Last night, just before it was time to get them ready for bed, Judah asked me if he could have a glass of milk. Typically we don't give them liquids so close to bedtime as they both have the ability of soaking through their diaper, pajamas and all their bedding if they are given anything too close to bedtime. As I was about to deny his request Paul spoke up and said "Why don't we give them some milk, turn out all the lights and then sit in front of the fireplace together and watch the fire?"
So we did that. I gave them their milk while Paul turned out the lights and turned on the fireplace. I grabbed a blanket and we cuddled in next to each other while watching the dancing flames. After a few moments (after his milk was gone!) Judah said "Daddy, wanna sing a Mommy song with me?"
A "Mommy song" is his newest thing - he sits at the piano and makes up love songs to me. While he does this on his own it is greatly encouraged by Paul and he likes to ask Paul to help him sing his "Mommy songs". I simply adore his songs.
With the fire glowing Paul and Judah sat down and played the piano together while Judah sang away and Wesley danced to his hearts content - and in the midst of the beauty and warmth I was overwhelmed with thankfulness and joy. I sat watching them and thanked God for the beautiful blessings He has given to me - the little lives He has entrusted to me and the kind husband that cherishes his sons.
And while I was sitting in thankful contemplation a chain of thoughts came to me.
First, was that I was thankful for how involved Paul is with the boys. He changes their diapers. He calms their fears. He wipes away their tears. He makes up silly songs with them. He dances with them. He shoots bad guys with them. Sometimes he IS the bad guy for them to shoot. He is fully immersed in their lives.
While on that thought I suddenly, and vividly, remember many moments through the boys infancy where Paul would step in to "help" when they were overtired, upset, hungry - he had very different ideas on how things should be done with the boys and by the grace of God I bit my tongue and let him be involved and carry out his own ideas. It's not that his ideas were bad ideas they were just entirely different than how I, as a mother, would do things. Even the way he played was completely different and not how I thought a baby should be played with.
I certainly had moments of messing up and telling him he was doing it wrong and that my way was right and I constantly struggled with letting him swing the boys as high as he wanted, him introducing spicier foods to them, his thoughts on discipline, etc. It sounds silly now that those were even issues to me, but they were. When we had a difference of opinion in what to do with our boys it was my natural inclination to think I was right because I was the mom.
But I am thankful that even though it was my natural inclination God was - and still is - working in my life and He helped me to keep (most!) of my thoughts to myself and lovingly and respectfully go along with Paul's thoughts on raising our boys.
My thoughts came full circle as I realized that the cherished moment we were sharing was because Paul had suggested an idea (drink milk in front of the fire) and I had happily gone along with the idea (even though it was so close to bedtime and we try to avoid drinks then). I realized, with great joy, that when Paul suggested the milk it hadn't even crossed my mind that it was a bad idea.
My purpose in sharing this is twofold - first to encourage mothers and wives to fully embrace their husbands opinions and thoughts on how things should be done in all areas of the home, but specifically with the children - even if it is totally not how you would do it. The children - and you! - will be enormously blessed with his involvement.
Secondly it is to encourage you to continually take your struggles to the Lord and ask Him for help. Your struggles may be entirely different than mine - in fact in reading this you may think me a horrible wife for sometimes thinking that Paul's ideas might not be as good as my own when it comes to the children. But regardless, God is faithful and mighty and gracious.