Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sewing Family Seeds of Love

It's hard to remember when my trio left behind being babies and toddlers to become preschoolers and a little boy.  If it weren't for the images in the albums or the videos on my computer, my mind would already have a hard time picturing nearly six years' worth of my children in smaller frames.

In each of those vivid memories, I still can't quite make out how tiny were those toes, how smooth were their downy-skinned faces pressed against mine, how sweet the smell of even their sweaty heads after a hard nap.  I forget what they couldn't do, how simple was their vocabulary, how short their attention span.

In all of those memories, the mind supplants an image of who they were with an image of who they are now. I don't quite understand how this is, how I could remember the overall framework of a memory so precisely yet envision their faces, their abilities so incorrectly.

Perhaps it is the mind's way of protecting us from too much sadness over what is lost and will never be again, a method of deceiving us into contentedness with what is rather than with what was.

If that's the reason, it works.  I enjoy snuggling on the sofa as all three point to their faces and ask questions.  But, I love who my children are now.

As a result, thoughts of intense change are saddening.

Now. The present.

It is good. It is a blessing.

When Wyatt started kindergarten this fall, one of my fears was that we would lose our special time together.  For two years, the twins would nap in the late afternoon, sending our usually carnival-esque house into an odd silence.

It was during those two precious hours that Wyatt had his special one-on-one time with mommy.  He and I would take turns reading to the other, play board games, and learn whatever caught his fancy--counting by fives, telling time, naming dinosaurs.

I feared that with learning all day in kindergarten and coming home to an excited sister and brother who wanted his attention, too, that he would have little time for me in the evenings.

Blessedly, I was wrong.

After-school time with Wyatt is different than it once was, but the "new normal" is just as special.

He still begs to be read to, stacks of books at a time, just like before, only now, the twins join in, able to sit through the stack with him.  While daddy squeezes them together for bedtime reading, our living room sofa isn't big enough, so we four sit together on the floor and giggle in unison at puppy Mudge's antics or Amelia Bedelia's confusion.
Whereas Wyatt used to draw pictures and do crafts at my kitchen table, now he brings those creations home in his back pack (or on his head).  Still, though, each afternoon, the first thing he does is lay them all before me to explain every piece of paper.  I sit attentively through each description, my heart warmed by his interest in sharing with me the pictures of echolocation, Angry Birds, and representations of "five things."
What's more?  Wyatt's being in school has unexpectedly added to our home.  As soon as the bus returns him to me, he is on fire to teach the twins and me what he has learned.

Already this fall, my kitchen has seen a volcano erupt, objects float in salt water to determine density, water frozen into an iceberg, and (as soon as this mom can get herself to Wal-mart--silly mommy, why didn't you know you'd need celery!?) a simple experiment on osmosis.
What he does in class, he wants to do again at home.  The twins love it.  And so do I, this sharing.

On my kitchen cabinet presently sits his written request for a Venus fly trap and a ten-step plan to stop a little girl from chasing him at recess.  It all makes me smile.

Last week, Amelia interrupted Wyatt's after school soliloquy on Legos to have me put an outfit on her doll, and Wyatt burst into tears.  When I finally could get him to put words to his feelings, he quite bluntly told me that the twins had me to themselves all day long, but that this was his time.

I held him like a mama bear, understanding that even with the changes we've undergone around here, time together as a family, time with his mother is still important to him.

In a year, I won't be able to picture his face as it is at this very moment, chin turning from round to square, face becoming more elongated just like his father.  Still, I want to freeze these special moments of happiness.

I want to be able to remind myself when I enter another hard chapter that even when circumstances change, a family love that is cultivated daily runs deep, a family love that demonstrates itself by spending consistent, quality time together will still desire to spend that time together.

The seasons keep on changing.  But they can still be sweet if I am flexible and seek out different times, different ways to demonstrate love.

Writing in Community with Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus



  1. Precious, Jennifer. Thank you for sharing some of those videos and literal pictures with us! We want to remember them in this season, too.

  2. You are all adapting so very well. It cracks me up how he jumps right into repeat mode and teaching. What a very good big brother he is. I know too well those stages of growth, even now as a homeschooling mom.

  3. Yes--no matter where our children learn, we moms all have to adapt to their different stages. It's rough with my small ones; I'm not looking forward to the teenage years!

  4. I want to freeze the moments, too, Jennifer. And I realize that even though I do a fair amount of writing and photographing, I wish I would do more of the little things ... keeping a book of their silly quotes, etc.

    Grateful that you've linked this story. You are a gift to me, you know?