I wish I had more time. There are so many benefits to having the kids close together, the one draw back is having less individual time. Oh, I carve it out. The boys and I go on dates, I enrolled Amanda in a mom and me gymnastics class (after claiming I would never pay that much for a two year old to do anything, unless medically necessary...I broke down, just to have the time with her), I try to find time each day to do something...if only 5 or 10 minutes, with each one, but still...I want more.
Certain days, I feel like I took Gavin's baby alone time for granted...the tummy time with him face to face, laying there soaking it in. The dance parties we held. The books we read. At 18 months it was gone. He had a brother. Bray's baby time is a blur and Amanda's seems to be spent in a carseat or being jumped, galloped or ran around by her brothers.
A day goes by and I miss what Gavin learned at school, because Amanda's screaming for a snack. Bray tries to sing me his song, but Gavin is saying it hurts his ears, Amanda has a slew of words and stories to tell, hand gestures and all (none of which we quite understand) but she is cut off by a brother who thinks it means nothing. No one is trying to get in the way. No one is intentionally saying they are more important. It's just life... their life. What they know.
Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to hear how the school day went, from beginning to end. I wonder how many songs Brayden would sing, if I were always listening. I marvel at the idea of capturing one of Amanda's wonderful stories or explanations on video without the background noise of "let me see" or "get me mom, look at me on camera". But in the chaos, I have to let it go.
Don't get me wrong, I DO NOT regret the chaos. I don't regret the sibling rivalry, the interuptions or one second of any of their lives. I see the returns. I get bigger dance parties, I get more belly laughs, I get many voices singing, I get a toddler in a doll stroller pushed back and forth down the hall between brothers, with squeals of delight, I get group dish washing, I get many hands using disinfecting wipes to clean the table, I get little protectors looking out for each other and I get three voices that say "love you mommy". Totally worth it.
But some days, I still wonder what it would be like to have more time with each of them. How it would change them, how it would change me. If I have somehow shorted them, by having them so close.
But then I remember, this wasn't the plan. The plan was at least two years apart, maybe more for each...but God has a way of changing plans. And when someone's singing is cut off by screaming, or a story about school is interuppted for an emergency potty break, I try to remember that God took our plans and changed them. And if I am honest with myself, His plans are better. I know this...it is just sometimes hard to remember when I am trudging throught the grocery store and see a mom of one sweet and obedient four year old look at me like I am a nutcase because my daughter is screaming for her brother to stop pushing the cart, one brother is insisting on "helping" by pushing the cart and the other has his shoes stuck in the bottom of the cart (who knows how Bray accomplishes these things)!
But try and remember, I do. Just learning to be thankful for the time I do have and make the most of it. It's all these little guys know and to be honest, I think they would be lost without each other...and I know I would be lost without having any one of them!