Monday, April 8, 2013

Learning to Love

I worry about Chastity.

I shouldn't. The Bible tells us not to worry, but sometimes I still do. I've always had a complex about having multiple children. With each pregnancy after the first I have worried about there not being enough of me to go around. I've worried about leaving a child out or making one feel neglected. You always hear things about the "middle child syndrome," and how they get lost in the shuffle, and sometimes I worry that Chastity is that card in the middle of the deck, and no matter how many times I shuffle, she never comes out on top.

Elijah is 5 and in Kindergarten, but I am homeschooling. That takes up about 4 hours of our mornings. Isaac is 7 months old and teething, nursing, moving, and upset about not being able to walk. Really I could have stopped at "7 months old," and you'd understand. Chastity is almost 4, and she will have her own school schedule next year, but right now, she does not. No matter how many times I (or even Elijah) try to include her in our school schedule, she becomes quickly discouraged because she knows the difference between her coloring and activity books and Elijah's school books. So to keep her happy and Elijah focused, I usually set her up in my bedroom to watch Sesame Street.

She is patient and good. She does not jump on my large, tempting bed. She knows exactly when to turn the TV off and come back downstairs, and she does. She even keeps her laughter to a whisper when she knows Isaac is taking his morning nap in his room next door.

Still I worry.

Even after school, I find myself wrapped up in keeping Isaac content. The computer sits right next to my nursing chair, so I'm often nursing him, or bouncing him, with one hand on the mouse, doing something on the computer, while watching Chastity and Elijah play together. They often fade into the background amidst the discontent of Isaac while he's winding down for a nap. "Mommy, look!" "Mommy, watch this!" "Mommy, mommy, mommy..." There are days when I feel like I'm on autopilot with the nods, and "Uh huh," and "Wow."

The saddest days are the ones when I feel they've given up on me completely, and they go play in their room, and I wonder, "What am I even teaching them? They barely even need me anymore."

But then the magic happens. God opens my eyes to see. I see Elijah running to help Isaac and announcing his every move to me with such delight and pride. I hear Chastity's sweet voice singing, Your Are My Sunshine, repeatedly while cheek to cheek with Isaac to calm him down. I catch a glimpse of Chastity rocking him in his car seat while we're all rushing around to get out the door. I see them kiss him and tell him, "moo moo," which is "love you" in this house. I hear Elijah pray that Isaac's teeth won't hurt, and that he'll have a good night's sleep.

While Satan tries to tear me down, telling me I'm a lousy mother, damaging my children, God shows me His truth. Look, you are teaching them. They see how much you love Isaac, and by association, are reminded of how much you love them. Let me show you.

I hear Chastity's sweet voice, and see Elijah running to help Isaac reach a toy.

They are learning how to love.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog!. Very well written. You are doing an amazing job. They are super great kind, loving compassionate kids because they have super great kind, loving compassionate parents. Kids learn to be what they see and hear around them. They are learning to love because they see and feel love. Everyone I know that meets them comes away and says, "Wow, they are pretty neat kids"...After our meeting with you to give you the van, Jer commented on what great kids they were and how well behaved and polite they were. Kudos to you Momma! Love you and them so very much!