Friday, May 21, 2010

When you have four older siblings

Mary Lucille is one of five.
She is the baby, the youngest in our crazy family.

Some might assume that the fifth child would get lost in the shuffle, or that she might have a hard time getting her needs met amidst four bigger siblings.

Um, no. Not really.

Quite the opposite actually. If I'm not wearing her in my Ergo or holding her or having her play near me, she's in a sibling's arms. Or being mobbed by multiple siblings doing their best to make her laugh.

At any given moment, at least two of my kids are vying for her attention. "Let me hold Mary!" they exclaim. "Look Mama, I made her smile! She's laughing!"

And today, one of my children may or may not have taken Mary to sit with them inside a tunnel at a playplace. Without asking first. Mary was not amused. Neither was Mommy. (Okay...maybe Mommy, and her friends, were a LITTLE amused.)

Mary Lu-Lu is incredibly loved.
She is touched, kissed, hugged, rocked, soothed, and held more than any other baby in the universe. I'm convinced.

I think about her growing up, having so many acts to follow. One thing I'm sure of is that she'll never know a day where at least four other people aren't at the ready with encouraging words, big hugs and a smile.

Speaking as a mom, I can tell you that day to day life with five small children can be exhausting. The dishes, laundry, tear-filled eyes, crumb-covered floors, and diapers keep me busy. Occasionally I am tempted to feel like I am drowning in chores I don't want to do. But those moments are, thankfully, fleeting. Fleeting. Because I'm jolted back to reality when I see Mary sitting happily in my son's lap (he's soooo incredibly patient and gentle with her), or hear her laughing hysterically as my kids sing, "Let's pull on Mary's ARM!" (Don't ask, because I don't know. :) They're not actually pulling on her arm when they sing it, and I don't know how they came up with it. But it's just about the best way to get Mary Lu laughing these days. She loves it.)

Those are the moments by which I want to define motherhood. I believe God uses those times to fill up my heart and encourage my soul. They keep me going as I make oatmeal for the three-hundredth-day-in-a-row, or clean bright-blue toothpaste off the wall (how on EARTH do they get it on the WALL?). They give me hope on days when my four oldest aren't getting along. Or when I wonder how in the world God thought I was capable of being mom to these kids.

Mary Lucille brings so much to our family at just seven months old. She is full of joy and
I know, I KNOW, so much of it has to do with the love and affection she receives from her brothers and her sisters. (Even if they DO take her over to the play equipment when she doesn't want to go.)


Tracy Regusci said...

Thank you for your beautiful words. I am encourage by your words as I entering my 4th week of 4 children you help me remember the important parts of motherhood, not the tear-filled eyes or piles of clutter! Thanks for the morning inspiration

Angela said...

(imagine me pressing the 'like' button)
OR...a 'made me laugh' button, b/c the tunnel thing definately makes me chuckle. ;)

Brianna Heldt said...

Angela ha! "Where my kid at? Where my kid at?"

The Brothers said...

Oh, I SO get this post! I recon many of our days are the same! Wouldn't trade it for the world. WOULD like to chuck the dirty dishes out the window some days, though.... :)


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