thoughts on daily life within our family of SIX....each child in her own phase of childhood....

Monday, January 28, 2008


Matthew 6:8 Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

We have three children and a nine year age spread. Although we didn't necessarily plan it that way, it's worked out nicely in so many ways because each baby got to be the baby for a good long time. Until each child was no longer a baby, really (except in Mama's mind). I've loved the time that I have had with each little one; I've had the chance to create unique and individual relationships with each child, and I wouldn't trade that.

Sometimes, though, I think that part of the struggle that my middle child has with her love/jealousy toward her little brother could have been averted if they had been closer together in age. Perhaps she would have been more open to that change and been less resentful over the sudden appearance of this little guy who suddenly sucked up her spotlight (in her eyes). Since his arrival, she's loved him, but in a "let me poke you in the cheek a thousand times, and then I'll move on to your legs" kind of way.

Little brother has always been crazy about the big sister. Generally, she's been a roughhousing, silly kind of girl that can make him laugh at the drop of a hat. He loves her. They play together, and she directs the play (he likes it that way, and she MOST DEFINITELY likes it that way). He is her charge, and there is no struggle between them over this. Usually.

The little guy has sometimes been apprehensive about middle sister's presence, however. If she comes running up to him with a smile on her face, sometimes he puts on a defensive stance like he knows something bad is about to happen. Smart boy.

Over the past two weeks, however, I have seen a bit of a miracle happening before my very eyes. I didn't even really know that it was something that I wished for, so I definitely was not praying for it. Some days, my main hope and prayer was that my children wouldn't hit each other too hard or say something to each other that would permanently damage the other. I think that I had gotten away from the vision that I had for my children....before that vision was complicated by competition, sulking, jealousy and temper tantrums. In effect, I could no longer see the forest for the trees.

But,God has great blessings in store for us. Blessings that we cannot even think to ask for.

Over the past two weeks, I have seen my middle child (5) and my youngest child (2) become playmates. They've been spotted playing kitchen--together, playing reindeer--together, sharing toys--together! The baby has been saving things like stickers, saying, "Dis is for Nana." ("Nana" is his name for her.) "Where is Nana? Let's go get Nana." This thrills my heart, and for the first time since the baby was born, I feel like God has spread His comforting Hand on my back and has given me the solace of knowing, "She will be okay."

But more than okay. Blessed. Instead of taking something from her when I delivered my third child, her daddy and I were giving her a gift. She has been given a gift, and her daddy and I have been blessed enough to participate in giving her that gift. We have given her the gift of a playmate, a buddy, a friend. All of this for my tender child who has often seemed to wonder where she fits in and who will choose her to play with.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.


Julie said...

I know what you mean. My son actually helped pray my daughter into existence, he wanted a sibling so badly. They are 5 1/2 years apart, so I worry about them being close. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that they really don't have anyone else to play with most of the time. It has made them closer than they ever would have been if they were in separate schools all day.

As far as blessing him with a sister goes, he came to my bedside in the hospital and said, "Thank you for having a baby. Without her I would be so lonely." I'm so glad he understands the blessing as well.

Katrina said...

What a sweetly heartfelt post! Sibling relationships are so multi-faceted and complex. And I only have two! The dynamic changes completely when the third one comes along (I was the oldest of three. Three is a whole new level of parenting.)

What a wonderful blessing God has given your kids in each other. :D I'm so glad you're getting to see Him draw them closer!

dlyn said...

What an awesome post! This is my first visit to your blog, but it will not be my last. I struggled with our daughters fighting throughout their childhood and now that they are grown and building an adult relationship, all I can do is pray over it. They are far better than they were. My sister and I also fought with ceasing when we were kids, but now we are best friends.

4 Little Men said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Your family is beautiful!

Hope to hear from you again soon.