My sweet daughter wears crocs with socks, and somehow there is nothing I can do about it. My kids are growing up, and it's happening so incredibly fast. They put on shows and make up games and tell me no. They have opinions--strong ones--about basically everything. Even Shep tells me no on an hourly basis...it's definitely his favorite word.
Every single day the twins amaze me in some way. They do something or say something completely unexpected, making me wonder where my tiny babies have gone. And Shepherd, with his constant desire to be just like the big kids, is never far behind. At 19 months tomorrow, he refuses to slow down, running and talking and playing so smartly. I've had some tough weeks recently, but my kids have made them okay. When I stop and look at these three amazing little people, I am literally in awe. Yes, they are crazy. Big brother pushes little brother. Little brother has already learned to come say "Barnes hit" when he doesn't get his way. And sister may have a complete tears-in-the-floor meltdown if you limit the number of baby dolls she can take on her walk. But overall, they are amazing. They are fun and spirited and hilarious and creative. They eat up each new activity and love exploring the world. And the big ones are already in love with their newest baby brother, which is music to a momma's ears.
Tonight during bedtime, I went in to kiss Shep (Dad always puts Shep down) and I told Andrew that I couldn't believe we made this sweet little man. But then I realized how wrong I was. Andrew and I could have never made him or any of our children. Only our God could do that. A God who is loving and merciful and knows the sweetness of parenthood. A God who works things for good. It's a mystery to me--an unexplainable one. I will never pretend to understand how God and children and parenthood works. I cannot believe that our loving God would withhold children from anyone, yet I have seen and experienced families longing for babies. I have heard the stories and seen the tears of those who lost their precious children. So I don't really think of children as "gifts" from God. Yet at the same time, I am certain that my three precious babies, as well as the fourth coming soon, could not possibly exist without the goodness of God. So I'm completely unsure of how parenthood works--how it all fits together. I am certain that nothing I did could have merited the opportunity to raise these children, but I'm also certainly thankful for this experience. And with the passing of time, I have begun to be more and more comfortable with the fact that it is a mystery. That it's okay to not understand. To be thankful for not just the things I know to be true, but to pray thanksgiving over the things that are beyond my comprehension. And to most certainly be thankful for the three little reflections of God that I get to experience each day.