Saturday, April 5, 2008

Day 1

I can't believe that I have three kids. I always wanted three kids. Now that they are here, it's kind of mystifying. I know how the three came to be, but man, when I look around my dinner table, I am still in awe.

Spencer...such a wonderful big brother to Slade and Scarlet, he is going to be 7 in less than 6 months, and somehow, that makes it seem like he is so much older. Suddenly, he is telling us all what is "cool" and what is most certainly NOT cool. As much as your heart expands to love all the children that come after the first one, I still feel as though I am connected so strongly and physically to Spencer. Not that I am not connected to Sladey B and Scarlet Grace, but there is this imprint on the mother part of my heart that is Spencer-shaped, and somehow the other babies fit right into it. And I worry that I might mess him up the most because I want to do everything so right by him. I don't want him to lack for anything, but yet I want him to realize that he is capable of making his own way because he is smart and kind and sensitive and empathetic; qualities that I have found will suit him well. In him I see a reflection of my own personality a lot of times, and for that I worry. Such a justice-minded little man, and I fear that is my own doing. I feel like I am the hardest on him because I am drawing a line in the sand and he has to set the par for the others. It's hard to find a balance, because in a way, he should be a good example, but most of all I want him to be a kid who is allowed to develop his own sense of self. I find it hard just how much to consciously influence and mold and push.

It's hard to find words that describe Slade accurately. When you become a parent the second time around, it's hard not to imagine it's going to be the same as parenting your first one. In some aspects like routine...bedtime, mealtimes, family traditions, etc., it is, but individually, I feel like Slade knows the "system" a whole lot better than Spencer. That can probably be attributed to the big brother! Now that I am home for a little while and I have Slade's company, it's been interesting, even in this first week to get to know Slade like I had a chance to know Spencer. Slade is thoughtful and contemplating, and he certainly just doesn't take my word for things. He is one that will need to find out for himself and do things his way. He is very particular, and I find that intriguing. I am thankful that he is his own person and make us all very aware of that. I would hate to think that he gets lost in the shuffle as the middle child and we miss out on the very joy that makes him Slade. He brings so much laughter to the day, and has been such a forceful reminder, in a gentle way, of how we should act toward one another. I swear that when he is old and gray, he will pull out blanky from some secret spot when things get tough. As his mom, I love blanky as much as he does. I know there will come a day, as there was with Spencer's "old bear", that I will find blanky stuffed under the bed or on the bed,but just out of obligation, and no longer held in those sweet and chubby little arms.; not needed anymore to drift off at nighttime It will be then that my heart aches a little more at the thought of my boys becoming young men.

Miss Scarlet is such a sweet beauty bean, as my sister has named her. I was secretly afraid to have a girl and at the same time, in equal parts, dying to have a girl. I couldn't imagine going through my adult life and not having a daughter to share things with like I have shared with my own mom. Afraid because girls seem hard to raise, a little scary. With my boys, it's so clear cut. With my girl, I am trying to get comfortable with the reality of having to raise her in our world. I feel like my boys will be protected because they are boys. I so hope that Scarlet Grace lives up to her name, that we can help her to do so. I hope she is bold and determined, yet soft enough to let the best qualities of herself shine through and be molded into a strong woman. It seems so weird to be speaking of my one month old in terms of becoming a woman, but now that I am a mom, I know how quickly it passes, and I am already mourning that I only have 5 months of maternity leave left (6 months seemed like such a good chunk of time, and now that the first month has FLOWN by, I can't seem to hang on to the days long enough). I want to savor each moment, each bath and smile and little pink outfit that I thought she would never fit into and now seems to be fitting into quite well. I feel like this is my last shot, and I feel a lot of pressure to do it just right this time around. Even though she is my third, and most things feel easy peasy, and she is so calm and contented and easy peasy herself, I feel like I already need to reign myself in and not focus so much on making things just right. She has fit into our family so seemlessly that it's kind of hard not to think she hasn't always been around.