Thursday, December 23, 2010
They stole our hearts
They stole our hearts. First came the bouncy little boy who looked like his mother and was Mr. Intensity since babyhood. He is a real people person (unlike his parents) and doesn't like to do anything alone, most of the time. He required (and still does) an enormous amount of attention, but he was our first so we didn't know any different and so we gave (and still do) without reservations and watched him blossom into a well spoken and intelligent boy who loves to learn and sing and is naturally religious. Then came his brother, a mere 15 months later ( as I said, numero uno really doesn't like to be alone). He too stole our hearts, with his sweet nature and innate sensitivity, his depth and his love of beauty and nature. He is a natural brother, a natural scientist, a natural..., he could be a poster boy for unschooling, very unlike his brother who loves and needs structure. Along came their sister, a sweet dainty flower, a girl version of her father, with her sparkling eyes, ever present smile and energy, she brings sunshine wherever she goes. She packs a lot of punch despite her petite appearance and gives the boys a run for their money with her feistiness (and bossiness?). She was an honorary boy for a while, despite her obvious femininity, but then her sister came along so they could do girl things together. She too stole our hearts with her cuddliness and boisterousness and her dramatic flair and a penchant for providing comic relief just when it's needed most. Then came the newest little boy who stole all of our hearts, with his softness and innocence and delight. When I was expecting our second, I wondered how I could possibly love another child, I already loved this one so so much. But with each one, the love just grew and expanded to include all of them. Sure it's hard sometimes and it takes a lot of resources, emotional and otherwise. But we like having them around and spending time with them. We like them as individuals. It's been quite a journey so far, this parenting thing, and it keeps challenging us and making us grow as parents and as people. Sometime the responsibility of it can be overwhelming. After all, the world that we live in today is not the world we grew up in. It's a new and often bumpy terrain. It's an ever evolving obstacle course, trying to help them grow in their individual paths, to protect them, to train them, to arm them against the assaults of today's times, to teach them how to face up to and overcome challenges that inevitably come everybody's way. They stole our hearts, these kids, they really are G-d's greatest gifts to us. So when the daily bumps come up and the going gets tough, I remind myself of all the goodness and sweetness and growth they brought into our life and I am overcome with gratitude for this tremendous privilege of being a parent to these special human beings and try and treat them accordingly.