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Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Speaking of Teamwork
That last post reminded me of a "Teamwork" story that I love to share. Sometimes the Lord places perfect situations into our lives, to show our children why we do what we do. This ... was one of those times.
About 8 years ago, we were camping with a group of friends in Canada for a week. Papa and the older 3 kids had had to leave a day or two early (for jobs), so I was left at camp with the younger 6 kids (Carissa 12, Lindsey 12, Josh 10, Ben 8, Hosanna 4, Josiah 1).
We were camping with 3 other families:
Family #1: Dad, Mom, 5 kids (ages 7-14)
Family #2 Dad, Mom, 3 kids (ages 3-8)
Family #3 Mom, 2 kids (ages 2-4) (Dad had also gone home early.)
On the last night at camp, the parents were all sitting around talking, when the topic of Family Organization came up. I shared that sometime I felt like I was being lazy, because I was always the one "giving orders" rather than doing the work myself. But, I explained, if I jump in and do the jobs, then the children just wander, without any guidance. So, while I feel a little guilty just "bossing the kids around", I know that someone has to "be the boss". The other parents just kind of nodded, understanding that they did not have 9 children and that our family works differently than theirs.
When we headed to bed ...
Family #1 and Family #2 said that they were going to "get up early, head out at 8:00, and eat breakfast at McDonalds, on the road". Family #1 had a motor home and Family #2 had a little dome tent to pack up.
Family #3 and I were going to caravan on our 5 hour drive home, since we were both driving across Canada to get home, and since both of our husbands had headed home early. I offered to let my big girls ride with her, so that they could help with her little ones. I told Mama #3 that I would be ready to leave by 10:00, and that we would stop on the way home for lunch.
The next morning, the kids and I ... got up ... made pancakes for breakfast ... washed our dishes ... took down the 10x20 tent and the little dome tent ... packed our coolers ... cleaned the campsite ... rolled up 11 sleeping bags (Papa and the big kids had left theirs') and started packing the van.
At about 9:00, a couple of Family #1's kids came riding their bikes down the road towards our campsite (they were in another area with their R.V.). I asked if they were leaving and they said, "Soon." I asked if they'd eaten breakfast, and they said, "No. We're going to McDonalds when we leave." I asked if they should be helping their mom and dad pack, and they said, "No."
10:00 on the dot ... we put the last bag and box into the back of the van, closed the back doors, and hooked up the trailer (that we hauled all of our bikes in). Then, we headed up to the other area of the campsite.
There sat Family #1, Family #2, and Family #3. Family #1's kids were all running around, playing. Family #2's kids were complaining that they were hungry. Family #3 was packing up her little R.V. So, I sat down on a stump (with Josiah in my arms) to wait for Family #3 to be ready to head out. I sat ... and I sat ... and I sat ... for 2 solid hours.
At one point, Family #1's dad asked my children if they would pick up all of the garbage around the campsite (while his kids were off riding their bikes and playing on the playground). My kids, having the servant's hearts that they do, jumped right in to help.
At 12:00, all 4 families loaded up their vehicles and headed out for the drive home. The children of Family #1 and Family #2 were VERY hungry by this time. My children were just getting ready to think about lunch.
As we pulled away from the campground, I turned to my kids and said, "What did we just learn? What did this just show you?" In unison ... they all rang out, "TEAMWORK". Yes ... we had trained them well.
So, when people often ask, "How do you DO it, with all of those children?" The answer is ... teamwork. Plain and simple ... I couldn't do it by myself. My husband and I are a team; and our children are also a part of our team. We ALL work together, starting at a very young age.
Yes, I still feel guilty sometimes when I am sitting, giving directions (orders?). But ... I know that I know that I know ... that children need guidance, they need direction, and they need a Mama that will come alongside and say, "You can do it." "I know that you are capable of working with the rest of us."
People wonder how we can do all that we do ... how we can travel with all of our kids ... how we can go so many places and do so many things ... The answer, again, is teamwork. Just plain ... TEAMWORK ...