Baby B has changed everything! With siblings that are 12, 10, and 6 years older than him, he has brought the joys of babies back to the house... but we experience it in a whole new way because now we experience it through our older children as well. To see their joy as they watch him grow and learn, to see their interactions with him, it is just priceless. It sounds silly, but sometimes I feel bad for my oldest two because they only had Josh and I to adore them (They were close in age. They are best buds but they didn't adore each other!) And Petite got a little bit better deal because she had Josh and I and the oldest two to adore her. But Baby B gets the best deal because he has five people in this house who constantly adore him! It totally disproves the whole argument that you have to divide up your love and time and resources more and more with the more children you have. This house just totally overflows with love!
Now, it totally overflows with laundry too. And toys. And garbage that needs to be taken out. And crumbs and dust, too. And noise. Lots of noise. In fact, I would say Baby B proved some other cliches true for me. I am now the mom with mountains of laundry. My oldest two do their own, even. But I constantly find myself with a pile of laundry that needed to be washed, folded, or put away four days ago. Maybe longer. I am always wondering where it all comes from and how on earth four people can create so much of it! I have been conquered by laundry.
I've also fallen prey to the "I can't get anything done!" cliche. I used to manage the house pretty well, educate the kids within reasonable hours, find time to read for my own enjoyment or watch a movie, and read bedtime stories to Petite. Now, Me Time is something I have to prioritize to 15 minutes or so while Baby B has his afternoon nap. Despite all that is left undone around the house, I have to force myself to take this break. Because it will all have to be done again tomorrow, anyway, and I need a moment. But this is all new to me. I never totally understood the whole "I can't get anything done!" complaint from moms. I just thought "Hey, get off Facebook". Now, I realize it may be more than a Facebook addiction :) It might be the incredibly busy job of running a home and managing a family (and maybe a job too!). I had always heard that after three children, you could handle anything. Hmmm... maybe after four?
So all of this sounds like motherhood rocks, right?
It sure does.
These kids are such gifts. They are priceless. It is such a joy to watch them grown and learn. What a blessing to watch Baby B this year as he began to smile, to roll over, to crawl on his belly and then his knees, to take his first steps, to shake his head no, then yes (why is no first???), to clap his hands, to say mama (first!) and dada (second!) and kitty (third!). How fun to see him dancing to the music we play, to hear his giggles and outright laughter as we tickle him. His life is irreplaceable. We wouldn't be the Mathews without him.
We celebrated Baby B's big first birthday with a small family party. There were gifts (of which his favorite is the toy cell phone! He wouldn't put it down and freaked out when it turned off!). I made a chocolate chip cake which he devoured with gusto. He was just as adorable as ever.
Of course it is bittersweet to have my baby no longer be a baby, but a toddler. We are going to try hard to call him Little B now that he isn't really Baby B. :) But then, maybe one more year of Baby B :)
The Lord has given me a Scripture verse for each of my children, a verse to pray over their life, a verse that has been so encouraging in times of difficult parenting. The verse usually comes as I am just reading through my Bible on an ordinary day. Until today (March 7th), I hadn't been given a verse for Baby B. Every once in a while I'd remind the Lord that he needed to give me one.
Today, as I finished up the book of Deuteronomy, I received my verse for B.
"Of Benjamin he said,
'The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety.
The High God surrounds him all day long,
and dwells between his shoulders."
And Happy Birthday, Baby B!
Here's to a sweet 2nd year of Life!