Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Clean Van

Before we had kids, JB and I had many years to observe our friends and acquaintances having kids. JB is the second oldest of six children, and I had grown up babysitting and surrounded by children continually. We were not strangers to parenthood or how things could go down.

Generally, most all of the things we promised we would do when we had kids have come to pass. We vowed things like:

  • We will raise our children to serve and love the Lord ... For sure.
  • We will not be late all the time because we had kids ... We are not.
  • We will feed our children pretty healthy food ... We do.
  • We will not be afraid to spend time away from our kiddos ... Want to babysit?
  • We will be consistent in our discipline ... We are.
  • We will not lavish things on our children ... They wish we did.
  • We will expose our children to other cultures and places ... Yep.
  • We will not let our children think they run the universe ... No way.
I could go on and on but you could get the idea. We created a lot of guidelines for how we would do it when we had children. Some of these were established when we saw our friends and family getting it right. And some were established when we saw people who were, in our opinion, doing it wrong. 

Okay so fast forward ten years. Our list is established and through a variety of miracles, we have four children.

Time to enact our list of vows.

Generally, we found that the list was going well. We were sticking pretty tightly to our goals for raising children.

However, there were two areas that we found ourselves lacking. The first is in the area of toys. We had vowed that:
  1. Our kids would only have a few toys ... Not.
This is one area that we have changed our minds. We still really try to limit what we have in the house. I am constantly moving things out for something else to be moved in. However, we have really come to realize that in order to instill the values that we want for our family -- namely no TV or video games -- having educational options around our house was very needed. Legos, board games, Magnatiles, a doll house ... we think these toys fit that bill.

But we also vowed that:

     2. We would NOT have one of those disgusting mini-vans ... Ugh!

You know what I am talking about! I am talking about the mom-vehicle. The one that when you open the door you can smell a combination of old apple juice, cheerios, and gold fish before your nose even meets with the air. The kind of vehicle that just screams KIDS!!

Not us.

Or so we vowed.

A few months ago, JB climbed into our mini-van and scrunched up his nose. We had finally gotten a second vehicle so he hadn't been in the van in quite some time.

JB: "Wendi?"
Me: "Yes?"
JB: "I smell it."
Me: "I know."
JB: "We vowed it."
Me: "I know."
JB: "We must fix it."
Me: "Go ahead."

And so he did. I told my husband that I just didn't feel capable. There were too many other things on my plate. While I could keep our mini-van basically clean on a daily basis by making sure the kids brought their books and trash and drinks out, getting in there and cleaning the car seats and vacuuming was just not something I had in me. 

My dear husband made a promise that he would be personally responsible for our vehicle from that moment forward. 

He would keep our vow!

And he has. After each long trip we take, while I am putting away clothes and doing laundry, he is out in the van, vacuuming and scrubbing. He does it immediately so it doesn't get put off.

Isn't he awesome?

The other day my cousin Sarah climbed into my van and looked around. She kind of started giggling and in a very surprised voice, remarked, "Wendi. This van is clean. This doesn't look like you have four kids at all!"

I felt like she had given me one of the highest compliments known to mom!

Thanks husband of mine. You and I make a great team.

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