Leading up to this Mother's Day, I took some time to reflect on how each of my kids plays a very different role in defining me as a mother. Here are some of the highlights:
Kade is one of my first-born, one of the ones who made me a mother. As a baby, he tested me more than any of my other infants. Those first few months he spent a lot of time screaming. It made me sad when I couldn't calm him down and sometimes nothing seemed to make him happy. Sometimes I just needed a break from holding a screaming baby. If anyone else ever held him, and he continued to cry, it didn't matter that minutes earlier I felt like I couldn't take one more minute of holding him while he cried. I never let him cry in anyone else's arms for very long. I guess I felt like, if he was going to be sad no matter what, at least he knew he had his momma.
In some ways, our relationship still feels that way. There have been periods where it seems like Kade is just unhappy. I think he sets such high expectations for everything, that when they aren't met, it really gets him down. But even when his unhappiness leads to acting out, I have such a hard time disciplining him for that. I just want him to always know that he's got his momma.
Kade isn't always unhappy, that's for sure. He is usually really happy, and gets excited by seemingly small things. I love watching his passion for life, for sports, for friends, and even for school (sometimes).
I often reflect on what a blessing it is to be raising twins. Sure the first year was insane, but ever since then, it is mostly a treat. Watching them grow up together, and take care of one another, is the best. Plus, for six years, it was just "two sons and mom" and I love all the memories that we were able to create during that time.
I see so much of myself in his looks, and I loved when he was a baby and I finally had a child that looked like me. His chubby cheeks, his toes, and his dark hair that turned blond were all me.
When I was a little girl, my heart ached for a sister, and when I finally accepted that I would never have one, my heart yearned to someday have a daughter. And now I do. I love so much about being a girl, and all things feminine, and embrace my roles as a wife, mother, and daughter of God with my whole soul. I'm unbelievably happy that I have a daughter to share those things with, to teach her to appreciate what that means for her, and to watch her experience those things for herself.
Everly has been my easiest baby, by far. Her sweet personality, and ever-present, infectious smile are just what this house of rowdy, rambunctious boys needed.
Sure, I love dressing her in pink, and ruffles, and doing her hair. I can't wait until we can watch princess movies together, and buy cute girly toys. I often dream about what it will be like to watch her in dance class, wearing her tutu, and giggling with her friends. But it's so much deeper than that. She's my daughter. That's a simple phrase, but it means so much.