When I was pregnant with Julia, and people figured out the age difference that was going to be between the children, there usually followed the comment about teenagers. When I had her, the assumption was always made that of the two ends of the spectrum, surely I found the teenagers more trying. I always felt bad for these people, because I love my teenagers. I don't just love them because they are my kids, but like them as people, delight in being with them, and miss them when they are gone. I do not know if I will feel the same way about Julia and Ellie when they are that age, but I sure hope so.
For one, I am pretty sure that teenagers, as a rule, don't want to show up in their mother's blog very often.
Two, one of my "pet peeves" with myself and sometimes parents in general, is our tendency to talk about our children's "issues" as if they were our story to share long past the age in which that is true. I have a precious relationship with Maggie and James and would not want to write anything that would jeopardize that. I don't, however, want to give the impression that everything is perfect or that we don't have trials or that the trials we do have don't have consequences.
Thirdly is the practical reality that young adulthood is a season in your life when you are trying on different labels - different adjectives for who you are. What people you love say about you, especially to others, can really stick. At my age I can still remember many words that people used to describe me, some of them taking years to shed. Even if they were not hurtful, they often became burdens.
The other day James really convicted me on this very point. He said, "Well, mom, you have a perpetual ____, a perpetual ____, and a perpetual ____. I wonder what Ellie will be." He was not mad at me at the time, we were laughing in fact. But I realized those blanks? They were labels I had given each of them. They were accurate summations of the thing about the three of them that most grates on my nerves.
I am going to be working on that.
I would think, however, that it should be safe to publicly thank Maggie and James for the sacrificial ways they have lived at times the past two and a half years. I am not saying this has been a bad thing. God has used all of these changes to bring forth less self-centeredness in both of their hearts, and that is very beautiful. I do note though, that it has occasionally been hard and they have gone far above the call of duty in many ways.
Thank you for making Julia and Ellie laugh. For turning my bed down and fetching me an Advil. For patiently waiting for an answer to your question. For forgiving my snappy irritability at the end of the day.
Thank you for lunch made and dishes done. For fresh flowers on the table.
Thank you for cleaning the bathroom because some one is coming and "we wouldn't want people to think we live like this!". For taking little people on adventures that involve ice cream and sprinkles and ducks.
Thank you for hanging up your wet towels and folding the dry ones. For chopping vegetables and marinating the steaks.
Thank you for picking up the milk on milk day and your dad at the end of the day.
You are my very favorite first born child and my very favorite son and I love you both!
Children are a heritage from the Lord.....Psalm127:3