There's something about this kid...
that tugs at my heart strings.
He is so stinkin' cute. I love his narrow little neck, round face, chubby cheeks, and button nose.
I love to hear him learning new words and singing his favorite songs.
It's not like my other kids aren't adorable, it's just hard to not give the baby of the family the most attention.
I mean, he is number four after all, and that means that we have some older kids who know how to say no and exhibit unpleasant behaviors. But a baby? They're pure innocence.
me and my firstborn
Mothering was something I slipped into easily, naturally. The beautiful baby boy I birthed at age nineteen completely stole my heart and consumed my thoughts and energies.
Feeding, changing, burping, rocking, loving, and cuddling one child was easy, and something I did whole heartedly. When a tiny daughter followed, I was delighted. She was a difficult baby, but I was consumed by the little spitfire nonetheless. It was around the time that I had number three that I stopped the shopping trips with the kids, the days of lounging and reading, and that life became so busy I couldn't remember whose first word was what.
Baby number four
Becoming a mother to four was...was...I don't know how to put it into words. It was like having the third again, only a little worse. Suddenly everything seemed overwhelming as a demanding, hungry, pooping little bundle of lungs was thrown into the mix. I simply couldn't keep up with all the demands of a family of six, one of whom was a newborn. So I didn't try. When he was just an infant, I stopped stressing about the house, the un-bathed toddlers, the pile of laundry, and just enjoyed him. I breathed his newborn scent, I counted his little toes, I cooed and cuddled. And I sometimes wondered how I could love him so much, how I could love him in a different way than I loved my first. I wondered if the bond between myself and my other babies was as strong as it was with this one, or if I was simply growing as a person, a mother, and becoming more whole.
And yet, I look at my other children and each one pulls a string of my heart too.
I look at my oldest, and I have this sense of pride for the boy he is. He is undemanding and dependable. We usually understand each other pretty well.
My sweet daughter, my only daughter, is sometimes so like me that we clash. Yet, I love the independent streak in her and her quick wit.
My third child has tried my patience the most, but he can also be the most charming. He analyzes everything and makes me smile with his questions and constant quips of "I love you mom".
You know how I feel about my 'baby'. He is becoming more opinionated and stubborn by the day, but still has the sweetest way of tilting his head to one side when he smiles at me.
Only he won't be my 'baby' for much longer. The newest little Johnson has already taken up residence in my heart, even though she won't make her appearance until this fall.
How is it that mother's heart can fit in so much!? Each of my children tugs at a different heart string, yet holds a secure place nonetheless. How is it that a mother's heart can dole out so much unconditional love despite all the troubles and worries!? How can the amount of love I have to give only multiply, rather than divide!?
Quite simply, I believe that motherhood is just as miraculous as the creation of new life.