When our boys were at home

Reflections for parents of young children.

It seems like only yesterday our boys were living in the home at 9 Canterbury. The house was full.

The house was loud. (What does “inside voices” even mean to an 8 year old boy?)

Balls were constantly flying through the air. (A lamp or two may have lost its life during these days.)

The floor was used as a wrestling ring. (And, I usually got to hear one boy squeal and Cheryl say, “Someone’s going to get hurt!”)

Every night seemed like it was filled with a practice or ballgame. (We ran a taxi service it seemed at times.)

We had little “free time” for ourselves. (And, thankfully we stole every moment we could.)

Clothes were left lying on the floor. (No matter how many times you warned them not to be.)

The toilets weren’t always flushed. (And, that’s all I’ve got to say about that.)

The boys usually didn’t help around the house unless forced to do so. (It was like they didn’t even notice everything which needed to be done.)

They left the top off the toothpaste. (One of my pet peeves – and they often squeezed the tube in the middle – another pet peeeve.)

They didn’t want to go to bed on time. (And, they had a million excuses why they needed to stay up later.)

They didn’t want to get up in the morning. (Does “We’re going to be late” even motivate a child?)

I hated science projects. (And, they had lots of science projects – all announced to us days before they were due – sometimes even the night before they were due.)

There were endless hours of them performing “shows” for us. They would pick out one of their favorite songs – “Dancing with the Dinosaurs” by Steven Curtis Chapman first comes to my mind – and “perform” a dance routine for us. And, of course, we were expected to be their biggest fans. (They may hate I shared this one.)

We sacrificed a lot for them. They really did take a lot of our time. Just being honest, in some ways, they ‘cramped our style’. They consistently altered our plans, so we could help them with their plans. And, they never seemed to realize it either. 

And, you know what?

I miss those days. A lot. 

Some days more than ever. Those days were some of the best days of my life.

Do you still have kids at home?

Those days pass so quickly. One day you have clothes lying on the floor and it seems like only the next day you have an eerily empty bedroom.

Don’t neglect the good days.

One day you’ll miss them too!

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30 thoughts on “When our boys were at home

  1. Just found your blog and think we have a lot in common in makeup if not in actual life situations presently. Our boys are 6 and 4 and their sister is 2, all with birthdays this summer. It's loud, sometimes aggravating, and sometimes hilarious. It's good to hear from folks like you who are further up the road that remind us to enjoy the journey. Thanks!

  2. being married is hard at times and at times its easy as pie.. its called life. how you deal with it will determine how long yours last. mine is going on 37 years. will be 38 on dec 13th. we have fussed and fought and made up and moved on and forgotten why we fought so many times. but the important thing is we loved each other very much through it all. we found grace community Church 6 months after it started and it was the place for us. we found out God had not given up on us but we had given up on him. Do not give up on your spouse. talk things out as if Jesus was beside you leading the conversation. bless everyone out there.

  3. Great post Ron. Thanks for the reminder! Time is slipping away. 1 in college, 1 graduating in 3 weeks from HS & 2 in HS & growing up way too fast.

  4. My kids are 23 and 18. My daughter went through a divorce a year ago so she moved back home. My kids are so entertaining to watch since they get along so well. I'm very thankful for that!

    My daughter has plans to marry in 2013, so she will, sadly, be leaving us again, but we could not be happier with her choice for a husband. He is an adorable young man and we're excited to have him as part of our family. She also goes to school full time for bio-medical science and works full time at a specialty pharmacy.

    My son is 18 and will be graduating high school next month. I'm so thankful he'll be going to community college for 2 years so I get to keep him at home! He will be working towards a degree in sound technology (basically, audio production) and then will be transferring to a university for a degree in business music, or something like that.

    I dread they day they're both gone. It will be WAY too quiet around here. But on the bright side, I'll have like-new carpeting in their rooms once the clothes are cleaned up! 🙂

    So the question is, what is a stay-at-home mom with no kids at home supposed to do?

    And you have some handsome men, Pastor Ron!
    Twitter: kathyfannon

  5. Ron

    I'm new at "chatting" or tweeting or whatever it's called. Hopefully this isn't the wrong forum, but I feel helpless. I found you by searching "how to win back your wife". It seems that everything we try results in a fight. I try to "be better" and when I slip, the entirety of our relationship, I mean every detail, is relived thru her utter anger. She wants me to "set her free" as though I'm keeping her as a "prisoner" because she/we don't have the money to hire an attorney to get a divorce. She misses "love in her life" and wants a divorce. Says "I am not in love with you and could never be in love with you again". We have two little wonderful boys and I desperately want our marriage to work. I want nothing or no one but her. I want our boys to grow up in a loving family with their mom and their dad together, but she is steadfast, seemingly and.verbally, that they will be better off growing up without us being married so "they won't have to think that this is what marriage should be like. What do I do? If you believed the words she speaks, there is no longer any hope at reconciliation….I have hurt her to deeply, to many times, and she can never forgive it. I have hurt her. I have been selfish and I do talk to her and treat her at times like I would NEVER allow another man to say and do to my wife. But I do love her regardless. Am I to believe that she truly hates me as she says? Is there anything to be hopeful for. I have had a million "last chances", but she's headset on it "being over". Please pray for her. I want her to have peace and happiness. I want a loving marriage more than anything but I don't know how to accomplish that at this point.

