Judah said something to me on the way home from school the other day, that I just haven't been able to let go. From the back seat, he randomly piped up "Hey Mom! You know what? I'm glad we have Eliza in our family. Having a baby has taught me so much."
Those words of his...I needed them so much.
Since adding Eliza to our family 2 years ago, I've felt spread too thin, more often than not. Someone always needs me and someone else is always having to wait for something. Some days I go to bed with terrible guilt, convinced that I am not enough. When you have 3 young kids, you can't go and do all of the things as easily as someone who has 2 or 1, or kids much older. For me, having the 3rd has been the breaking point, where I no longer have it all together. However, my JOY has truly tripled.
I've been watching how Judah and Paisley are with Eliza and while it might not as easy for me to take them all to certain places, for example, a pool to go swimming (nope- I wouldn't do that alone), the experience of having a baby in our home has been such a rich and irreplaceable experience for them.
The other day, Judah and Paisley were building all sorts of neat creations with blocks in the living room. Well, you can only imagine what happened when Eliza decided to join in. Two year old's don't build, they destroy. To solve the problem, I overheard Paisley ask Eliza to take her hand and come with her. To prevent Eliza from destroying what they'd just built, she gently led her off to another room and then played with her for awhile.
That baby sister of their's throws fits and she gets into their stuff. When she naps, they need to be quiet and sometimes we can't go as many places because it's too hard for me with all 3 of them.
However.....they know how to care for her and they are so much better from it. They love her and I can honestly say they haven't complained, not even once.
Right now, in my journey with 3 littles, I'm especially thankful for what a beautiful experience this is for my older ones. No, it's not easy for them, but I've never wished for my kids to have an easy life. I wish for them to have a life filled with opportunities to give and receive love. For opportunities to be taught and to teach. For patience, kindness, problem solving abilities and for a sensitivity towards the needs of others. And mostly, for the BIG joy that comes when you pour out the love God's given us on someone else.
A real friend helps you roll up your pants, before encouraging you to go all in.