June 06, 2015

Ben Turns 2

I wish you could have been at our house yesterday.  We had a small group of Sophomore boys over to celebrate a Drew's birthday.  Like always, Ben didn't speak much, but he was the center of attention.
This little boy is LOVED by many.
I was a young mother when I had the opportunity to serve in a church calling with some amazing, older women.  Jane Covey, sister-in-law to Stephen Covey, was a mother of ten whom I admired.  She said once, "Nobody really wants ten children, but if I had got to Heaven and met these children and known that they could have been a part of my family but I didn't choose to have them, no one could quench my regret."  (This is my recollection of her quote 18 years after she said it.)
I always wanted 12 kids, until I had one.  Trust me, you don't get to 8 without knowing exactly how much work is required to raise a large family.  I don't want eight children most days.  Most days I want 4 kids of my own choosing.   I love my life!  But it's not relaxing or glamorous or gentle.  I often say, "Oh, to have eight and each an only child!"  

My "this is SO much laundry" moment is always followed up with a washing of gratitude for my bounty.  If I didn't have eight I wouldn't have HIM--
Please-- DO NOT read my blog and use me as the reason you have a large family.  Having eight children is practically impossible.  It is SO hard.  It is A LOT of work.  I'm a good mother that is spread very thin.  It is especially hard to raise a large family when you live far from family.

Many, many times a week, I look at my friends who have two or three children and I'm jealous of their neat and orderly lives.  Choosing to have eight is choosing to never, ever be able to do for your children what you wish you could do.  Choosing to have eight is choosing to spread your money and your time thinner.
And somehow, as you are forced to let go, you find that your children are better because you can't do more for them.  You find strong, responsible, grateful, hard-working, independent, confidant souls emerge from eggs they must crack themselves out of.
Two years ago, I was scared and full of faith as I prepared to risk my life to give Ben life.  I still am.
Having Ben was the hardest thing we have ever done.  It still is.
But oh the joy!!!  
What a gift these children are in my life!
What gifts they are to the world.

I believe I had two children when I knew Jane.  Even with two, I felt the tug of not being able to give my first all that I could before I had my second.  It literally hurts to not be able to give your children everything you wish you could.
Jane said that she would think, as she had another baby, that although she could give less, she was giving them a sibling and that sibling would give more than she would have ever been able to give.
Today, I celebrate Ben for all that he is.

This child is adorable, feisty, inquisitive, and full of life.
He's so good as I lug him around shopping or have him sit in his stroller through three highschool lunch periods while I handout Blood Drive fliers.  He's angelically good and absolutely rotten as he screams during sacrament and refuses to go to nursery.
He makes BIG messes.
He learned to help me water the plants, and the next day took the big cup from the bath tub, filled it, and helped me by "watering" the fake plants in my bedroom.
Today, I'm loving these toddler days because I know that they will end.  Thank goodness they will end.  :)

I can say one thing with complete conviction.
I never regret bringing eight children into this world.  I do sometimes wish my life were easier, more simple.  But, I can't possibly see the fruits of my labor and not celebrate!
If I didn't have eight, I wouldn't have HIM.

Oh Ben!!!
I feel SO blessed to be YOUR mother.
You were worth dying for and you are absolutely worth living for.
I celebrate today all that you are, all that you will be.
Our life is just full of wonder and joy because of your bright, happy spirit.

I love to look at this beautiful boy.
I love how he feels in my arms.
I love his innate infatuations with animals and how he can find them first wherever we are.
I love how smart he is, without saying words.
I love how he signs and points and speeds through a montage of "please-eat-more-outside-candy" with a big smile on his face when he's trying to tell me what he wants to eat.
I love watching him bring joy to his siblings, he teaches them patience and service and forgiveness and love.
I love how he fills all of our needs for physical touch and slobbery kisses.
I love that he loves me best.
I love that he tries to jump, says "BALL!" for every round object, and barely says momma but makes different noises for a tractor and a car.
I love how he cuddles into me when I sing songs to him before bed.
I love how he clumps around in shoes that are too big, with great skill.
I love the naughty grin he gives me when I point to nail polish he painted on my toilet.
I love how he can pet chickens without them running away.

Oh this baby of mine.
I love him with every fiber of my being.
I surrendered my life to God as He came into this world and everyday since then, God has magnified my joy and expanded my soul.

Thank You Ben!
Thank you for being two and thank you for being you.  You make me a better me.
I love you.
What a gift you are to me.
How blessed I am to be a mother of 8!
My life is good.


Aflyonmyhomeschoolwall said...

I'd been studying some educational philosophy books yesterday--good books with inspiring messages, but I'd hit a chapter in one of them that left my heart hurting over my inability to provide as many opportunities for my kids as I wish I could. It just touched on a weak spot in my heart, opening a window to doubt the blessings involved in having a larger than usual family (we have 8, too). Later in the day I happened upon this post, and my spirit was comforted. Thank you for posting this yesterday. It was just what this mother needed.

Kristine said...

Happy birthday Ben!!!

Christine suldinger said...

Happy Birthday Ben!

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