These have been hard weeks around the TwoSquare household. I have been disorganized and sleepy, the boys have been cooped up from cold, rainy weather, and nothing has been quite right. All of that is an equation for disaster with boys, especially Calvin. The yelling and hitting and emotional meltdowns, the sibling fights that end in biting or shoving, the wound up five-year-old who can't fall asleep until sometime between 10:00 p.m. and midnight have all contributed to the misery.
There have been so many days that I ended on the couch wondering how we will ever see Calvin safely into adulthood, wondering what will become of him if he doesn't learn to reign in his violent, uncontrollable emotions. And then I start wondering how Hobbes will even find his own path or learn to negotiate battles without imitating his brother's anger. And I look at sleeping Linus and wonder what effect seeing all of these battles between brothers and parents and children will have on his sweet personality.
By Friday of this week, we were just entrenched, surrounded by carnage. Every little exchange had become a chance to do battle. Life was miserable, especially between me and Calvin.
But snow was in the forecast. When we packed up our snow clothes and headed out to the in-laws' farm, I had no idea how it would go. Five inches of snow, three days of sledding and snow balls, and many hours by the wood stove later, I am grateful. I am grateful that God knew we needed this time together and away from home, with nothing to do but play and relax, with a big house, lots of snow, and a huge collection of Legos. I am grateful that I heard my eldest laugh and watched him sled with such joyful abandon. I am reminded of this time last year, when I saw that same, genuine smile, one that appears so rarely on his alternately serious and joking or insincere face.
I am grateful that God takes our bloody, war-torn, messed-up lives and washes them white as snow. I am praying that I can remember that, and that we can step back into this week holding onto a bit of that joy and rest that fell on us with the snow.