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Earlier this week the older kids were playing dress ups. And they felt it an urgent need for Claire (#4) to be included as well....so they begged for me to put some butterfly wings on her. And then they "ooh"ed and "ahh"ed over how cute she was and sat and hugged each other and begged to have their pictures taken together. They couldn't get enough of how cute they all were together, and they kept wrapping their arms around each other for more pictures, (which by the way totally don't do the moment justice). This seriously went on for about 20 minutes.....and ended with disappointment when I put the camera away. And then there are the times when they're just watching a show....but find some cute way to cuddle up together, and then Parker starts telling me how much he loves to snuggle with Paige.
I've got to tell you....for all the times she has to cry a few extra moments because mama simply can't do it all at once, I think this little butterfly princess is one lucky girl. Because every time she takes a turn at walking down the hall holding on to mama's hands, she's got 3 extra cheerleaders behind me telling her she's such a big girl! And every time she does a new trick she's got 3 extra people to exclaim with surprise at what a smart girl she is. 3 Extra people that love on her and smother her with kisses all day. Yes, she sometimes gets a little tough love.....and those 3 extra helpers do their share of bossing her around and taking toys away from her....but given her apparent desire to be in whatever room the big kids are playing in, I think it's safe to say she loves it all.
These moments are not rare. They happen multiple times a day in fact. But they're often so spontaneous, the camera couldn't capture it even if I had it constantly at hand. And it wouldn't do them justice anyway. They're the kind of moments you just soak up and enjoy and tuck away in the memory bank.
Moments like earlier today when Parker, Drew and Paige were racing to the sprinkler on the lawn and I hear Parker shout out, "Parker and Andrew are the winners! And Paige is too!" when he clearly beat them both by several strides.
Moments like last night when after tucking Andrew and Paige in bed I hear repeated whisperings of, "I love you Andoo" and "I love you too Paige."
I can't help but get the feeling that even though each of my children get slightly less of me due to the fact that they have each other.....that having all that extra love and support more than makes up for it. That all the ways they have to share and stretch and learn and grow and do without will serve them well throughout their lives and that through it all they'll have each other for support and love. And that that is something so worth it.
With the due date for number 5 rapidly approaching....this is the most prevalent thought on my mind. I'll admit, this due date has come at me fast. And I'm not feeling quite ready. But it's not because of any feelings of apprehension or concern for the added chaos one more will bring to our family. Truly. Any time such a thought has been brought to my mind it is quickly swept away by the feelings above. I have had such an overwhelming feeling lately that what we are doing is so right for our family for all of the reasons previously named. I've felt so many moments of peace lately pointing out the fact that this is what Heavenly Father wants for our family. No, the feeling of not being ready honestly comes from the fact that I can't believe how fast all of these special times go by. How even though I've been pregnant so often each time has been distinct and special. They don't just run together into one long pregnancy fog. And even though I marvel at every new stage and love the little people my babies are turning into, I feel the bittersweetness that comes with seeing how quickly it's all gone by. The not feeling quite ready comes from knowing that in just 3 short weeks, this new little baby will be here in my arms...not kicking my belly. And a few short weeks from that won't have that brand-new newborn look anymore. And a quick year from that she'll be walking and talking and trying to keep up with the bigger kids. I know I'll love it all....but I'm just soaking it all up while I can. Because I know that as much fun as every stage will be, this one will be over before I know it.
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