I was finishing up a few stray dishes last night before bed and the little jar of teeth caught my eye. I paused for a second as I picked up the plastic container so I could look into it. Now, I know there are families who save their children's teeth in special made tooth boxes so they can take them out and show them to their own children one day, but I have a completely different system. When I had only one or two children, I did what every good mother does and began putting the first hair clippings away, the first few teeth that fell out, took fifty thousand photos of each wonderful event, etc, but as the family grew, the things I wanted to save became less. Maybe it was because I had less time for putting stuff like that away, but maybe it was because I began to have so many teeth being handed to me that I just began throwing them into the little container over my sink so I could "someday put it away."
We do not do the Tooth Fairy thing, but I do give them some money when a tooth falls out, though when Caleb began pulling out every single loose tooth (even if it was only a teensy bit wobbly!) during a trip up to Vermont, I began to wonder if the money for teeth idea was a good one. I could not have all five of my children running around rich as kings, but toothless to the gums! What would people think?
So, as one after the other handed me a tooth that had fallen out, I placed them in the jar so I would not lose them down the drain. It seemed right at the time. Yet, when I peeked into it last night, I saw such a collection of different sized teeth and I thought to myself, "This is really weird. How many other families have a jar of teeth sitting on their kitchen shelf? Are other families just as strange and quirky as our family?"
I began to think about other things our family does that is just downright crazy and abnormal. Life around our home is certainly never boring. With seven people all living in the same home, each one with a different personality and gifts that God has given him, there is always something going on that makes you want to laugh, cry, or bang your head on the wall. All the children have their specific qualities to them, each providing our home with a wonderful gift and addition to our family. I will not get into details here, but I can see how God created each one perfectly to fit the needs of our family. It is like a puzzle, and each person makes up a part so we can make a complete picture. Since I am a puzzle person, I love every piece!
As I mentioned before, I began to think about the quirks our family has and wanted to list a few. I am curious to see if we are really abnormal with our strangeness, or if we are quite normal compared to other families. I mean, really, how many other homes have a guest toothbrush they keep on the shelf in their bathroom, reserved for those times when a guest comes and informs us they forgot their toothbrush? I love to watch the face of the person requesting a toothbrush as we hand them the worn down, haggered looking brush and say, "Sure, you can use our guest toothbrush. It has been awhile since anyone else used it, so the germs should be gone by now."
Whoever said I am always mellow and never mischievious never really got to know me very well. For those of you who have read my books, you know there is some crazy imagination running around in that brain of mine. Just ask my husband and he will quickly inform you that I have a little streak of crazy that runs through my blood. Just the fact that a I laugh when I watch evil cat videos, you know, the ones that have the cats arching their backs and howling at their owners for no apparent reason. (It kind of makes me think of my own cat once, though it was not a laughing matter for my poor friend at the time!)
Quirky....yes, that is a good word for us. I think it quirky that we listen to the cats chasing each other up and down the hall, smashing into the walls and doors, growling and howling at each other at 11:00 at night. I simply pull the covers over my head so I won't get scratched as Kia races over my face as she runs for cover on the table next to my side of the bed. It is just a part of our nighttime routine.
Speaking of nighttime routine, how many other families let their children stay up until 10:00 at night, so caught up in some project or another that they forget to send them to bed? Or, even if I get them into bed at a decent hour, I suddenly get the idea that tickling them is fun. I then get them all riled up and they cannot settle down for another hour after that! I remember Eric Capacci's stories of how he and his family would be up at midnight, eating bowls of cereal before he sent his children to bed. It makes me feel a little better to know I am not alone in my lack of consistency of early bedtime, but sometimes I wish I had the same energy that he has!
I asked Joe last night if he could think of anything strange we do and he mentioned the fact that instead of sniffing the children to see if they have a dirty diaper (we have been out of diapers for two-plus years now-yeah!), we now sniff their hair to see if they need to take a shower. Talk about crazy habits!
I know this is a strange way of writing an end of the year blog, but to be honest, all that I mentioned above is some of the things that make a year so exciting. So much has happened over the last twelve months, and I am so thankful to my Lord how He has once again blessed us with good health, a car that continues to run (even though I thought this would be my Caravan's last year)a house that has minimal problems, a good job for Joe, a wonderful church and pastor (who continues to remain healthy), good friends, another book published and released, answered prayers, and a promise for an awesome year to come with many new and exciting opportunities for our family.
Many years ago I wrote a poem about the new year and thought it appropriate to put it here for all to read. I do not dread the new year like I once did when I was a teenager. Not knowing what was ahead often frightened me, but I am happy to say my heart is at peace with the blank slate of 2013, knowing that God is in control and He will be by my side no matter what happens.
Another year has come and gone again,
There were days I thought would never end,
But the Lord saw me through each of them,
I’m so glad that He is always by my side.
As I look back on days gone by,
I’m so amazed how time can fly!
And so it goes moving faster each year,
Leading me down a road, which is unclear.
The road of life has many winding turns,
Lined with holes of lessons to be learned,
What does the coming year hold for me?
Why is a new year so like a mystery?
Wasn’t it just the other day?
When all my thoughts were turned to play?
Now all those happy thoughts of yesterday,
Are now but memories I’ve tucked away.
But as you face those days ahead,
Don’t let your mind be filled with dread.
Just open up your heart and take the key,
Jesus is the way for all you see.
(Copyright Cara Simmons 1994)
By the way, if you are still wondering about our guest toothbrush, I am happy to inform you that we do not actually have the guest use it. We do have clean, unopened brushes saved for that very reason. Yet, the reactions we get are priceless. And I often wonder where some of my children get their passion for teasing others...hmm...better rethink that whole idea. Awww, maybe next year.....;)
Here's to the wonderful close of 2012, and many blessings to come in 2013!
Happy New Year, my friends! God bless you!