missing you

We have had your cousins, Jada, Kaila, and Leo with us for the past couple weeks. Our whole world has changed. Going from one to four kids overnight is quite an undertaking. Especially when one of them is still a young toddler. 

Everything in our life looks different today than it ever has. Most of it has been very special and fun for all of us. We haven't had any issues with anything (other than Leo spiking a fever at first - which turned out to be fine)

We are grateful to still be in our house. Having so much space definitely seems to make things easier. 

You like having the two older kids to play with all the time. All three of them are wonderful to have.  

But I am missing you. You are always off playing with the girls - usually outdoors or on another floor of the house. I see you when we pile into the car to go somewhere, or when it's eating time, and for a few minutes at night for prayers and tucking in. 

At first this was okay, because I always have Leo to watch, feed, sleep, change, bathe, etc... not to mention the extra house work, and the dogs. I'm so much busier now that I am grateful you have something to do without my constant involvement. 

But this week, when I was out alone with Leo, while you and the girls were at VBS each morning, I missed you. 

As my relationship with Leo is growing, as he's looking for me, lighting up with relief when he spots me across the room, running to me, taking my hand, smiling to check on me... I'm recalling the way things were with you and I when you were his age, and even just before the kids came. 

I miss having you slip your growing hand into mine as we walk through a store. I miss you checking that I'm there for you and smiling relief. I miss watching your eyes light up when you see your Mom. 

You're so occupied that you aren't even finding time to be jealous of "the baby". Which is best, but none-the-less kind of lonely for me. :)

You are literally growing faster. Now I understand when even stay-home and homeschool parents look at you and longingly speak of their big kids growing up too fast. I have never felt that way until now. With multiple children, i can't be with each of you every minute. You all don't even want me when there are other kids to play with. 

I spend so much time without you. I have little to no time to read to you, or sit on the deck and talk, or take a walk and watch you explore, or... anything alone with just you. 

We still do tons of fun stuff. But you are off with the girls at the parks and events we go to. Playing a board game, taking a walk, or reading are entirely different activities when there are three or four of you. The big kids stick together. You talk to each other. You plan and scheme and argue and explore together. I bring up the rear with the snacks, bandaids, and wet wipes... 

I'm not your beloved side-kick Mama anymore. Thankfully it's not a permanent position, but something I always feared and was grateful your Dad and I avoided by only having one child... I am now the DIRECTOR. :(   

In some ways this has been good for you. It's good for you to be a kid, surrounded with kids to identify with. I see and hear things coming from you that are (I think) your own authentic thoughts, ideas and words. I feel like you are less inhibited by expectation and the need for self control - if that makes sense. 

I feel like I've stepped back and am watching you from a whole different vantage point. You were always such a part of me. I always knew why you said and did the things you did and how you came to it. Now, you're all you. And I love seeing that, too. :)