    • I don't know that I have answers for you hear that will help. Obviously her heart needs to change for the marriage to work longterm. It sounds as if you would need to make some longterm changes too in the way you talk to her. I would suggest counseling for both of you. Depending on where you live there may be a church nearby that would give you access to free or reduced counseling. Often you can get your wife to go if she feels it will benefit her whether or not you stay together. I'm sure you are both hurting.I'll certainly say a prayer for you both and your marriage. God does still heal hearts if people are willing to submit to His will. I'm hoping she will allow God to work in her life.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

    • Matt, I can relate to your wife, as I feel similar towards my husband at the moment. We even had "words" again last night. Please offer to go to counseling with your wife, discover her love language and speak it (Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages for Couples"), text or call her during the day to make connection with her, take her on dates, take your boys on "dates" (one-on-one man time), apologize sincerely for the things you said and do everything within your power to change your tone. Be patient with her. She's hurt and angry and it will be a long process of healing, but keep working. But most of all…get outside help! Wait…most of all…PRAY! I've seen God do miracles in my friend's marriage and I'm trusting He'll do one in mine. I also believe He will do one in yours as well, but it will take lots of work on your part. Don't give up.
      Twitter: kathyfannon

  6. awwwwww they are all out of the nest and flying! I miss them! Great post! I highly encourage everyone with kids still at home to make memories, because I find myself musing over all the miraculous moments that make such heavenly hindsight! Take Time To Make Moments Into Memories. PS… The reason I found this blog is because my youngest daughter and husband (black hawk pilot) go to your church and when I visit, I go with them! They just gave me a grandson! AWE-GOD!
    Twitter: kmac4him

  7. Aaahhh, this post got me a little choked up :') My son is 16 and my daughter 12, both about to have birthdays. They're AWESOME kids, both involved heavily at church and a joy to be around. I already dread the day they move out. We're taking a big vacation to Washington DC and North Carolina this summer because our son graduates next year and may not be able to go another long vacation for awhile. The thought of my kids graduating, moving out, getting married, etc., brings such mixed emotions, but we've instilled good values and teaching into them so I know they'll do just fine.

    As you said, kids alter our plans and cramp our style sometimes, but I wouldn't trade precious time spent together as a family for the world!!

    Thanks again for this post 🙂

  8. We have 4 kids at home, 4, 3, 1-1/2, and 4 months. I can totally relate to this post, I sometimes struggle with being too future focused and forgetting to enjoy the present. Thanks for the great reminder!
    Twitter: NateMarois

  9. I LOVE THIS!!! I have 4 lovable, wild, selective hearing kids!

    My daughter, Berkley is 11, Jacob is 7 and twin boys Andrew & Joel are 6. So, yes! I’ll take all the prayers I can get!!!

  10. I love this blog! We've gone through all of the above and wouldn't change a thing (other than possibly reminding younger parents to NOT be so obligated to sports, or activities, and outside schedules. We have such great memories through it all, but we loved to go camping when our children were young. Neither played organized sports until later, (we didn't do the tee ball and such) but it (sports) consumed our time. If I had that one thing to do over, I don't know that I would give up our camping time for "outside the family" activities. You can't beat sitting around a campfire or throwing in a fishing line! Yes, I was loud and cheered them on with sports, washed those dirty uniforms over and over…have 1000s of pics of games, trophy parties and such….but just saying, don't become to scheduled with that…KEEP FAMILY TIME above the hectic coming and going of practices, games, etc.

    We do have our 20 year old with us….he is in college (2nd year) and works almost full time hours. We love the fact that he is still home. He does have his side of the house as his own, so the bathroom cleaning sometimes is iffy at best, but I will take it with a smile. Family is everything to me, dirty bathrooms and all…

    Thanks for your continued prayers for families Ron.

  11. Thanks, Ron.
    We are are right at the edge of our last son (of two) leaving home. He’s 17 and graduates high school in a month from now. Sure, he’ll be around this summer but in a few short months will be of on the next journey of his life.
    We’re excited because he will be in the same city as his brother next fall.

    I relate to what you write as those crazy schedules and clothes laying around…and chore battles…AND, AND… are all there now. And I’ll miss every minute of it next fall!

    I’m proud of both of my sons. They love the Lord, first of all. So much potential and giftedness too, but they love the Lord. I pray the continue to walk with God in all they do.
    Twitter: bobbalkcom

  12. We're not quite at the empty nest stage. We have three boys, ages 23, 18 and 17. We've home-schooled all of them through HS (still working that the with youngest two). My wife did almost all of it early on, but I kind of took over when they hit High S; now she is home school free 🙂 🙁

    Oldest has his BA and is attending a film school for a fifth year; you may be watching one of his films some day.

    Middle one is a senior. Dealing with some senioritis, some discipline issues (nothing major), getting priorities straight and just trying to convince him that his mom and I really do know what we're taking about.

    Youngest is probably our most compliant and sometimes I feel like it took three to finally figure out how to parent 🙂

    Like you I hate science projects (although I love science) and we have had and continue to have too many of them. Have dealt with the girl problem with the oldest in which God was very gracious to open his eyes to what my wife and I were seeing. Second son has similar girl problem, but his faith walk isn't as strong, so we pray more.

    Could always use prayer for making the right decisions, #2 sons walk with God, and continued strength and guidance for my wife and I.