Hmmmm, Three Boys.
I'm not sure if it's the fact that there are 3 or that they are all boys ... or that I'm the one that is blessed to be their mom and they are surprised by that ... I'm just not sure. Maybe they're at a loss of what to say and it just fills the pause? All-in-all, I have to say that our boys are MOST of the time well-behaved, so I can't say it's because they are hanging from the rafters or anything. Regardless, people I know, people I meet in a store or on the street that I totally have no clue who they are and really they have no reason to stop me and comment, whatever, will chime in, "Oh! 3 boys ... I bet you never get to sit down." Or "I sure bet you're busy." Or my personal favorite, "Are you going for the girl?" And those are pretty harmless comments all-in-all. But then there are some like, "enjoy them now because when they marry you'll lose them forever." Someone always wants to rain on someone else's parade.
More than once I have paused and considered our family. My desires, God's gifts, our responsibilities and our blessings.
And there seems to be a common thread that I often hear from friends, one parent would like more children, the other ... mmm ... not so much. Reasons for the latter vary ... and it's an interesting and dangerous conversation all wrapped up into one.
Strangely after the birth of our 3rd son Nolan I found myself doing the "mom count" thing while keeping track of them in a public place. Funny thing was, I always found myself searching on 4 ... I'd laugh to myself, thinking okay, I'm TRULY sleep deprived, I only need to be counting to 3. Part of it I'm sure was being a bit overwhelmed with new motherhood, another part was due to the fact my oldest was at an age (5.5) that he was starting to be responsibly independent ... ie: I could trust that he wouldn't wander off without asking first. So even though I counted "one" ... it didn't quite register as being checked off my mental list. I figured this snafu would fade away ... but it hasn't, I still often count to four. It does make me laugh quietly. Are my math skills really THAT lacking? ...
Maybe it has to do with my first and longest babysitting job was for a family of 4 children ...
Anyway, here's a leap in attempt to segway into something I recently came across. This article just spoke to my heart so much ... on so many levels of motherhood, especially the level of how different motherhood has transitioned me from taking care of one to two to three children. Believe me, I am not a Superhero for having more than one child but also its not for the faint of heart. It is hard at times sharing myself when maybe I'd rather not, the endless fights about who did what and who is "right", trying to be "fair" in everyone's eyes all the while teaching that "life is not fair." I succeed on many levels some days ... and unfortunately fall short on so many more. (But this has to do more with my simply humanness more than the number of children I care for.) I laugh at how many times a new mom will ask me if it was harder to go from 1 to 2 children or from 2 to 3 children ... oh my ... it seriously was hardest to go from zero to 1!
I can identify with nearly EVERY part of Simcha's essay ... especially the part when she talks about a new mom's experience and how "hard" it is to become a mother. I didn't know other mothers experienced things so close to my own account. It was so wonderful at the time to suddenly be thrust into motherhood ... but it hurt ... to loose something of who I was ... and love at the same time what I was becoming ... and also realizing that eventually I would lose this too as they grow away from me.
AND I just love the ending of the essay. It is so true. They are so light and float by you and nudge you like balloons. And when in the last 8 years have I had a trip to the bathroom alone during daylight hours? HA! So I just HAVE to share this article. (Here's the link, but I'm going to tack it on here as well.) Let me prepare you in advance ... the author, Simcha Fisher, has NINE kids.