Kylee is growing. She is growing so fast and I want to slow her down! I want to keep enjoying those sparkling eyes that she looks up at me with when she is nursing and I want to continue snuggling in a chair with nothing but Kylee and a good book. Kylee has other plans. She wants to read my book now instead of nurse (leading me to put the book down) and grab my breast by the fistfull and pound on my chest (leading me to get much better about clipping her fingernails). Instead of cooing and smiling at me while I change her diaper, she wants to practice rolling over. Instead of sitting quitely on my lap or in my arms at mealtime she's grabbing my food and chewing on air. It's all so precious and wonderful and I feel like it is going way too fast!
There's just something about Kylee...she lights up whole rooms. Her brothers and daddy dote on her even more than I do. She has brought tears to the eyes of more than one visitor to our home, just by her mere existence. She still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. Her smile makes me smile from the inside out.
Don't get me wrong, I have always enjoyed being a mom, but I'm not sure I always realized what gifts my children are to me. The gifts that they give me every single day...the "Did you clean my room? THANK YOU MOMMY!" ....the hour and a half spent at the library just looking at books first alone, then all together, and then going back for more and bringing two library bags and still filling them both ...the afternoon off when I'm tired because Kylee has been keeping me up at night...the reminders that I should be resting when I'm not taking advantage of the provided afternoon off.
I remember when Aidan was little we went to the library once per week because we should...it was a business arrangement...get in, get out, go home. I still loved to read, but the prospect of going to the library seemed daunting somehow. That didn't get any better when I had not one, but two small boys! Those little boys haven't changed a bit (in fact they've grown louder and faster), but I have. Sometimes I wish I could go back and enjoy those moments more. Other times I'm just glad that I can enjoy them to the fullest now. Its a gift from my girls that makes it all possible.
There's just something about Kylee. She's a baby that never "should" have been. I gave birth to her big sister less than a year before her and breastfeeding and biology make her birth impossible save for one not-so-small detail...death. No matter how many other children we are blessed with, there will always be something about Kylee that sets her apart. She's a gift of giant proportions and possibility. A gift that required death and sufferring before it could be understood.
I've written three endings to this post now to try to sum up the way that all of this has impacted my mothering and my faith all in one fell swoop. I've written endings that say the right thing, but sound contrived or somehow all too "perfect" The reality is, it isn't a pretty little package all the time. Its a big giant messy mess, but it does boil down to something quiet simple.
The GIFT of Love.
The JOY of Mothering.