Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Every day with every child brings new joys and new challenges ...

Every child is different from the one before it.  Every pregnancy, every birth, every recovery, every postpartum babymoon, and every stage of that child's life is different than the ones that came before it.  Raising each child (and homeschooling them) continues to bring new joys, new challenges, new experiences, and new lessons. 

Someone asked me just yesterday about homeschooling, and if we had homeschooled from the beginning.  When I said we had, they commented that we must have it all figured out and under control by now.  I told them that every child is different, and teaching them brings new experiences and challenges.  With each child, we learn something new and deal with different issues.  I don't think anyone ever really becomes an "expert" at this.  Every time I think I've got it all figured out, I get thrown a curveball that takes me by surprise.

And it's more than just school.  Each child matures differently.  Each child reacts to illnesses differently.  Each child needs something different from me at certain ages.  Each child responds to difficulties and frustrations differently.  Each child speaks a different love language, or combination of love languages. 

With each child, I am faced with something new.  2 yo L is no different.  With her, we faced breathing troubles and breathing treatments for the first time.  With her, we have faced early tooth decay for the first time.  And now I am wondering how to get a 2 yo to cooperate with a dentist for tooth exams and extractions.  I would prefer to do this in-office, and in town ... but we may have to go to a specialist dentist out of town, and possibly even into the hospital setting ... depending on how she handles it.  I've been through dental issues with a 4 yo, and a difficult 6 yo, but never a 2 yo. 

But with her, we've also had new joys.  She delights us when she sings "Jesus Loves Me" to her dolls, or marches around the living room singing "I'm in the Lord's Army!  Yes, sir!"  Her hugs and kisses and snuggles are all her own.  Her smiles, her personality, and even her pouts, are uniquely hers.  Her voice, her words, and her laugh are so cute and special.  Watching her interact with her siblings is different than any other sibling interaction ... because she is unique, and her siblings are at ages they've never been at with a 2 yo sibling before.

I still have lessons to learn.  I still have challenges to face and overcome.  But I also have new joys to look forward to.  It's hard to remember who I was, or what I was like when I only had 3 little girls, all under age 5.  So many lessons learned since then.   And someday I'll look back at this season and not be able to fully remember what I was like "back then".   I try to remember, because it helps me to understand others and encourage them ... but it's just so fuzzy sometimes.  Certain days and moments stand out so clearly, but the day-to-day realities are harder to recall.

This new baby will bring new experiences, lessons, joys, and challenges, too.  When it joins our family, we will all have to adjust to the new reality of a 7th child, a 9th family member.  Life will not revolve around the baby, but there will be adjustments for everyone to make.  Although we are all looking forward to this baby's arrival, I am mentally preparing myself for the reality that the first few weeks will likely be messy.  Things will not go as planned.  There will be challenges I'm not expecting.  But, the blessings will outweigh the challenges, and we will all adjust to the new reality for our family.

Trusting in Him,
April

1 comment:

  1. This is so true. It has been such a blessing to see how each of our older 3 children interact with our youngest one. The family dynamics completely changed after she was born. There has been more opportunity for them to serve and they enjoy her so much. It has been sweet.

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