Rainy Day Games

1771 1771_ () 1771 1771 Weekly column

It was a rainy evening, which had come on the heels of a rainy afternoon. That combination meant lots of consecutive inside-time for this brood of mine that would prefer to be outside where they can be as wild as they would like.

Inside, there are constricting rules like “don’t kick that soccer ball in the dining room” and “what did I just say about the soccer ball?” These are hard for my boys to understand, it seems, and everyone does better when being outside is the order of the day.

On this particular evening, we were settling in to a game of charades, a game that in our house is heavy on clues involving martial arts and sword fighting. I am at a disadvantage when we play because there are all kinds of movie titles my boys have not even seen but they act them out based on bedtime stories their dad has told them. They are not allowed to watch Lone Wolf McQuade yet they have completely memorized the very best parts.

So there we sat in the front room and seven-year-old Augie took his place in the front of the crowd. He made the sign indicating the proper category.

“It’s a person,” the other boys shouted. Augie nodded his head. Then he held up two fingers.

“Two words,” shouted Ethan. Another nod.

Augie then slowly raised his hands to his face and menaced, ever so slightly.

“Chuck Norris,” shouted Elliott, and everyone began to cheer.

It all took less than fifteen seconds.

I’d like to lie and say I never saw that one coming, but Chuck would have been an early guess of mine, definitely in my top five. The problem was I took too long deciding if the hand gesture would be that of a saber-wielding pirate or a sword-loving Hobbit. What I forgot, what I must never forget, is that Chuck always goes first.

When we play these games, I am clearly the odd-woman-out. And yes, sometimes it’s frustrating. Paul and the boys have a language I’m not always privy to (one I don’t want to fully understand, mind you) and during some rounds of charades all I can do is sit back and watch. My menfolk work their way through the list of adventure movies and action figures, with the occasional martyred saint or historic hero. Many of these people, places and things I recognize, some I do not.

When it’s my turn, I throw in something like “Nativity Scene” or “cleaning house.” And once again, the boys are reminded that there are strange, non-male creatures who also inhabit the earth.

Despite all these differences, and the moments when I am painfully aware I have minority status in my own home, I so often find myself asking God the same question: why me, Lord?

I mean this in its most sincere form. I am not whining or complaining or even asking for a change-of-address. I am humbled by God’s generosity in giving me this family and I wonder what I did to deserve such blessings in my life.

What an honor to be a part of this strange, male-dominated little scene. When I imagined family life, when Paul and I were first starting out, this is not what I predicted. If I could have picked the gender line-up of my brood, I would not have made it so lopsided.

How many times I have thanked God that he did not leave that decision up to me.

What adventures, what overwhelming bliss I would be missing!

Perhaps it is with every family that God gives us what he knows we need. Maybe he simply gives us the grace to wholeheartedly love and appreciate the children, each child, that he sends our way.

How many of us thought we wanted one thing only to discover that God knew better, that in his infinite kindness and mercy – and his overwhelming love for us – the Lord showers us with more than we could have hoped or dreamt or even known to ask for. 1771″



  1. Oh, I SOOOO relate to this on all levels!! With 4 boys and a husband (and a boy dog), I'm the lone wolf-ess in my house too. But I wouldn't trade it for a moment. I think we were just meant to be the Queen, with a capital "Q"!!! I love everything about being a boy-mom, even the wierd boy stuff that I don't get. I love the noisy, life-affirming rowdiness, the raucous laughter, the crazy games, the testosterone-fueled movies, and the insane need to discuss the minutae of every sporting event on the planet. God knew what I needed in my family – thank goodness!!

  2. I thought immediately of your post on deciding to find out the sex of your baby. I have 4 kiddos (3 boys then a girl) – we waited to find out for the first two and found out with the second two. When I was expecting #3, I got so sick of hearing by 4 1/2 months, "maybe THIS one's a girl." (You can probably relate.) Honestly, I was hoping for a girl. I'm glad that we found out he was a boy. When he was born, he was the sweetest baby (still is 4 years later). I had an overwhelming feeling that even though I had wanted a girl, this was the baby for me, the baby that God meant me to have. As you said, he was more than I could have hoped for or dreamed of. That being said, I grew up with sisters and sometimes boys are just plain weird (husband included) – but I love them. I enjoy reading your blog – thanks for sharing!

  3. southernjoy says

    Beautiful and true!

  4. We have a board game called Whonu where you have to guess the favorite things of the person who is "it" out of the options on your cards. My "favorite" things (according to the boys) always turn out to be things like "laundry", and "waking up early" 🙂

  5. "How many of us thought we wanted one thing only to discover that God knew better" … Uh, I can definitley say that I have discovered this the very hard way. And after much suffering (self inflicted due to stubbornness, pride, and lack of trust), I now pray for the grace to remain open to God's plan. Wow. His plans are so much better. And there is so much peace. It's that whole "letting go and letting God" thing. Great reminder Rachel!

  6. so are you gonna find out?