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My parents are celebrating 23 years of marriage together this year. It is a beautiful thing to hear their stories of when they first met and how they fell in love, and to be able to watch them grow stronger the longer they are together. Honestly, it is a testament and legacy that us children can experience day in and day out; to see how a relationship can stay strong, even during trials.
With it being their anniversary, they wanted to do something special. Something different.
My mom wanted to go away, with just the two of them, and not just a night out or weekend in Williamsburg, Va. She wanted to travel. That is how they ended up going on a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean for seven nights. (9 total, if you include flying in a day early and leaving a day after the ship was in port).
Anyhow…that is how I became the main caregiver of my two younger brothers for 9 full days!! I did have the help of my 18 year old brother, when he wasn’t at work, or doing something else. Those nine days taught me a thing or two about taking care of two boys, full-time, without the option of picking up the phone and calling my parents to ask them about anything. (that was really hard).
I didn’t have any problems with the idea of watching my brothers for nine days. I kind of was looking forward to it. I was used to watching my brothers for a full day here or there, or for a few hours while running errands, but I always had the option to call for questions or get them to talk to the boys if they weren’t doing what good little brothers are supposed to be doing.
This sort of stretched me and trained me in a different kind of fashion…
3 things i learned babysitting my brothers
1. I struggle with patience
I know…some of you might be a little shocked, but I have to be honest, being patient is not my strong suit. It never has. I often got riled up when one of my brothers weren’t listening to me. They did good most of the time, but there were some situations…I wanted to put some sense into their heads. See? I’ve always known I had patience issues, but until I had two boys under my supervision and was put in the place of them not listening to what I said or challenging me, that was when I had to really battle my patience, and sadly, I didn’t win most of the time.
2. They want to feel special
Who doesn’t want to get the royal treatment? With my parents gone, I felt like I needed to do something with them to keep their minds off the fact that mom and dad weren’t home, so I kept surprising them. We rented all kinds of fun movies at the library, took them to the park when the weather was nice enough, took them to Chuck-E-Cheese (yes, my 18 year old brother and I did take the two younger boys to Chuck-E-Cheese on our OWN!!), and hosted a Super Bowl party…do you know what all this did to me? It made me feel like I don’t cherish my brothers like I should when my parents are home. My goal is to soon take my brothers out on dates to get some one-on-one time and let them know I do love them.
3. Let them be boys
This is a hard one. I was the only girl in the house those nine days and it was a little crazy. Running around the house yelling and shooting dart guns at one another, going inside and out dragging in dirt and mud, always asking for something to eat…it was hard letting them be boys. I wanted a clean house, calm brothers, and quiet evenings. That didn’t happen. It took all I had to not try to control them, but I always remembered my mom saying “Let them be boys!” Yes, there were times I had to tell them to stop and be quiet. Yes, I always was trying to clean up the messes behind them. Yes, I even had to put on a movie at night to calm them down. No matter what I did, I did learn that boys are special. They are different from girls. A valuable lesson, if I do say so myself.
Honestly, I could probably list a whole lot more about what I learn about little boys everyday, because I never stop learning and failing, but then this post would be several pages long, and you probably wouldn’t read it all (or would you?).I will receive commission on any sales made on my blog. To learn more, read my disclosure policy.