It's all about the cheeks. John and I talked in detail about each of our children's cheeks and how they hang. Burl's were out and down, Fern's squeezed her mouth, Ridge's were more to his side, and now we're watching Lark. Tummy time proves the best way to observe them.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
There's a feeling of going home when I go to Grandma Polly's house. When I head northeast for a Virginia visit, I'm flooded with memories of my childhood. I remember spots on the interstate, going over the hills on Timberlake road, the anticipation of the last few blocks before we turn onto her street and the simple enthusiasm she greets us with. Her house, with its decorations and function, have not changed since I was a child. It's the best constant that I've had in my life, thank you Jesus.
I always had space to be a child there. Three generations of women grew up on that street, and the stories are plentiful. "We would only come inside to eat," was fuel to my childhood heart. I explored the neighborhood with my brothers in the same way that my mom did, and now I get to take my children there.
This weekend we took our circus to Grandma Polly's sanctuary for a four day visit. Burl and Fern have been asking to return, and I was eager to introduce her to Ridge and Lark.
It was a fantastic trip. She adored them. We saw some sites, did some things, and poked around. Nothing about that was as special as sitting on the floor on her den, playing with my children, and watching her laugh at us. She never stopped watching and she never stopped laughing. I loved it so.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
This morning I woke up to a familiar scene: Burl and Fern were awake before me. Burl was dressed and ready for school, and they had set up breakfast. It was the cutest scene. They were so proud of themselves. They always tell me how they solved problems they encountered: "we used paper towels because we didn't have any napkins clean," "we couldn't find a sippy cup for Ridge, so we got his snack pack."
Then, the sweetest part: Burl wrote me a note on a princess napkin, a move I make when I pack their lunches. John laughed at this, "Wow Meg, he is his mother's son."
Since Ridge was born and even more with Lark, Burl and Fern have been very helpful. I used to feel guilty about this, worrying that they were losing their childhood in effort to help ease Mama's load. Then, a sweet friend said in passing, "God didn't mess up by putting your kids where they are." I turned my worries into prayers that "God would use this time in their lives to turn their hearts into servant hearts for God's glory." That's what I silently pray when the worry creeps in that they have to help too much. When they setup breakfast like this and are overjoyed to show me their surprise, I trust that the Lord knows what He is doing far more than I do.
Monday, March 13, 2017
I often joke that my younger brothers were my first children, because I love them so much and have since they were babies. My earliest memory is 20 months old when my mom brought Joseph home from the hospital. I remember running through our house, away from my grandmother, outside to the car, pulling my mom down to my level and ripping off the blankets to see his little shape. I had to see him. When Daniel came along, I had a lot of freedom holding him. At nap time I would go to the floor above his room and stomp around to wake him up from his nap so I could play with him. Now, I see that same love in the older children. Burl and Lark have the same age gap as my brother and me. I had so many more freedoms than Burl has with Lark, so I've resolved to bring him into more of the care taking. Today, he got Lark out of his crib, set him on the changing pad, changed his diaper, walked him upstairs, wrapped Lark in Burl's bed, and read him books.
He was very careful and very attentive. I laughed when he said in his sweet voice, "I hope that he doesn't feel like he's being tortured."
Besides the notoriously hard snaps that never line up, he did great.
His confidence was high, and he was eager to tackle baby #2. With Fern's distractions, Burl got the job done. Even though I know this kind of help won't last, his attentiveness and care were endearing.