Thursday, May 15, 2008

This post is for me

I held a four-and-a-half-month-old this week. Our neighbor was babysitting him for a friend and brought him across the road to chat. It's taken me a while to get to this point, but I'm definitely in the nostalgic-about-babies phase. (Most people, I understand, would have their next baby at this point, but since we all know OUR backstory on that, we'll just move on. I'm content to put the whole burden of producing offspring on my sister!)
Anyway, my point here is that my children are growing quickly, and I can't seem to keep up. Someone's always saying or doing or drawing or singing something amazing each day -- times five -- and most days I can't seem to get my head out of my laundry pile and focus my full attention on them, for a real, true moment. So right now, for me, I am going to write, and capture a bit of who they are, this day. Youngest first, don't you think?

Leah Hope
There are no words to describe how much she is her own person, even at age 4. She plans her days as if the whole world awaits her announcement of the agenda. Every fork, carrot, toothbrush, pencil is a imaginary character that wants to play with a similar item in her sister Sara's hands, and every other moment is spent evading work with her brother Jesse. For her and only her, tough big brother Levi will put toothpaste on, tie a shoe, buckle a seat belt and accept a kiss. Her highest aims are to do "reading lessons" like her twin siblings, and hop on one foot for a long time. She gives four kisses, every time, and tries to sneak in a fifth.

Sara Jeanne
Imagine very light, big, clear blue eyes staring innocently up at you, while the whole time you can almost see the gears turning furiously as the five-year-old "good" twin tries to figure out how to stay out of trouble without lying. She is curious! She wants to know everything, about everyone, all the time. Joy abounds at the mention of peanut butter and jelly, but her whole body slumps when anything appears in the shape of a casserole dish. She produces seemingly endless works of beautiful art every morning, all of which she expects will be displayed appropriately. She loves to read, and is figuring out more words each day. She makes friends more easily than any of her siblings, but never, never with a dog.

Jesse Harold
What goes on in that mind? If he notices you noticing him, he reacts with a quick huge grin and two fully extended arms asking for a hug. He plays the best by himself of any of them, but would never ask to do so. He loves to sleep, but doesn't ever complain when his big brother rouses him out of bed each morning. Eye contact is an absolute when giving him instructions, because it seems he usually assumes that no one could really be just talking to him. He basks in praise from anyone, but especially his older brother. He cheerfully -- and very accurately -- completes math problems said older brother has created for him each day, content to just be doing what Levi is doing. He is quick to laugh, quick to help, and very quick to love.

Delaney Kay
I can barely write about her without crying. Six years old is her element, I guess. She leaves us amazed each day with her witticisms and thoughtfulness and obstinacy and intelligence and bossiness. the bigger the words in the older the hymn, the better. She directs the group playtime of herself and the younger three each day until Levi bribes her heavily enough to convince her to join him in something and bring along her gang. The newer the food, the more mixed up it looks, the better. Nothing cheers her more than the announcement that it's a "big workin' day!" She lives to write stories, organize/sort clothes, and visit her Nanny and Grandma.

Levi Matthew
A dear friend told me that I would love all my children, but that my love for my son, my firstborn, would be a "fierce" love. I live that every day. This tall, intelligent 8-year-old looks at me each morning and all I want to do is grab him and kiss his head all over. But then he starts complaining and I want to whop him with my dishrag. He will whine and wheedle, trying to get out of chores or schoolwork, but he's actually the one who always does the work. He will complain that something is not very fun, but wouldn't miss doing it with you for the world. If he could sit quietly beside his dad the entire day, every day, that's what he would do. He remembers everything, and understands about that much.

I am so thankful for each one of them.