Well, there’s the love. Also the way the older children step in and lift the burdens for mom. And the way having younger siblings teachs responsibility.
Take this charming anecdote from Danielle Bean:
�First you kneel down in there and say �Bless me Father, for I have sinned,�� I overheard Ambrose instructing Juliette this morning. She�ll be making her first confession in March and apparently Ambrose has decided it�s time to start preparing her. As I made breakfast, I listened in while he walked her through the steps of making a confession, introduced her new vocabulary words like �absolution,� and then quizzed her on the seven sacraments.
Later on, Gabrielle surprised me by reciting the alphabet, complete with letter sounds and example words. �S makes the ssss sound like in snake! F makes the ffff sound like fish!� she announced cheerily.
�Who taught you that?� I asked.
Finally, as we were picking up our school books, I noticed Raphael with (of course) a spatula in hand. But this was a metal one and he was waving it dangerously near the dining room floor. Before I could intervene, however, Eamon swooped in. He removed the spatula from his little brother�s hand and gently told him, �We can�t play like that in here.� When this terrific injustice made Raphael cry, Eamon scooped him up and hugged him. �Let�s go find your ball!� he said.
I am beginning to feel just a little bit obsolete. I am sure that becoming superfluous in her own household is a very troubling thing for a mother. So troubling, in fact, that I plan to nurse my sore feelings over a quiet cup of tea this afternoon. All by my myself.
I hope Danielle enjoyed her well-earned cup of tea.