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Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Second Time Around...and Third...and Fourth...and Fifth!

It has always been a sort of running joke or some version of this..First child you pick up the pacifier, sterilize it, examine it under a microscope for germs and then give it back to the baby.  Second child you rinse it off, give it back to them, maybe sterilize it later that night, or the next.  Third child you dust it off on your pants, see a speck of dirt, think eh, they needed a little extra roughage today and give it back.  Fourth child, you pick that dirt-covered, germ-infested pacifier back up and without thinking twice, you just plug it right back in their sweet little mouth and continue on with your conversation or better yet their big brother does it for you {true?}

Today I was thinking, how does this apply in my case?  It's my second time around at this paid in slobbery kisses motherhood gig, but really my third, fourth, and fifth too.  It really hit me that I did not have five different chances at the newborn stage, I had one and then another that was blown up to the fourth power!  How much do I let slide?  Am I getting too complacent?  Okay those that know me know my version of complacent would probably be normal life {reformed Type A that I am} but I have really taken it down a notch, or two.  Is it because I am more tired...more everything?  More than that I think it is just simply experience, confidence, being comfortable.  It's nothing that I could have learned, studied, or changed having not gone through every minute of my motherhood experience.

Eleven months in to my first run, Ethan was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  Our world was turned every which way, God held him, held us, but it did make me see something I could never ignore again.  Something like that has to change you.  While I cherished motherhood before then, I first hand felt that I could someday not be holding my child, and it was not the fear that drove me to taking it with greater significance, but the realization of the fragility of life and the gift of being a mom.  At times maybe I think about it too much, but I need to because the minute I don't I can lose sight of what this all really is, no it doesn't always have to be so serious, what fun would that be?, but I need to take the impact I have on my children seriously.  More than that I need to always run back into the arms of gratitude {thank God above} to keep myself in check when things get to be just too much.  I also remember Aiden, Beckham, Liam, and Griffin born at 33 weeks, fighters from the beginning in the NICU and that's about all I need to bring it back home.

By nature I am completely stubborn, so my thinking has always been what you do for one child you should do for every child, their experience should not be different because I am older, more tired, less patient, none of that is their fault.  Sometimes, usually when I am not praying enough, not asking for enough help from above, I will get a pang of guilt, the one that says each one of my boys deserves my complete and undivided love and attention...and then I usually dramatically add that they will somehow feel that they haven't been given all of me...and even more dramatically {knife to the chest motion} they will be ruined forever.   Maybe it's because I know what I did for our first child and somehow I am not doing less for each of my kids, but they are still getting so much especially from each other.  I know this will only grow along with them.  I love thinking about how my house will be full of boys who will learn to take care of one another.  Is it a hard transition to understand that someday it may not be me that my children first run to?  Sure that may sting a little at times, but who better to run to than another version of you?

I want to pause here and say if you have one child, God bless you.  I was considered a mom of an "only child" for four years and it was equally amazing to my version of motherhood now with five.  It is different, but was no less, and a very treasured time in my life and God just simply had other plans for us and I love our life now as a family of seven.   

Certainly I would be the first to say that you can still turn out so different from those living in your home, I can attest to this based on my own life.  Yes each of my children have their own mind, opinions, free will, and plan from their Father, which will play hugely in who they will become .  While that may be true and while I still may let the tater tots slide into qualifying as a vegetable {my oldest still won't touch them}, while I may declare that we don't need to change clothes unless 51% of the shirt is compromised, or mealtime may shift a half-hour each way, give or take, depending on the day, there are things I know are important enough to sink my heels into the ground over no matter how run down I am.

When our oldest was baptized we were given The Parents Creed and while I struggle with it, while I fail at it, I will keep on digging my feet in because these are the things that will turn my boys into good men....

If a child lives with criticism he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.
If a child loves with praise, he learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.

the words of Dorothy Law Nolte. 

Thank you for letting me share this heartfelt post with you.



I so appreciate your sweet thoughts and thank you for sharing. I always try to reply whether it be to your email or on one of your blog posts! Wishing you a wonder*filled day! Michelle

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