Two was terrifying. I didn't want to leave the hospital with a second kid. I wanted to stay in the hospital bubble where I could handle things. One small room, a staff that would come when beckoned, it worked well for those first two days. Going home freaked me out. When I set Felix down on the living room floor on his quilt, it wasn't until Simon snuggled up next to him and whispered, "I wove you, Fe-u-wux," that I realized all would be well. I righted a lot of wrongs with number 2. I went with my gut more. Stopped letting what I thought I should do rule my parenting. I let Felix sleep in our bed. I nursed. I never let him cry it out.
Five was the most heartbreaking experience of all. The thought of five caused sheer panic at times, but once that passed, I was so excited. There are still so many what-ifs. The pain is still there. I know one day it will turn into a scar, but for now the pain still feels like a scab. It hurts when I rip it off, but it's getting better. I'm ready for the scar and know it will come with time.
The funny thing about this motherhood gig is that no matter how demanding it is, I'm always ready to give more. I've figured out that the more I give, the more I get. There are the daily frustrations of terrorist negotiations over car shaped buggies. The shrieks that have to be deciphered. The give and take of grace versus punishment. The growing pains of toddlers and teenagers and the other in betweens. The doling out of judgements in the fifty million arguments that take place daily. The lack of privacy. The lack of patience. The constant noise. The dirt. The inside out socks. The ass hattery that is a male child.
Despite it all, I wouldn't change a thing. I wouldn't alter the age gaps amongst them or the fact that I had a kid at twenty. I wouldn't change the dynamics of having all boys. I wouldn't even change losing the baby, because I trust that God has it all figured out. This job is frustrating and hilarious and heartbreaking and so, so rewarding.
Each one of the five has taught us so much. They have changed our lives, changed each others lives and changed with the changes forced on them. I'm sure we're botching this parenting thing pretty majorly in the day to day, but when I catch a glimpse of who these boys truly are...I'm in awe. There are days I really congratulate myself on the job well done and then they do something so incredibly stupid that the humble pie smashes itself right in my face. It's an interesting gig and I'm so very thankful I picked a good man to raise these yahoos with. We make a good team, Sean and I. It's amazing to watch their interactions and see just how much a kid needs their dad. I suppose that's another subject for another day. :) But really, where would I be without the man who made me a mother?
Happy Mother's Day to my mother who showed me how. To my sister who has plowed the road before me. To Sean's mom who raised the one that I love best. To all my mom friends who listen to me rant and make me laugh and speak truth and calm me down. To all my friends who aren't moms, but love my kids as they would their own and teach me not to take things for granted. To all of you, Happy Day. :)