Grateful for a five year old son with a giving heart who has embraced all the changes that we have thrown his way. He has totally bonded with his siblings and has had no problems sharing his mommy, daddy, toys and his trains! He has also been very good humored about having mommy or daddy delay meeting his “needs” since he has three younger siblings who are more vocal about getting their needs met right now! None of our concerns and those of others have materialized re: how he would cope with all the changes. It is amazing how many times we are asked how the oldest is doing with the addition of three new siblings in the last 4 months! Everyone always assumes that he will have jealousy issues and many have anecdotal tales of how their “friends” children reacted when they got new siblings. But, God has been good and he could not be more bonded – he loves, loves, loves his siblings. He did not even want to go with his cousin to visit his granddad that he loves when he realized his siblings would not be going. He even cried pitifully, saying he would really miss his brother! The look on his face when we told him his brother could join him was priceless! He took the role of big brother very seriously telling his granddad and cousin what his brother liked and did not like and what he could or could not eat!
Thankful for a few wonderful days in Disneyland to celebrate big brother’s fifth birthday! Oh how magical it is to experience Disney through the eyes of a child! We had a great time and loved every moment of it! We were also blessed with family that blessed us with discounted tickets. As much as big brother had prayed to go to Disneyland and had faithfully picked up every penny he saw so that he could help mommy buy a ticket to Disneyland, he was dismayed that his siblings would not be going to the park and almost decided he did not want to go. He campaigned really hard for them to join us meeting our protestations that they would miss their nap times and be cranky with the wisdom of a five year old, telling us they could sleep in their strollers. As much fun as he was having, the siblings were not far from his mind – he always saw things in the Disney stores that he said would make his siblings very happy! When we explained the inflated prices, he joyfully said we could use his money that he had been saving for ages to buy a train ticket! The boy loves trains, so that is a sacrifice! Oh what we could learn about sacrificial giving from a five year old. Really thankful for a sister who joyfully took care of three children at short notice. And had fun taking care of two 1-year olds and an infant who was not sleeping through the night. Thankful that my sister had a weight loss breakthrough – she has been dieting and exercising without visible results. Three days with the children and she lost almost 3 pounds!
Thankful that five years later, I am having sleepless nights thanks to an infant who decides she needs to remind me of her presence every single hour of the night – and all without me complaining! The bags under my eyes might tell a different story, but God has given me strength that I still feel renewed, even with my interrupted sleep. Thankful for the realization that children are indeed a blessing from God. Sometimes we are so caught up with how society views children – that they are a lot of work that we forget what precious blessings they are. As crazy as it is, it seems to be less “work” having four children as when I only had one. They play so well together freeing me to do some actual work, as opposed to when I was my son’s permanent playmate. Of course the fact that the children are so joyful and easy babies makes things easier. I have been wondering if our view of parenthood as “hard-work” is indeed based on our mindset. My parents had very many small children and never once did I hear them complain about how difficult raising children was. I am sure, I will be re-reading this when I have four teenagers and laughing at how naïve I was! But for now, I will enjoy my naïveté and my babies!