The last couple of weeks have been very stressful for me. I am feeling the "weight" of this pregnancy and a very unprepared to have a 4th child come into this home both physically and mentally. I am trying to gear myself up for a summer of no kids in school with a brand new baby, thinking of ways I can keep all 4 happy and still maintain my sanity. Maybe I am worrying about it too much, or maybe somewhere deep in my internal self I am realizing just what a challenge this will be. I can't tell for sure.
To add to the stress our van died. I loved this van. We bought it 2 years ago from some friends for a great price and it has been a big blessing to us. I never thought I would say it but I loved driving my mini van. Over the past year we have put quite a bit of money into it, new radiator, new water pump, breaks, and in February a new electrical system. So two weeks ago when we blew an external gasket I was totally bummed. This van was 10 years old but still felt like new to us. I couldn't justify spending three thousand dollars to fix a van that was only worth about $3500, especially after we had spent so much money on it during the last year. I felt like we were buying it all over again. Thankfully the van broke down right before spring break so we had some time before we would need a car again. After much thought and prayer we decided that it was better for us in the long run to go and find a newer more reliable car.
We got an amazing deal on our new van, a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country! We saved over $4000 and I felt like things just fell into place for us. Yesterday we had to take the new van into the dealership so they could install the keyless entry system. The dealership is in the next town over and I was told that this appointment would take at least an hour. I couldn't schedule a time to do it when the older two kids were in school, the guy only does the installs in the morning. Bummer! I didn't want to take all 3 kids and sit for a hour in their department but if we dropped the car off, by the time we got home we would have to turn around and go back. So I packed plenty of coloring books, toys and things to keep the kids occupied and explained to them that we would be sitting in a room for a long time and I expected them to behave. I hoped that no one else was there waiting and we could have the waiting room all to ourselves. I will admit while driving there I even threatened the kids that there would be big time punishment if they misbehaved! I was a little worried about how this would play out.
When we got there and walked into the waiting room there was only one other person there. He was a much older gentleman with white hair. Great I thought, why couldn't it be someone younger or a woman. They might be more sympathetic to my kids running around and acting up because they are tired of sitting in a room for so long. But this is where my kids amazed me. We sat down and every one of them took out something to color or play with. They whispered to each other, and played so quietly I was even able to read an entire magazine myself while we waited. When they needed to use the restroom they politely asked. They shared their toys with each other without fighting, no one tattled. Not one fight, no one spilled their snack on the floor. I didn't even have to ask them to put their trash away. They did it all on their own. Eventually more and more people filled the waiting room. Vai and Girly would give up their seats to the adults who came in without being asked. At one point I wondered whose kids were these anyway!
Finally as people came and went we were back to the original man and myself with the kids. When his car was finished he came over to me as he was walking out and said. Your kids are some of the most well behaved kids I have ever seen. They are beautiful and you should be very proud of them. I have never seen such young kids behave so well. Wow! He was right. I at that moment I was so proud of them. I was almost brought to tears, it was so nice of this man to recognize how hard my kids were trying to be on their best behavior. When we got into the car to leave I told them how happy I was about how good they behaved. They earned a big reward.
Sometimes I feel like all my parenting efforts are for nothing. Even though I am trying to raise well behaved responsible kids there is no visible sign of that. Yesterday my beautiful children showed me differently.