Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Family Cocktail

Greg and I are getting old, or else we already have way too many kids.  I'll tell you how I know this.  When we were young, we always had the radio on in the car.  My husband is a connoisseur of sorts when it comes to 80s music.  Greg used to play the "Name this Band" game.  I was terrible at it.  I finally started answering "Duran Duran" for every song, and he eventually only started playing the "game" when a Duran Duran song came on the radio (which means that I won every time).  That was a long time ago - before we fully understood the meaning of "peace and quiet" - before we had a son whose passion for life is manifest by the fact that his voice only knows one volume (HIGH) - before we had darling little girls whose mouths never, ever stop jabbering (sometimes Macy asks me if I'm listening to her, and I have to be honest and tell her that I was tuning her out because the brain can only process so many words in a given time period).    

Greg and I are old now because when we get in the car and and immediately turn off the radio, we both sigh as if the gentle buzz of the engine and the hum of the heater are the most soothing sounds we've ever heard.  We drove to Bear Lake last weekend.  We strategically left at bedtime so our little noise-makers were quiet almost instantly as they slept.  This gave us a couple of hours to actually talk to each other without any interruptions.  It was heaven! 

We talked a little bit about how each one of these kids are so different from each other.  They each have their own personalities, their own God-given gifts and abilities, their own struggles, their own idiosyncrasies, their own passions, and their own challenges.  How is it possible to add two more to this mixture?  Two more unique individuals that will present two completely new sets of blessings and challenges.  How can there be seven people in one family that are so different, yet share some similarities and most importantly, share a common goal?  This will be so interesting...so fascinating...to meet these two, new little spirits and see how they fit into the mix.  

One of Austin's gifts is that he is so good with little kids.  A couple of weeks ago, I looked over and he had placed Max on the couch in this comfy little chair.  He was sitting next to him and talking to him.  It was adorable.  He is always taking care of Macy and Paige.  Macy can convince him to do just about anything for her, and he happily obliges.  When Paige wakes up in the morning, she calls for Austin, and most of the time, he goes right to her and takes her out of the crib and gets her some milk.  I am grateful beyond words that he has this desire.

Macy is being shaped a little by her doting father and brother, and she basks in all of the glory.  She is so tender-hearted.  I can't even call her from the other room because "yelling" breaks her heart.  She is a genius at make-believe.  Sometimes, I pretend like I'm working, but I'm really just observing her and her little friends as they come up with the most creative and humorous scenarios.  There is not a day that goes by that Macy, in some form or another, doesn't bring a smile to my face.  That girl makes me remember to laugh and find joy in simple things.  

My sweet Paige.  This has been an interesting experience of bringing children into the world.  We have had our own, unique struggles with this process, and I am overwhelmed with the thought of having five (I never thought it would happen).  I don't take any of my children for granted, and I know that they are here as the result of many, many prayers, great faith, and ultimately the grace of God.  However, I feel like Paige was truly my own personal "gift" from a loving Heavenly Father.  More than any of my other children, I feel like the Lord knew what I needed, when I needed it, and Paige was the answer.  And I'm not just talking the "time of my life," I mean the day and even the time that she was born.  Greg blessed her with compassion and a loving heart, and I have seen this manifest time after time in her very short two years.  I believe she was sent to bless our family with her love.

She is already two, although it won't be "official" for another couple of weeks.  She definitely has her opinions and she is as independent as they come.  She has started fighting going to bed.  Last week, I put her down and the screaming and begging started ("No Mommy.  No.  Don't leave.  No night-night, Mommy.  Pease!!!").  Instead of walking out of the room and letting her cry for a minute or two, I stopped and leaned over her crib and rubbed her face.  "Shhh.  Would you like Mommy to sing you a song?  Yes?  Okay."  She made a few requests, and I quietly sang and caressed her face in an attempt to calm down her hysterics.  For the fourth or fifth song, Paige asked for "Bushel and a Peck," and I gave in like the big fat sucker of a Mom that I need to be more often.  About halfway through the song, she looked up at me with her lively, dark eyes, and said, "I dub you, Mommy."  I smiled but just kept singing.  Worried that I hadn't heard, she said again with more sweetness and more fervor, "Mommy...I dub you."  "I love you, too, Paige."  Then, I had to stop serenading because I was so touched by her incredibly sincere, spontaneous outpouring of love.  When I left, she didn't cry and drifted peacefully off to sleep.  

How is it possible for a baby really - she isn't even two - to know how and when to use those words without prompting, and to really, really mean them?  All of my children have repeated that phrase after we've said it, but she says it all the time, completely and utterly spontaneously.  Here I was, thinking that I was being the unselfish mother, giving my baby just a few more minutes of my exhausted day, and she had blessed me - yet again - with her pure love and compassion.  I am overwhelmed.  I am grateful for these moments when my testimony of families is deepened.  Heavenly Father purposely put us in these units to become more like our Savior.  (For instance, my mother commented that if these twins don't teach me patience, once and for all, then I am certainly a lost cause.  So true!)  But thankfully, it isn't always the challenges that teach us.  Sometimes, it is the pure, unadulterated spirits that reside in our home that give us a glimpse of the heart of our Savior, and I could never thank Him enough for the beautiful lessons that I am learning.


Krainich Family said...

I'd love to go on a vacay to your house and have you dote on me. . . your kids can even be there! LOL. No, Really though, I'd love some time w/you and Jenny from your block:) Ummm. . . I was wondering if you could do me a favor? I know you play the piano. . . and I want to try out for the Stake Musical ( I know it is so far away, but Anne just mentioned it so it's on my mind) SOOO, I need someone to accompany me while I practice my piece. . . maybe you can dote on my then. . . over my very un-honed voice. Maybe you could give me a few pointers while you are at it. Loves!

Allyson said...

Sweet! Children are such a blessing and it's nice to read your thoughts. I had to smile about you being honest with Macey when she asks if you're listening. I have those times too. I'll say, "Malia, I'm sorry, but I can't really think right now. Let's have a break from talking." Quiet time is lovely! I'm guessing you'll thrive in the peace and quiet (when you get some) even more in the coming months and years...:) It's all good, isn't it?!!!!

Jen-ben said...

It's so funny to me that while we were driving, we were talking about the very same thing!! So funny...like how could we possibly get a different personality?? It's so exciting!!
I love your family, it's always fun to be around you guys.
Love you!!

Valerie said...

Paige is so sweet! I think that some kids are given to the family to help keep everyone (starting with mom!) happy and smiling. She sounds like one of those. And how cool for her to have an older brother to take such good care of her. It's fun to read about how your kids interact with each other. Just wait until the twins come! I can't wait to hear about Paige as a big sister too!

Mindi said...

I 1000% relate to the car radio thing. You're not old. You're wise. You need silence to reflect on your great knowledge. So glad to see you so CONTENT. It is something most others will chase their entire lives. What a gift! Thanks for adding your friendship back to my life.


Liz said...

What a great post! Your family is beautiful!!! I love you pictures.