Friday, March 4, 2016

Why did I have kids?

“Making the decision to have a child- it is momentous.  It is to decide to forever have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone

I never wanted kids. I didn’t even want to get married… I didn’t want any kind of commitment to anyone other than myself.  Seriously, I couldn’t even commit myself to God, yet I considered myself Christian.. I didn’t consider myself selfish, and looking back, I don’t think that I was. It’s not selfish to not want commitment. But then I met a guy who I pretty much fell in love with the day I met him. He turned my life around. I call him my “coming-to-Jesus Person”. I feel like many of us have that one person in our life. He didn’t change me, and he never tried to. He was simply God’s way of changing my path to better myself and show me where my gifts truly lie. I’m a gifted person, and I know that. I can speak several languages, I’m fearless, I have held a job since I was 16. I’ve traveled the world alone, without any doubts. I am an athlete. I am incredibly physically strong.

I met my husband, built up an incredible faith I never knew possible, and I just had this overwhelming desire to have children. I wanted kids who could be just like the man I married. I wanted to raise awesome people. I know I’m not the only one, but I want to have kids most importantly as a chance to raise people to be better than myself. I have found that this is the gift with which God entrusted me. I’m not a wonderful mom, but I have endless love for my kids, and it turns out I do have some patience into which I’ve never before tapped. Raising kids is pure joy for me. Never before in my life have I ever laughed so much and so hard. They’ve taught me forgiveness, faith, grace, patience, understanding… they’ve taught me everything that has made me a better person.

Fast forward to 3 children later. People who have only one child always wonder aloud to me how you can possibly love more than one child as much as you love just one. I think that once you have several children, you learn what true love really is capable of. Love doesn’t divide, it only multiplies. I love each child so differently, but I adore each one more than I thought I could love anyone or anything. They are my heart and soul. I could lose everything in the world, but being able to hold them would keep a smile on my face and joy in my heart.

Lately, I’ve found myself crying on a daily basis. I think it’s hitting me that these babies grow up. Days go by so quickly and before you know it, April 2012 becomes March 2016. My oldest has always been so advanced and simply grew up too fast for me to be able to savor his baby-hood. Kai’s a genius, energetic beyond words, and can bring tears of laughter to your face in the same breath as eyes full of rage. Without thinking too much about it, I wanted another kids simply because I wasn’t going to have just one. That second baby…. Luca is so different from any child or person I’ve ever known other than my husband. He’s not overly advanced like his older sibling (but he definitely has his wits), and has the sweetest demeanor. He is by far the easiest most loveable child I could ever dream up. He’s been so baby-like for the past 19 months that I’ve really been able to cherish him. Then my baby Gaelan came along. Ever since Gaelan arrived, I’ve cried everyday looking at Luca. I keep wondering why the heck I’m suddenly so nostalgic when it comes to Luca. I don’t look at Kai and cry or Gaelan and cry. I look at Luca and am scared to death of his growing up. I want him to be a baby forever. That’s totally silly though, because I just had a baby, so it’s not like I’m not going to have a baby once Luca matures. It hit me, that I see Luca in all his loving nature, and now have Gaelan to compare to Kai, and see how crazy fast a newborn can become a 3 year old. Between that and having the feeling that Gaelan is going to grow up just as fast as Kai without stopping at toddlerhood, I can’t contain my…. I don’t even know what to call it.

Raising children is difficult. It’s so difficult when they are all 18 months apart. Besides their learning to play nicely with one another, which can be a wreck some days, I’m trying to work, train for events, and take classes. However, I’m squeezing all the joy out of every moment with these babies that I know far too well don’t stay babies. I’m saying this, and my oldest is only 3. Given, he’s 3 going on 16, but my point is that if I’m going through this now who knows how sad I’ll be when they’re all out of the house. How do moms do this? Why do we put ourselves through this? After all hard labors and births, losses, lack of sleep, and difficulty with breastfeeding, and all the fears that can come with having children…. It has to be some kind of addiction to love. Someone has told me having more than two kids is pointless. It certainly wasn’t a woman who told me that. Why did I want more than two? Because with each child you see different gifts, different characteristics, different wonders they add to life. It’s hard to just stop when you’re so curious as to what gifts the next child could bring that you could miss out on. A friend of mine who has three actually put that into words for me one day, and it’s exactly what I’d been thinking all along. Bright eyes filled with love and promise… I just can’t get enough.