Full of life and exuberance
Sweet, loving, compassionate
Fiery, strong, demanding
Loves to talk and ask questions, to laugh and have fun
Helpful and giving
It is sometimes overwhelming, the realization that these three little lives have been entrusted to my care. I want to do this parenting thing right. I won’t get another chance at it. And there are some things that I’m learning along the way that I want to make sure that I remember.
Children are not tiny adults and I should not expect them to act that way.
The bodies, minds and emotions of my precious little ones are growing and changing enormously each day. Although as adults we idealize childhood and it’s lack of pressure and responsibility, there is so much happening within our little ones. I must remember to extend grace, to help them navigate these uncharted waters. I must not have unreasonable expectations of how my children should act. I have to slow down, stoop down and see things through their eyes. I must have patience and empathy.
I try to remember what it felt like when I was a child and was so deeply involved in a book or activity that I could not bring myself away from it to get to the dinner table. When I see Genevieve turning the page in her book to continue reading when I’ve called her three times already it is easy to become impatient, to speak unkindly, to threaten or to punish. Instead, I have to remember, to stop being the mom for a moment and become the child who is simply enthralled in a story. I can call for once again, this time a little louder. Or I can go over to her, lovingly place my arm around her shoulders, look into her eyes and tell her I understand how hard it can be to pull ourselves away from a good book. I can tell her that I love her and that it would please me if she would obey even though it is difficult. I can hold her hand and help her to do the right thing.
But all this depends on whether I have learned what we try to teach our children. Do I understand that the world does not revolve around me or that there are things more important than the dinner I just prepared? Am I willing to put aside my agenda to extend love and grace to my child? Have I gotten the point that my children’s hearts are more important than the items on my to do list?
I’m still learning and I hope that day by day I get better. Because I love these children more than life and I want more than anything to treat them always like the treasures they are to me.
As I am putting Christian to sleep, Charlotte comes in the room as she often does and says, “Mama, can I pray for him?”
“Of course,” I answer.
She lays her hand upon his head and begins. “Dear Jesus, Help Christian to not have bad dreams. Help him to dream about princesses and Ariel. Amen”
Then she kisses him sweetly on the head.
Today you are six months old!
We are so blessed to have spent these six months with you. Christian, you are just the most joyful little baby. Your smile brings happiness to our hearts. All we have to do is look at you and you will smile and show us your beautiful dimples. Then you get shy and bury your head in the chest of whomever is carrying you. I love to watch you giggle when I kiss and hug you. You close your eyes and laugh. It is so sweet.
You are very active and have been crawling for more than a month already! You love to scoot around the den and you always head straight for the things that don’t belong to you. You especially love to touch Genevieve’s books. You can sit up but you would rather be crawling. You also stood up in your crib a few days ago. It is so funny to look over at you in the crib and see your little head peering over the side!
You are getting so big! You weigh about 18 pounds and wear size 6-12 month clothing. You are a sweet and happy baby. You don’t mind being in the car seat which is very helpful when we have to go to the store or take take Genevieve to a class. You usually sleep in there or just play with your toys and look around. You used to sleep through all of church in the stroller but lately you have been staying awake. I think you don’t want to miss anything. You love to look around and take everything in. We usually have to take you out into the foyer because you like to sing and growl during the service!
We are all in love with you Christian! We call you Handsome and you certainly are! You are our sweet, sweet boy and we are so blessed to have you.
Every time I look at you I can’t help but notice all of these changes. Changes that have taken you from my precious little baby to a beautiful little girl. Your legs are long and lean. Your chubby cheeks have given way to a more mature face. Your golden brown hair is making its way down your back. (which of course you are thrilled about!)
Time is going so quickly that I find myself counting the years that I have left with you. Fourteen more years until college. Nine more years until you are a teenager and you might not be interested in spending that much time with us! I know I’m crazy but it’s a good reminder to cherish each day, each minute that I have with you. It won’t be long until you won’t want to sneak into our bed anymore. And you won’t always need us to tuck you in 800 times each night. So instead of being frustrated that you are out of bed AGAIN I just want to cherish that opportunity to give you one more squeeze and tell you how precious you are to me one more time.
So I pray that God would just help me to be patient and see each moment with you as a gift. Because eventually you will stay in your seat for an entire meal. And then one day you won’t be around for dinner with us anymore. So for now let me lovingly remind you to eat your veggies and please be still and stop blowing bubbles in your drink… while I still have you here. For all too soon you will be grown and will be off sharing dinner with someone else.
I just want you to know how very much I love you Genevieve.