Thursday, December 9, 2010

This Thing Called Family

I have caught myself being mesmerized by my boys this week.  At different, unexpected moments I have felt myself staring at them and smiling a most ridiculous smile!
I really do try to live in the present...not beat myself up for the past or dream constantly about the future...or worry about it.  

I try to heed the advice of many women who have crossed my path:  treasure every minute because they grow up so fast!
I do appreciate the meaningful time homeschooling these lil gentlemen allots me.  I see that I get to experience precious moments many mommas don't get to enjoy.

But, even though I try to stay aware of my treasures' limited time in my arms and home, I get caught up in the mix of life.  So this week, for whatever reason, I have been acutely aware of my guys and their uniqueness...of their fast growth and their changing looks.
As I was reading my friend's blog post this morning, taking in her thoughts of her bonding process with her adopted Chinese son, I found myself thinking back on my "baby"...Trey.
Trey was born when Alex was only 18 months old.  To say the least, Trey was a blessed surprise!  God knew when we needed him.  God had a special plan.
BUT, Alex was momma's boy and he wasn't really ready to give up my attention.  Trey instantly took to his Daddy-to the point that I could hardly get him to even nurse because he would look around and cry until Tom held him!

To be honest, I was over nursing at that point, and he probably somehow sensed it!  I was over being wallowed by a baby most of the day and since Alex didn't want to let me go, I was trying to do it with two kids hanging on me.  I felt drained beyond description...and if you have had multiple little ones at one time, I know you know what those days feel like!
Trey took to the bottle and was happy as could be to have his daddy feeding him.  He never hated me, but he LOVED his dad.  I truly had never seen any kid prefer his father so much at that age, but I really didn't mind because my hands were full!
I will never forget the day Tom left for Pensacola, FL.  We lived in SC and he had been selected to be an Officer, which meant more training.   Trey was so young...around 2 if that, but he somehow knew when Tom walked out that door, he wouldn't be right back!

The boy laid on the carpet by the door and cried for hours.  I tried my hardest to comfort him, to hold him, to talk to him.  He would have none of it.  He literally kept pushing me away.
"Sad" cannot even describe how I felt.  I had come to understand that I had dealt with post-postpartum depression after all three boys' births.  It was so rarely talked about or addressed at that time.  I just literally thought I was crazy!

I was beginning to understand what I had walked through each time, but it didn't make me feel any better about the lack of relationship between me and my baby boy!  I was painfully aware that I could never get that time back.
Trey was hurting, and it seemed like I could not help him.  I had horrible thoughts running through my head..."You've screwed him up forever."  "You were so selfish that you couldn't even love your baby right."  "He will never like you."

LIES, but very convincing ones at the time!

Thankfully, we serve a God of Restoration!
In the weeks that followed, Trey did open up and let me in.  By the time we were reunited with Tom, Trey was as much attached to me as he had been his daddy.

Believe me, Trey is still his dad's right-hand man at most times, but we now share this amazing relationship that I treasure!
The other night, I was tucking him into bed and he was so tired he could hardly hold his eyes open.  He said, "Mom, give me your hand."  I did and he kissed it and smiled the most adorably sleepy smile, and he said, "You're the best."

I love that all my boys are still affectionate with me...even fight over who gets to sit by me on the couch when we read or watch movies!
I have no idea what the future holds for us, but I do know that I am so thankful for the present!  

Some days are down-right exhausting.  

Some days I still feel like I am screwing them up!  

Some days they drive me whacko with their endless horse-play and practical jokes on each other.

BUT, I do see that they are the best of friends at heart and that they are building this thing we call "family."



Katie Ashcraft said...

those sweet faces... and the one of all 3 in the tub... adorable, you should blow that up to an 8X10 and frame it in the bathroom! so cute. it is soooo hard to slow down and enjoy the moment, I know it's the devil's doing to keep us so busy with so many things... God is so good... He's such an anchor when our thoughts run wild with the devil's lies. I'm so thankful to be a child of God. Love your posts, and those adorable faces! Katie

Mindy said...

I agree Katie! God is AWESOME!