mother to a passel of boys--a subject that is near and dear to my heart. ;)

    This story you told--about the impromptu basketball contest and all the laughter--is exactly the reason I loved being a mother to all boys so much. These are the sorts of daily occurrences that I miss the most, now that they're all grown up. (Our oldest will welcome a fourth child soon, and our "baby" is about to graduate from college!) But the good news is that no matter how old they get, they never totally lose their boyishness.

    Also, I LOVE Charlie's outfit. So sweet. That's the sort of ensemble that always melted me when my boys were little--and I'll take it over a preppy-perfect get-up any day of the week!

  3. I hope that you are feeling much better now - never easy to be sick as a mom and even harder when your husband isn't 100%.
    Glad that your boys were able to distract you at least for a little while!!!

  4. This really made me smile. Family is such a blessing and can really make you have a whole different perspective and outlook on things. It sounds like your day turned out to be a beautiful one after all.

  5. You have such a wonderful heart. I'm so sorry your husband is dealing with this. I have a good friend that has gone through and is going through the ups and downs of lyme and it's tough. I can't even imagine. Your boys are absolutely beautiful and everytime I read your posts I am reminded to focus on the positive. You really are an inspiration.

  6. Hi Susan, you and Steve are still in my prayers. Remember not to fear tomorrow. We need to remember to do what we are called to do today. It sounds like you were called to rest, and enjoy.
    Peace be with you.


If you are having trouble leaving a comment, please feel free to send me an e-mail or leave a response on my Facebook page. Thanks!