Monday, February 22, 2016

This Season of Motherhood

This season of motherhood is many things.
What it is not:  easy, carefree, spontaneous.
What it is: repetitive, strategic, teamwork.
We are nearing the end of our apartment stint with a house closing on the horizon in just a few weeks.
What was meant to be a three month apartment stay has become a nine month holiday.
We have finally {finally!} found the right house, in the right neighborhood, at the right price.
Patience has been a powerful theme this new year.
Let me do the math:
5 people + 2 bedrooms= very little personal space, if any at all.
We have learned that in our previous 2,500 sqf. house, we didn't really have to interact deeply.
We know this to be true because now we have no other option but to do all things deeply and with great thought.
Here and now, we:
-Spend all our time in 1,200 sqf. with nowhere to hide from one another
- Have tough discussions when feelings get hurt or misunderstandings occur
-Crowd around a singe television and share, compromise, and concede when it comes to shows
-Eat dinner on a tiny apartment sized dinner table, so tiny that Hollin can't sit right next us
{which requires us to squeeze in, lean in, and delve into each other's lives in conversation}
-Share bedrooms {all of us!} and have learned how to extend grace when others are sick or overly tired and need extra sleep
-Read books on the couch while others play at our feet; we're truly all in one shared living space all the time
So many lessons during this season.
It has been hard, but oh, oh so full of joy!
I KNOW my children intimately during this season.
I hear their voices, even when they whisper, even when they try to disappear.
I organize and reorganize and clean our clutter to keep this space functional.
They can no longer play in different corners of a large home.
They play together, in one room, all day, everyday.
I am so ready for our new home.
For the space, the many bedrooms {everyone gets their own!} and for a kitchen that functions.
I will miss this closeness, this tight family unit that has organically, naturally, effortlessly grown.
I pray we will retain these many lessons.
The Lord knows His plans and He knew this was the perfect transition for us.
Like cold water on hot pavement, these last nine months have been shockingly ..... nice.
Perfect, really.
Here is what the kids have learned, become, and grown into as of late:
{19 months}
You are sleeping through the night.

You have finally come to a great nighttime sleeping schedule and take a long afternoon nap.

You have had a pacifier the longest of the three children.
Breaking you of one includes long, long crying spells that that our upstairs and downstairs neighbors don't appreciate.

You love songs.
Your favorites are ones with hand movements like Pat-A-Cake and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

You love to cuddle- much more than the boys ever did!
You lie your head down on our shoulders when we carry you.

You enjoy books, especially noisy ones or ones with food and animal pictures.
We read to you every single night without fail, seven days a week.
Even when we are tired, we read.

You are very aware of your bedtime routine and books help you wind down.

You are 19 months old and have never slept in a room away from us.
You crib is a mini and tucks easily onto a corner wall.
We love you, but are looking forward to our new house and giving you some much needed space.

You smile and laugh easily and rarely get upset.
When you do, you calm quickly and easily.

You love to be outside and have adapted to our weekly hiking excursions with gusto.

You love to visit the park and slide.
You are steady enough now to climb the stairs to the slide and go down by yourself.
You are brave!

You have a special relationship with your older brothers.
You like to sit with them and touch their faces and hair.

You like to wear hair bows and head wraps.
You seem to be very photogenic already and stop and smile if you see my camera.

You play with dolls and purses and push your stroller.

{3 years}

You are larger than life!
You have the wildest sense of humor and laugh at things the other kids don't understand.
You make jokes and repeat jokes.

You take great pleasure in playing in baskets, boxes, and blankets.
Hollin is a close friend and you are gentle with her.

Bath time is your favorite time!
You sometimes strip down and sit in the empty bathtub just to play with your toys.
Some of your worst outbursts have been about bath time if we tell you, "Not tonight, Henry."

You lead Hollin into my closet to wear shoes, scarves, and hats.
You build shoe forts and stack and unstack my baskets.

You are silly.
And Hollin is watching you, always!
You are sweet and kind and often apologize if you think you have done something wrong without being prompted.

You like to label everything.
If you have two blankets, you will tell me that one is "you" and one is "me" and that they are best friends.  
To you, life is about relationships.

Of all three kids, you smile for the camera the easiest, the most freely.
You freely tell us that you love us and are always ready to pick Harbor up from school.

You are the most physical.
You want to run and jump with all your might, in all you do.

You like to build, paint, design, construct.
You love marble run games and blocks, but your true love is trains and race tracks.

You want to be a helper and Hollin often is the recipient. 
You want to feed her and carry her.
You love to snuggle on the couch with a blanket and a drink and watch movies.
You are a perfect mix of being busy and being relaxed.

Your heart belongs to your older brother, though.
Harbor can do no wrong in your eyes.
You mimic his every word and move.
{sometimes it has made you too wise!}

{7 years}

You are so mature and easy going.
You never fight or fuss with other kids.
You are a total peacemaker.

You like to be outside and hike and swim, but you would prefer to stay home.
You never want to leave the house until you get there.
You are most content with a maze book and a pencil or a Netflix documentary.

You love to design and create.
Your imagination is on fire!
Your most frequent carpool conversation with me is about imaginary ideas and places that you have created in your mind.

Being a big brother is your favorite.
You are a total first born to the core.
You feed the younger kids without being asked.
You comfort them when they cry and hold their hands at the park.

I never have to ask you to help me.
You see it and do it.

We read to you every night.
You have an incredible desire to know everything about everything.

And you are smart. 

I never, not once, have "gotten onto you" concerning homework.
You do it alone, without being asked, and without help.
I just check it.
You are a perfectionist.
You are a great reader, but you love Math the most.

When the three of  you are together, the synergy is amazing.
All your strengths come out and your weaknesses are met with able hands.
You really function as a team.  

And have lots of fun.
You three together are loud, loud, loud- and full of energy!

You don't always get along, but you always love with kindness.

You are each other's favorite friends.

I cannot wait to see what this crew looks like in a year.
I love seeing your personalities blend and challenge one another.

I'm sure this season of being in between houses will be one that draws us closer.
And for that, it will have been worth it.
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