Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day Nine: Let the Little Children

{Warning: lots of pictures of cute and partially insane children to follow}

The last time we moved, it was me, the Man, the cat, and the Little Man. The Man drove the moving truck and towed our sedan, while I drove his pick-up with Littles and Oswald competing to see who could meow the most pitifully. This time, things were a little different.

One thing has changed:
I've hired some underaged help around the house.
Here Littles is supervising as Tiny takes his turn with the vacuum.

For one, we quadrupled our children and added a dog. For two, because we quadrupled our children (less so because of the dog), we got the movers to do the work (and a minivan to tow the rest of us). For three, moving with a one year old is evidently vastly different from moving with a four year old (and a two year old and two eight month olds).

Teething the healthy way.
Get that apple, girl!

The differences extend far beyond the logistics of travel. Sure that was challenging, but the emotional transition of our children has been even more complex.

With the twins, obviously, emotional transition wasn't much of an issue. They teethed. That was tiring. In between, they were their friendly, happy selves. The Man and I worked hard to get them decent meals while we lived off fast food. Tomato slices made up a large part of their non-breast milk diet. The end.

That. Kid.
He slays me.

Then there were the boys.

Sometimes I wonder if a lot of what Tiny is going through is just the fact that he's two. But I'm pretty sure we can blame the move for the fact that Tiny still wakes up from every other nap crying hysterically until he finds me wherever I am in the house. I'm also crediting the move for the daily shrieks of "Mommy, don't leave me!" He especially likes to bust that move when we're in public and someone is sure to think that I routinely abandon my child, causing him deep emotional scarring.

Does it make me a mean mom to post this?
His cranky face just cracks me up.
I promise that I took this picture surreptitiously
while having a straight-faced talk with Tiny about his attitude.

My social bug of an eldest son, on the other hand, has struggled the most with leaving his group of friends. On Monday we went to the playground, and he and Tiny played with a couple of older children while I pushed the twins back and forth in the stroller. While I carried on a brief conversation with the dad, I didn't think to get their names and build the relationship because the kids were several years senior. Naturally, Littles hasn't stopped talking about them since, and I am really kicking myself. Live and learn.

Littles beat me to Bruiser after nap time.
They're having too much fun together.

Tuesday we went to the playground with our neighbor and her five year old daughter. That night at dinner, Littles asked to say the blessing and thanked God for the food and his new friend. Sustenance and socializing: evidently his two primary needs.

Bee: "Go ahead, big bro,
put your head in my lap
and I will laugh hysterically
and pull your hair."

With those things said: the best part of this move has been the family time. The kids were good company along the way. And as I hang tight and wait for friendships to develop, I'm glad I have them to keep me company during the day.

I'm trying to slow down and enjoy this time with them. To notice when Bee tries to share her blocks with Bruiser. To really pay attention when the boys are making the twins crack up laughing. To do more than briefly acknowledge the train tracks and lego creations but to celebrate them.

Their latest masterpiece.
They've since added tunnels.

Because I need the reminder of how important they are, but also because they need to know that no matter where we are, they matter to me and I have time for them.

In our family we really stress that home is where we are together. It's not our house, and it's not our stuff, and it's not our community. It's our family.

We stopped in the mountains on the way here
and enjoyed some s'mores and a fire.

So really, we've been at home this whole time that we've been moving, because we've been together.

Another cabin shot.
Here they were either watching football
or American Ninja Warrior.
What could feel more like home?

At least that's what we tell the kids. The problem with that idea is that at some point, our family is not together. The Man leaves on TDY or deployment, and what then? Are we then not home?

So perhaps what we should really be teaching our children is that, of course, home is where we are together, but perhaps even more importantly, home is where we are with Christ, the one who never leaves us or forsakes us, the one who says, "Let the little children come to me."

But until they're old enough to understand that concept, I'm just going to keep loving them and snuggling them and not making fun of them when they have very public meltdowns over really ridiculous things. You know, basic mom stuff.

More of the series here!

1 comment:

  1. Let the little children pose for lots of photos for Auntie.