Malachi is 4.5 months old already -- he's so happy most of the time (now that I've given up gluten). He loves to stand on his feet while we balance him, grabs for everything and puts EVERYthing in his mouth. He's starting to experiment with his voice (oh, the pitch and decibals -- especially when Josiah joins in!) And he has just found his feet, which has added a whole new challenge to diaper changes (any tips for getting him to let go of his feet long enough to change him? LOL)
I'm trying to soak up every blessed moment of this baby's life. More than likely, he is my last and I don't want to miss a thing. I'm constantly feeling like I'm NOT absorbing it like I want to -- I feel so busy with everything else in life that I don't feel like I get as much time to just sit and watch him and talk to him like I did when Josiah was a baby, and of course, that triggers the mommy guilt -- how do I give each of my boys the love and attention they deserve without making them sacrifice for the other?
I'm discovering that the answer is: you don't! They DO sacrifice for one another -- that's just part of having a sibling. And I knew that even before we planned Malachi, and it's what I wanted -- it's a set of life lessons I really wanted for Josiah to learn. I didn't realize how it would somehow feel unfair to Malachi that his babyhood doesn't feel as lavished with attention as Josiah's was. I'm not worried about whether I love them equally -- there's no question in my own heart that I do -- my concern is with whether THEY know that. Will Malachi feel less loved because he hasn't gotten as much direct attention as Josiah did when he was tiny? Will Josiah feel less loved because he sees Malachi get unconditional love while Josiah spends a decent part of his day being corrected for misbehavior? Is there really a way to prevent any of these things anyway?
My consistent prayer is that God will fill in the gaps where my parenting falls short. Where I'm unable to express the love they need in the ways they need it and at just the right times, I'm praying God will wrap His love around them instead. Where I get frustrated and lose control and say something stupid or make a mistake in how I deal with my kids or my husband, I pray God will cover those mistakes and fix what went wrong. I once heard an analogy about playing the piano -- God is, of course, the ultimate pianist, and even if I were incredibly talented (though most days I'm just plucking out a note here and there to try to string a song together), God tells me to keep playing and then comes alongside to fill in the missing notes and make a beautiful song. Lord, make my family a beautiful song today!
In a countdown to Thanksgiving, I'll post a new thing each day that I am thankful for. Yesterday, I was thankful for a warm place to live and enough money to pay the heating bill. I hate being cold and love to sit by a warm heater on cold mornings. Today I am thankful for the privilege to vote, to have a say in decisions made by my government and to protect the freedoms I cherish. What are you thankful for?