Thursday, September 06, 2007

Happy Birthday, Chicklet 5!

Back when I had only one child, I remember feeling sorry for a fifth child that was born to a family in our church. I thought there could be no baby more incredible than your firstborn--surely the "specialness" of the experience was at its height then, slipping gradually into the realm of "been there, done that."

But I've found, with the births of six children, that the opposite is true! I think I've appreciated each baby more, precisely because the experience is not all new--it's so wonderfully, achingly familiar. It's like returning to a vacation spot or a favorite work of art. You fall in love with it the first time, but repeat visits are richer because your love for it is rekindled and burned more deeply into your being each time. And you notice things beyond your first impressions. Having a daughter after several sons, I've noticed many more ways that a little girl's beauty and feminine qualities are so different from a boy's--more than I noticed with my first daughter, when I'd just had one of each.

Ten years separate my two girls. I adore the two boys that arrived in that interim, but I was in seventh heaven when this little girl emerged, wet and slippery, onto our bed. (It was my only home birth.) It seemed she was a fountain of femininity--and I've been drinking her in for the last five years. Her physical beauty takes my breath away sometimes--the sun glinting in her gossamer hair, the petal-soft cheeks, the delicate bone structure so different from my boys', the shapeliness of her legs, her arms, her little bum. Her verbal abilities and higher pitched voice are so remarkably expressive, whether she's playacting with her toys, telling on her brothers or just giggling! Her feminine temperament delights me too, as she mothers her doll and her little brother, as she wheedles her older siblings to play a game, as she delights girlishly in a swirly skirt or sequined "princess dress." She reminds me to live in the present moment.

My mother once looked up from a laughing Chicklet, who was especially charming just then, and said to me, "I hope your life is not so busy that you're missing this, hon."

I'm not, Mom. I'm not.

Thank you, Lord, for this marvelous gift You've entrusted us with for these five years--I pray that You will loan her to us for many more. Grant us the wisdom, the love and the obedience we need to raise her and her siblings. May they always be a cause for rejoicing, in our hearts and in Yours!

(From the archives--because my feelings haven't changed since she turned four. She still melts my heart daily with her sweetness and that SMILE. Go ahead and click on that last picture for a good look at it--and to see a few more family members in the background!)

The middle photo was taken by my older daughter holding the camera at arm's length. That's my niece, their cousin, in the last two pictures.)


Megan (FriedOkra) said...

Oh that was sweet. Shows me a new perspective I hadn't considered as a mother of only one... I struggle with just the feeling you describe, "surely the "specialness" of the experience was at its height then, slipping gradually into the realm of "been there, done that."

I doubt I'll have another, so I live vicariously through mothers of many sweet blessings. She is beautiful, by the way.

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

That was wonderful. I'm the youngest of four, and I have to admit, I've always felt a little bit like an afterthought...a little late to the party. Thanks for ministering to my spirit today.

Carrie said...

Well I only have one and I'm excited for more! Whenever I tell people how many kids I want (6) they seem surprised and shocked. (Not because of me ;) but because of society.)

What a wonderful post -- a blessing on your little girl. That put a smile on my face right quick! Thanks for sharing.

Summer in FL said...

Please tell her we said Happy Birthday! She is such a little cutie!

Jenny in Ca said...

how wonderful, loved this post and the photos. Tell her happy birthday for me too.