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Round Um Up Time

May 30, 2012

     Modern busy lifestyles conspire against families taking time to gather together.  Did you ever think about it that way?  Our lifestyle is conspiring against us.

     As a mom, sometimes I feel like a cowboy out on the open range.  “Them cows is spread all over yonder.  With my trusty lasso, it is darn near impossible to round up all them critters!”

     Yesterday my husband and I celebrated 29 years of marriage.  A celebration like this is a prime time for rounding up all my wayward cattle. I wanted a family dinner out on my back patio.  I wanted pleasant conversation and lingering.

     My husband’s two brothers were in town from Houston for my son’s graduation, so they were there.  My married son and daughter-in-law left home remodeling projects and joined us.  My four children, still living at home, were actually home since it was a national holiday and my son, adopted by love, was there with his girlfriend from Maryland; twelve smiling faces surrounding my table.

     I was thrilled.  My dream seemed so near, yet I found out it was still so far.  With a table full of young men and teen boys, I hate to report, the conversation was soon teetering on the edge of the gutter.  It is amazing what they find humorous.  I really should not have been surprised; this is usually the route the conversation goes when all my boys are together.

     Before long my oldest son was ready to leave.  He is not a lingerer.  He comes, he eats, he goes.  He tried to humor me and stayed an additional ten minutes after I used the “but it’s my anniversary” card, but soon he departed.

     My brother-in-laws, who struggled through the gutter teetering were soon being the wonderful servants they are and began clearing the table and headed indoors to clean up the kitchen.

     The rest of the kids had planned on a night swim so they all headed over to the pool.  My husband, trying to avoid a homicide went inside to search the internet for a cap and gown.  My oldest son had failed to produce the promised product.

     There I was, a lone cowboy sitting on the porch without my herd.  My dream lingering dinner had hints of lingering but in the end it sputtered out and died.

     What does it take, short of chaining them to their chairs, to achieve the lingering we mothers dream of?

     The problem is that our lifestyle; the pattern we live every day, is conspiring against us.  Through our own actions and habits we have set things on autopilot.  It is going to take some deliberate intervention to steer this baby away from its pre-programmed course. Habits have been formed.  Mind-sets are firmly in place.  We have created the monster and now it has a mind of its own.

     Oh dear friend, I am with you.  I have not arrived.  But I am telling you we have got to fight the conspiracy.  We must prevail!  If my heart’s desire is to linger with my family, I cannot expect it to just happen if that is not the norm or the usual pattern.  We may need to be a little more calculating. But I refuse to give up.  My family WILL linger!

     I’m going to come up with a plan.  I would love it if you too shared your ideas with me.  My next blog is the plan.  So get ready, I’m taking off the gloves.  This means war.  I want lingering and I’m going to get it!  So set your focus for lingering.  Hunker down and don’t let anyone move you!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Momma Di permalink
    May 30, 2012 1:28 pm

    I’m anxious to read ‘your plan’ for lingering. I know it is so difficult!! This weekend my oldest daughter, Bethany came home to visit. Oh the plans we had for sitting and sipping tea while chatting. Well, it didn’t happen with three little ones (grandchildren) here. We all did manage to eat dinner on the deck once letting the children enjoy the outdoors while we lingered and chatted. Finally on Monday right before she left to return to Missouri my dear husband suggested he babysit the two older children (we took along the 3 month old) while Bethany and I went to Meijer for a bit of shopping and time alone. I guess I would suggest being creative, coming up with ideas of things to do together, games like the Ungame, asking each family member to come up with a memory that will take 1 – 2 minutes to share and designate a special time after dinner to do so, writing open-end sentences on note cards from which each family member will draw…then give them a few minutes to come up with how to finish the sentence and spend time with each one sharing. The sentences could be…The best time I ever had as a child …… , I’ll always remember when mom….., etc.

  2. Patricia permalink
    May 30, 2012 2:13 pm

    Super glue on the chairs?

  3. jody hollis permalink
    May 30, 2012 6:42 pm

    Debbie on Sunday, everybody was due to get here about 4:00. Janice and I walked to the park and not watching time it was a little after 4 when we got back. Maggie and Larkin were there and she said her mom would be in soon. Well I didn’t have those last minute things ready. so they had to linger. My point is prepare something to be done if you can before you feed them!!! Seems this is when they eat and than run. Give them a time and than have something ready to do before eating.

    Mine were ready to talk to Uncle Jim and Aunt Janice who they have not seen in years so they did stay. David was the first to leave but he was a jewell and did so well for this I give God the praise. Jody

  4. June 1, 2012 12:48 pm

    Hey Debbie, I am with you!! I love to linger and enjoy beautiful moments of sharing with my family all together especially at the end of the day. Everyone hops on our queen size bed or sits on the floor. It makes my heart sing to be together like this. ♪♫♪ I always encourage these moments and hopefully we will have many more. Blessings for you and yours in this too. 🙂

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