Tuesday, June 4, 2013

There is a fairly significant age gap between our two oldest and our two youngest children, a little over eight years. It was not intentional. We were blindsided by secondary infertility and spent many years exhausting every possible avenue. After eight long years we were blessed by the arrival of our sweet twins.

We essentially have two families - the older set and the younger set. We have found it to be a crazy balancing act trying to meet the needs of preteens and toddlers. Some days are more successful than others.

With such a large age gap I have felt that with the babies, as they are called in our house even though they are now full blown toddlers, we have started from square one again. Brand new parents trying to figure everything out times two. It has been quite a ride!

About a year ago now a friend of mine asked me a question in passing that has stuck with me ever since. I think about it almost every day. She asked me, since I had gotten a second chance at mothering littles, 'Are you a different mother than you were?'


I was a few weeks shy of turning twenty four when my oldest was born. As a twenty four year old I thought I had everything figured out. The naievity of youth can be a wonderful thing. :) I turned thirty four the day after the twins were born. As an almost thirty four year old I knew that I had nothing figured out.

This time around a lot has changed. Instead of trying to hurry on to the next stage of development - the next big thing - I try and drink in every second of where they are at right now. With my older ones I always had a project going on the side, now I spend my days on the floor building block towers, putting together puzzles, building train tracks and reading 'Goodnight Moon' for the upteenth time.

I look into their little eyes more, trying to know them and their hearts a little better. We spend a lot of time in the moment, just 'being'.

Do I feel guilty about not being more in the moment with the big ones? No. I am comfortable with the fact that as a younger mom I was doing the best I knew how, and I honestly thought I would have forever with them as littles. I had no idea that time would fly so very quickly.

And I think that is ultimately the difference. I now know that this moment will be over in a heartbeat, never to return again. I know, in a very different way than before, that all four of my children are miracles. So before this moment flees, I want to make sure I am soaking in every bit of the miracles I have been so graciously given.

What a gift.

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