Well, the whole house has been under the weather since our return from Atlanta last week. I think we are finally all on the mend. This week has been busy with preparing for homeschool and getting ready for tutorial to gear up next week. My mind and body have been kicked into high gear with new chore charts, homeschool planning, getting the playroom ready for a real educational environment. Curriculum has been ordered and the weight of my future educational responsibilities have come down across my shoulders. I take it in stride and try not to allow it to overwhelm me.
We opened our ABC Scriptures cards I printed from here and our verse for the day was 1 Thessalonians 5:11"Be kind to one another and build each other up." So today I decided we would just have a low key fun day...and boy was it needed by all. We brought out the water slide, I mowed the grass and we ate about 50 popsicles. I mean what is life if you can't take a moment to enjoy the laughter, the creativity and the love?
I try not to watch the news, especially since I don't want the Brownies exposed to murder, rape and kidnapping stories so openly and widely discussed in graphic detail most of the time. However, with the Olympics, the television has been on for our competitive enjoyment. The boys always root for the "Americans" and if there isn't an American team competing, they chose a team and we pretend to be from that country. In between the Olympic airing, the local news has ran a few stories about kidnappings and fires. I have been talking to the boys for several months about "what if" situations. For example, I ask the Brownies..."If someone offers you candy and you don't know who they are and/or Mom and Dad are not there, what do you do?" The favorite response from the boys is, "I tell them their candy stinks like my booty and a run!" Or what if someone is stealing your brother what do your do...the reply is "I yell for help, bite their hand and give them a spin-jitzu drop kick!" We also talk about other things like when is it ok to take your clothes off and if someone touches them inappropriately. These are all things that I want to prepare them for, just in case they are in a situation and don't know what to do. I want them to know they can talk to me and Daddy Brown about anything and that nothing is off limits. Little Brownie being 3 years old and Big Brownie now 5 years old, I don't think it is to early to talk to them, in age appropriate terms of course, about being prepared.
So along the lines of preparedness, tonight we had our first ever fire drill. At Mother's Day Out last year, the boys were given a basic set of guidelines from the official fireman that came to the church....stop, drop and roll, etc. I have been talking to the boys about what to do if there were a fire in our home. Until tonight, they had never heard the fire alarms activated in our home. So after dinner, I told them we would have an official fire drill. With wide eyed anticipation, they both ran upstairs to their beds. I hit the test button and the whole house began to alarm. The boys did a great job crawling out of their beds, assessing which exit to get out, crawling down the stairs, exiting through a door and running to our neighbors flag pole as our family meeting spot. We drilled from the bedrooms, we drilled from the playroom and we drilled from the living room. However, the most challenging drill came by exiting the back door. We have a fence that only opens from the outside. The boys are both too short to reach the latch, so tonight, I taught them how to climb the fence and jump to freedom. Big Brownie said, "This was the most exciting drill in the history of the world". Little Brownie was not so keen. He got shaky at the top and almost lost his composure. He wanted to grab me, but I assured him I would not let him fall. I explained that in a real fire, I might not be there to get him out and he had to learn to jump off the fence to save his life. I kept reiterating this..."We can replace everything in our home but you. You are the most important treasure we have. Do not go into the burning house looking for Mommy, Daddy, your brother or your dog. You have to get yourself out safe!" I plan to do a few impromptu and unscheduled fire drills with the boys soon to make sure they really get the idea. I plan on using caution tape to mark off areas that are "on fire" so they have to make quick and possibly lifesaving decisions. For it being the first time, the boys did amazing and I was very proud of them!
So after our adventurous drills and as we walked back from our neighbors yard, dusk was upon us. Big Brownie started chasing fireflies in the front yard. Little Brownie followed and before you knew it, they had amassed quite a collection of fireflies. I ran inside to get a jar and my camera. As night fell, I enjoyed sitting on the porch step, watching them run and giggle and laugh with each other. It is truly amazing the gift that God has given us in these two boys. I cannot imagine my life more fulfilled and enriched. After we took baths, read books and sang songs, I reached down to kiss Little Brownie. He reached up with his arms and said, "This was an awesome day Mama...thank you! I will love you forever and always!" My heart swelled to almost tears. I gave him an eskimo kiss and said, "This was the best day of my life, because I got to spend it with you and I love you forever and always". (The boys love for me to read the book, Love you Forever by Robert Munsch.) When I went to tuck Big Brownie in, he was drifting off to sleep. He said, "Mama, can we have another fire drill tomorrow?" I replied, "We'll see". He said, "I'm so glad you are my Mama and I love you forever and always." I kissed him on the head as tears whelped up in my eyes and said, "I will love you forever and always too...now get some sleep." Today has been an amazing day. Quite possibly one of my favorite days...until tomorrow. There will hopefully be more fireflies to catch and more fun to be had, but most importantly, I pray we will always have one another to be kind to and the ability to build each other up.