I'm one of those crazy people who love, love, love newborns. Cooking dinner with a ten or fifteen pound baby slung over my shoulder was a joy. I loved the feeling of that weight. It feels like your favorite book in your backpack.
Getting up several times a night and choosing to fold a load of laundry at 1:00 AM just because you know the baby's gonna wake up at 1:30 was always an easy choice. Nurse, diaper, rock, rest. It was a routine I followed for five years. Five long years in many ways but five short years in many, many more ways.
Then my oldest started kindergarten and I had number four.
When I brought him home the very distinct thought I remember was, "No matter how many more times I do this, I'm not the young mother of preschoolers anymore. sniff. sniff. sniff."
For the next couple of years I went through a denial of sorts. I became angry when I couldn't be at home folding laundry and was instead running errands, buying school supplies and attending meetings.
Frustration overwhelmed me that I wasn't able to mop or vacuum while the baby was sleeping because I was in the car all afternoon. I spent a great deal of my time wishing I was somewhere else. I was saddened that I was always wearing a baby instead of rocking one quietly in my nursery.
When I was a newlywed and dreamed of my future, it was me with preschoolers, toddlers and babies around my knees. It wasn't windblown crazy woman with children hanging out of her Suburban. Crazy woman had grown accustomed to life on the run, eating meals in the car and organizing the back of said Suburban like an athletic locker.
It seems like most of the time these days I scream, panic and rush. "Get your gear." "Get in the car." "Hurry!"
After yesterday's post and reading this, I thought it was only appropriate that I brag on my amazing kiddos a little bit. I was so into this bragging thing last week when I first saw it. I began to feel that old mother guilt. The stuff that creeps in when you feel your kids have empty love tanks because you haven't cheered for them enough. I hate that. Nobody loves them more than me and they should know that. Period.
I should build them up so much that they actually appreciate my honesty with them when confronting issues. Honestly, I'm not sure we're there just yet. Hence, the bloggy brag.
Driving around town in my car early last Saturday morning, I was praying. Actually I was telling God how this season is so hard and I just won't miss a thing about it. wah.wah.blah.blah. As I pulled up at the softball field last Saturday morning, after just leaving the soccer field and just before arriving at the baseball field, the Lord spoke to me. "Enjoy their games as a chance to cheer wildly for them."
That's it. Sports give me an opportunity to yell for kids in ways I don't do all the time. I get to scream at the top of my lungs, "That's my kid!" I enjoy that. I love watching them play.
Even though I never saw me as a thirty-something-year-old soccer mom in my dreams, suddenly, I'm loving every minute of it. At least every minute of cheerleading God has given me.
My kids are awesome so let the bragging begin!
Julia is my artist. A born leader, she's extremely influential and makes the rules that others follow. She's an organizer of people, aggressive athlete and goal reacher. She's charismatic, loves attention and any kind of gift. She's dramatic, beautiful, fashionable and artistic. A gifted artist she can draw beautifully. She's smart, independent and loving.
Alyssa is my author. A gifted artist, she's highly creative spending many hours each day writing stories and poems. She's a colorful story teller and sketches with great detail. She's responsible, cleans her room each and watches baby brother with care. She's beautiful, helpful and friendly. She always befriends the underdog, outcast and lonely. She's super compassionate and gentle. She has a beautiful singing voice and uses it daily to praise God.
Hunter is my helper. A gifted athlete, he's very coachable, listening and following every instruction. He's a good friend and would sacrifice anything to make his friends happy. He routinely asks me what he can do to help and rarely complains when asked to do something. He's amazing me as he rapidly learns to read. He'll try anything we ask him to and overcomes his many fears easily. He's handsome, sensitive and obedient.
Palmer is my adventurer. A curious explorer, he's been found in many hilarious places. He is the most active kid I've ever known full of explosive energy. Running and climbing are second nature to him. At two he potty trained himself and at three he's teaching himself to read by doing the same homework Hunter does. He can kick a soccer ball down the field and climb up on top of anything in the house by himself. He loves as fiercely as he lives. When I tell him to give me a kiss he says, "No a big kiss," and proceeds to hug me with all of his might. He's determined, vivacious and so, so cute. He's loving and cuddly and sweet.
My kids are so much more than this. They amaze me every day with their abilities and imaginations.
The three older children have each finished their Awanas books this year against some major odds and bless me with their desire to hear me read the Bible to them each night. I love to hear their little voices pray and I love it even more when they ask me to pray or sing over them.
Even though I love them so very, very much I pray they always know that He is their ultimate Cheerleader.
"For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17)