I came to realize something the other day. It was an epiphany of sorts – an understanding that what those older moms had told me before was really true.
With several older children in the house now I am becoming enlightened. (Or so I like to tell myself on especially naive days . . . ) “Older” meaning no longer in diapers or pullups, they can brush their own teeth and empty the dishwasher, playing games means we actually pull out Rook instead of Candyland, and these kiddos could take down Dad and flatten Mom if they so desired.
It also means I am now looking up into one of my children’s eyes.
Since when did this happen?!
I’ve become so used to stooping over to look into little eyes for a decade now, that it hit me like a ton of bricks last Sunday. I wasn’t looking down. I wasn’t even looking straight on.
I was looking UP!
As I mused over this huge phenomenon with my blonde brain, I was watching my kids. And to these older ones I’ve come to realize that there are some precious gifts that we, as parents, can give our children. The most important of those is gospel of Jesus Christ and the opportunity to come to the cross in repentance.
But in this post, I’m talking about a gift you can hold, squeeze, touch and tickle.
We gave them a baby.
I’d always heard about what a precious gift it is to give your older children a younger sibling. I’d watch older boys grab the baby in their family, swing them up in the air, and make that baby chuckle deep belly laughs.
And I’d wish that would be my family someday. I dreamed of my older children enjoying the babies and toddlers.
Be still, my heart. But I think your dream might be coming true.
They love to wrestle, tickle, and chase the little guy around the house. It’s a fight over who is the one to get him out of the crib after nap time. When we go to the sewing at church, the first thing they want to know at break is “Where’s Dallas?”
Although they wrinkle up their noses at changing his diaper, they love to dress him in the mornings. It’s a playtime where he wiggles his feet so fast there is no chance of his legs entering the pant legs. Then this makes them laugh – and so he only wiggles harder!
I know there will be many families who cannot have children or who suffer from secondary infertility – and I am deeply sorry for your pain. So this will not apply to you, but sometimes the rest of us forget what it is our children truly need.
They don’t need a wii, an ipad or a cellphone. They don’t need more computer games or playstations. They won’t be made happier by more toys, bigger toys, louder toys or more expensive toys.
Instead . . . they need the chance to be a hero to a little boy in short britches.
Give them someone who toddles after them, trying to match footstep for footstep.
Let them learn what true responsibility for another human being feels like.
Give them the opportunity to be loved by an adoring fan with soft cheeks and beaming eyes.
Let them have a miniature shadow to help them reconsider the moves they make.
A baby is too precious a gift to not be shared!