Last night as the big kids prepared for bed, Mr. Level-Headed and I sat on our bed watching the two-under-two crew play. What are those babies doing up so late? We were wondering the same thing. Leif was practicing jumping with two feet while Harriet was practicing blowing raspberries; I guess some things are more important than sleep. Mr. Level-Headed and I smiled as Leif bent down to kiss Harriet on the head after each jump and she returned his thoughtfulness with a grin and a coo.
This is the most challenging stage of my life so far. I am being stretched in more ways and in more directions than I would have ever thought possible. It's funny because when having more children was simply a dream of mine, I would envision them just joining us for the ride. I forgot that each baby brings with them their own purpose, their own unique set of needs and their own dreams, and that my role as their mom is to ensure that they are able to find their own path and have the tools they need to navigate it successfully when that time comes. These babies are not mine and all of THIS has nothing to do with me. THIS is for them, all five of them, and by being given the opportunity to raise these five amazing individuals, I have found my own path. Although I often feel like I am completely incapable of taking yet another step, I do and then I take another step. My entire life has prepared me for this moment. All those years I cared for and toted around my plastic baby, Laura, I was preparing to love and nurture my real babies. All those years I spent getting an education and eventually obtaining two degrees has helped me to teach, inspire and encourage my own children to do the same. And all those years I longed to hold more babies and all the pain and heartache I suffered trying to have them taught me how to truly appreciate my babies when they finally arrived. My life has taught me patience. It has taught me perseverance and it has shown me that I can do hard things. No matter how difficult my days of being a mama of five are, I know I can do it. I was made for these days, and I am going to cherish every moment of them.
So, when Mr. Level-Headed looked up at me, smiled and commented:
These two are going to be so close.
Even though I was very tired and wanted nothing more than for this day to finally be done, I smiled back:
Yes, they are, and that is why we are doing this.
I love you, two-under-two crew!