Monday, January 19, 2009

Love One Another


Wall climbing at the Longmont Rec Center this weekend

"Love one another"! That's what the sidewalk inscription read. Saturday as I was riding my bike with Nadia and Julia, I stopped to wait for the girls at this particular spot for no other apparent reason. I looked down at the scribbled words and at first I thought it would read someone's name or a "Jack loves Jill" type of thing. But no, there it was. Someone had come out (10 or more years ago) and written those words in the drying concrete. The sun was shining, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, it was 60-ish degrees, the mountains were gleaming in their majesty, and overhead (no kidding) a Bald-Eagle was circling over me and the girls. The girls rode up behind me and kept quiet as I said a quick prayer for all that has been bestowed upon me. I told them about the importance of the bird circling over us and that she was a national treasure, the most important bird to the US and a rare treat to see one.

I explained to the girls about the writing. I hope they understood, I don't know. The kids have been struggling with that one lately. We have only a short list of 10 rules in the Rogé home. The first and most important one is this: Be kind (or nice) and love one another. However, they have a knock-down-drag-out fight at least once a day. Usually Nadia wins with one of the other two in tears or extremely upset. She has a way of stabbing them in the heart with her words. On the rare occasion (yesterday) when she loses, she pouts and force-crys. I call it pretend crying because she makes herself do it. I am constantly reminding them of rule #1!

Of course, I see it for what it's all about. Nadia is losing her reign, her control, her power over the other two. The other two now realize, through the empowerment Heidi and I have given them, that they too have an opinion and that it can be heard and expressed. Also, a lot of times, Nadia just wants her way. She tells the other two that they can't do this or they can't do that for no other reason other than it is her will. Julia and Kolya are branching out and pushing past Nadia's boundaries and control. For the first time in their young lives, they are free.

I don't want to paint a dismal picture because actually, things are wonderful. This is really our one and only source of pain right now. I call it growing pains because the little ones are growing into their own and Nadia is growing into her new role of eldest sibling instead of mother-hen. The kids are extremely clingy and needy right now, too. They constantly compete for our attention and we can't be in all places at all times. This weekend at the pool I tried my best to equally divide my time between them. But as usual, one or more of them thinks that you are spending all your time with someone else and they get moody and pouty. We had to leave after one such episode. No matter that you are at the pool with slides, a lazy river, a diving board, etc, etc, Ugghh! During bedtime reading, they will time you on their watches to see who is getting more parent time. I routinely hear, "Koya, 25 minutes. Julia 30 minutes. Me, 5 minutes!", followed by fake "boo-hoo-hoo". I jokingly told her last time, "Ooopps, thanks for pointing out to me that I shorted Kolya by 5 minutes!" I can stand the "needy-ness" from them. I like being the center of their universe! But really, why do I have the only family in America where siblings fight! (Hee-hee, I thought you'd like that one!).

If the past few weeks have been painful, then the past weekend has made up for it by being sweet and loving. Nadia routinely takes my arm and walks with me wherever we are going. She did so on her first day of school in front of other kids. I'm loving it and I know that there will come a day when she figures out that it isn't cool to walk arm-in-arm with your Papa. Nadia has also become more "touchy-feely" with me too. She likes to cuddle (there's that word again, Matt) with me on the couch, rug, wherever when are reading or watching a movie with the family. Kolya is already there and likes to snuggle up too (i'm killin ya, aren't I, Matt). Since being home, I can now rub Kolya's back, head and shoulders and he loves it. I no longer have to sneak a kiss on the head to him or any of the others for that matter. The same goes with Heidi and their relationships. I dare say that Nadia is becoming a daddy's girl and Kolya is becoming a mamma's boy. Julia is all Heidi. We have our moments, though. She came to me and sat with me at dinner the other night. She also hopped into bed Sunday morning when Heidi got up. She just felt the need to put her arms around me I guess. She stayed for 15 minutes. Also, she needs me when she wants to be defended against Nadia, when she wants to wrestle, or when we are in the pool. Cool stuff!

They are slowing becoming adjusted to life in a family and they love it. They tell our friend Lilya this, so we know. We also know because of the "glow" in their full faces. Faces, that unlike the gaunt, ashen ones we saw in Ukraine, are full of energy, vitality and happiness. Little Kolya shared a story with Heidi the other day about one of his reasons that he is thankful to be in our family. I saw that she is writing an entry, so I won't steal her thunder. She can tell you about it. It seems you may get more than one post this week!

The response, "Rule number One!" is heard several times throughout the day whenever a fight or argument breaks out. The other day I heard Kolya yell it to one of his sisters. Nadia rolled her eyes and repeated, albeit sarcastically "Be nice, be nice!" the other day when I got onto her for yelling at her sister. They get it, they understand, and they do love one another. And, they are starting to love us more with each passing day. Love one another is taking hold at the Rogé home.

~ Felix ~

3 comments:

Matt and Aimee Garrett said...

It's not the action (snuggling & cuddling), it's the words!! I can't stand even saying them or even typing them. UUUGGGGHHHHH!!! Around here, with 4 teen-age girls, you bet I do a lot of it.

Jim and Kari said...

Love to read your updates, the good, the hard, and the snuggling ;) I think you are outnumbered, Matt. What words do you think we should use instead-I'm almost afraid to ask!

You and Heidi are doing a great job with your new kids!

Twyla, John, Duncan, Mari, and Misha said...

Heidi and Felix,

What a great message for the day and doubly amazing that you stopped right in that spot on the bike and looked down! Apparently you needed that phrase, that moment, and Heavenly Father made sure you saw it!

We too work on "be nice" and "don't hit" and "talk softly/no yelling".

Misha's teacher pulled John aside Friday and mentioned that he hadn't hit or biten anyone that day! Great, apparently he has been hitting/biting everyday and Friday was the first great day and the teacher hadn't been sharing the problems with us! We were happy that Friday was a good day for him and pray for many more good days, then good weeks, and good months. He is such a sweetheart in the core - it is like peeling a potato or a carrot with a blunt spoon. Eventually will get all the brown stuff off and he will be a shiny little wholesome thing underneath!

We have also found that the dynamics of three are interesting and more complex. With Mari gone on a sleepover this weekend, it forced Misha to "be nice" to Dunc in order to have someone to play with. Duncan was more than happy to play with someone who was treating him nicely! It wasn't until Mari returned home that the fireworks resumed. Duncan and Mari are also usually fine - when Misha is with another parent.

We feel your pain and we rejoice in reading when things go great and your family is happy and bonding!

You guys are in our thoughts and prayers! Twyla and John

About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.