I believe that God sees this going on in my house. I also believe that since He knows when I need it most, He takes pleasure in the way He chooses to reassure me that I'm doing an okay job with my boys.
Every night when I get home from work, despite the fact that it's almost 8 o'clock and they've had to deal with their own homework and the largest part of their day without me and are getting ready to wind down and go to bed in roughly an hour.....
~~Bug will, without fail, stop whatever he's doing to come meet me in the hall, say Mommy! in that way he has with a super-huge smile on his face, give me the biggest hug possible, and ask how my day went. (For the record, this is the ONLY time that boy still calls me Mommy. Maybe he knows I still need that one, sometimes?)
~~Jock, even though being the overly-cool teenager that he is means he has to wait until both his brother and his father are otherwise distracted by the Brain Sucking Device with all the pretty pictures flashing across it in the living room, will --EVERY NIGHT-- come into the kitchen, hop up on the counter, and ask how work went that day. And then proceeds to tell me about his day while I make dinner. (And to some that might sound a mite selfish... telling me about his day. To those people, I will remind you that I need that from him. Every day it feels like a part of me withers away a little more, because he's growing up so damn fast that I can't keep up, and I desperately want to remain an important part of his life.)
~~Bug will often come in and lay on my bed helping me to sort socks on the weekends while I'm doing laundry. And while we're matching up everyone's socks, he just talks. And talks. And talks. But the best part of all his talking is the fact that he will throw in at least five random I Love You's in that twenty minute time period.
~~Jock spent a solid hour in his bathroom today. With the door shut and the radio blaring, I'll admit I started worrying after about 15 minutes. Especially as I didn't hear the shower running. (Those of you with teenage boys know that you don't question a thirty minute shower. Some things are just better left unconfirmed. Trust me on this.) I called through the door to check on him, and when reassured he was fine, I went on about my housekeeping fun. He eventually came out, and I forgot about the entire thing. Until about thirty minutes ago when I went in there. Expecting to find the room in its usual condition -- towels on the floor and on the rack, toothpaste in the sink, the toilet seat (and on the underside of it.....remember--BOYS) in a condition best left undescribed -- I was shocked and amazed to see everything shining and smelling like disinfectant. He had cleaned the entire bathroom himself, without being sent back in at least three times to "do it right".
Nights like this give me hope that I'm raising good boys into good men. Men who will always greet the important people in their lives with enthusiasm. Men who will remember to show interest in the lives of those important to them. Men who will openly share important parts of their lives with those they love.
And perhaps most importantly, men who will always be able to clean up after themselves in the bathroom.