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By Brandee Gillham
The Cowboys Wife 

I'll Be Grumpy With You

 

December 9, 2020

As much as I would love to write about the tyrannical measures of the lockdowns, the overreach of government, the uselessness of masks, the election fraud and the absolute absurd idea that a vaccine is going to do one iota of good for our current state of affairs, I am reminded of what my greatest task actually is.

My paramount sphere of influence is within the four walls of my home. I will have the greatest impact right here and I need to be reminded of that right now…. because my heart and mind desperately desire to find ways to cure the above problems.

My primary job as a mama is to raise my cowpokes to fear and love the Lord. As a family who has chosen to home disciple our children through home education we are in close quarters ALL THE TIME. The refining fire is constantly hot in our house.

We regularly talk to our ‘pokes about treating one another with kindness, finding ways to serve one another and showing grace and love while speaking truth. The idea of everything being in balance is a complete farce. My house is full of sinners saved by grace and it is regularly chaotic.

One of the dynamics of raising my brood of boys is the large age gap between my two older ‘pokes and my two lil’ ‘pokes. There was a seven year gap in which I fought cancer that created a delay in continuing our family. With that space in ages it creates very different need for my groups of ‘pokes. When the older ones what to go hang out with friends, my littles need to be taking a nap, or when the littles want to jump around wildly there is an older boy who is trying to focus on pre-algebra, etc. You get the idea…

My older ‘pokes do a remarkable job of working with their little brothers. They will wipe their faces if they are dirty, they will put their shoes on if we are headed out of the house, they carry them around and play with them often. Truly they are outstanding older brothers.

Although my ‘pokes are often kind to one another they are occasionally little turdlets. Yesterday was no exception. The older boys wanted to play jacks by themselves, so they were trying to hide downstairs and play on the floor. They knew to put up a baby gate so the littles couldn’t get to them. Their plan was foiled with the littles breeched the line and pushed the gate right over. “Mooooooom!”

Then the olders wanted to play Jenga (which is a block stacking game) and what little boys doesn’t want to push over a large pile of wooden blocks? Their second plan to ostracize their little brothers was ruined again. I gently reminded my olders that their little brothers loved them and wanted to be with them. “We just want to do what we want to do without them once in a while!”

As much as I understood this sentiment from being the oldest of four sisters myself, I was not going to tolerate unkindness in my home. I told the older ‘pokes that they must find a way to include the littles.

“We are just going to sit here and stare at the wall and watch the paint,” touted my oldest. I thought that will work for everyone and it might be quiet for one small moment. The three year-old returned to his older brothers and asked what they were doing. The second oldest said, “We are just sitting here being grumpy.”

Then the most profound thing happened. My lil’ ‘poke evaluated the scene and thought hard and despite being in a completely jovial mood, he sat down on the floor and said, “I guess, I’ll just sit here and be grumpy with you.”

The unkind and selfish dispositions quickly faded away. My older ‘pokes were reminded that their little brother loved and admired them so much that he was willing to do absolutely nothing and pretend to be upset, just so he could be with them.

There were a lot of conversations that followed this encounter, but the reality is that I have the opportunity to work through these moments with my kids each and every day.

Although it is the most taxing job I’ve ever had, I wouldn’t change it for the world. They are my greatest sphere of influence and I fully intend to raise my children in the way they should go, so when they are old they will not depart from it.

 

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