"Perhaps parents would enjoy their children more if they stopped to realize that the film of childhood can never be run through for a second showing."
What a powerful statement. We only have this one time to raise them, to see them grow. It makes me sad. I know that in the back of my mind I am thinking of all that I could accomplish if they were all in school and I had a big block of time to just DO. But how fast it goes. I blinked and Dalton was ten. Now I have his little clone of him with Garrett, so I am holding on to him...
With the kids there is such a sweetness to each of them. I seriously LOVE our family dynamic. Growing up, there was not the best family dynamic in my house. Too much estrogen...and drama...and strangely enough- silence. I was hungry for fathers, and males, and calm. I was hungry for "traditional", whatever that means. I think that to me, it just meant "solid".
So, with our family, it feels solid. I must admit that sometimes I still think that there is a girl out there that we will adopt in a few years. And I can see having a bunch of foster kids once my kids are older.
But this feels really perfect too. Dalton is the emotional, creative, darling, friendly, athletic, sweet big boy that sets the tone. A good big brother who is interested in what his smaller siblings are doing, and includes them a lot of the time in play.
Shelby with her sharp-as-a-tack mind and sense of humor, keeps us all on our toes. She is a good compliment to Dalton's fluid creativity. Just as athletic as Dalton, with less drama than anyone in our family, and a laugh and smile that are huge and infectious. She is a wonderful sister to both of her brothers. She idolizes Dalton and makes him feel like a rock star, while she mothers Garrett and is possibly more proud than even me at his accomplishments and milestones.
Garrett is the perfect baby brother. He definitely gets the best parenting, after Gavin and I have made all our mistakes and learned what doesn't work with parenting on Dalton (sorry oldest kid..I know how it is). He is funny, and knows it. He is the apple of everyone's eye and the earth does revolve around him. Everyone thinks that he is theirs. He's Gavin's sidekick, Dalton's clone, Shelby's baby, and my appendage. There never was a cuter/smarter/funnier/more clever child, as far as our family is concerned.
(pictures from a zoo trip a couple weeks ago)
Our dinners are sweet, with funny conversations about the kids' day and what they learned. Garrett will then say a funny thing...we'll all laugh. Somebody will complain about something on their plate, which will usually prompt the other kids to show how grown up they are that they want to eat it. We'll talk about other things- what's going to happen tomorrow, or playdates the kids want me to schedule. Gavin will be complimented on the dinner. I will cut Garrett's pieces smaller. We'll look through our bay window to the neighbor's big elm trees, see one of our cats walking along the top of our wooden fence. Shelby will listen for friends outside. Garrett will hear a truck driving down the road outside and his face will light up. It's ordinary, but it feels wonderful. And there's no second showing.