It’s funny… when you start planning your family you always have different views and plans then when the family is actually here and going full force. We planned on having two…just two. We were going to magically produce a boy and a girl and be all done. Space them out by about 3 or 4 years and continue on with all our perfectly laid out plans. Well… God lets us know that we aren’t in control and He will bless us with what HE’S planned and what we need. So, baby number one came, a monstrous 9lbs 4oz and we couldn’t have been more thrilled. That boy was the center of the universe for 4 yrs! First grandchild on both sides and our first born. Spoiled isn’t even the word!
Then we decided to go for that girl. No problem! Remember.. we had our whole life planned! We went for the ultrasound and lo and behold found out we were having…… a BOY!!!! What????? Wait… a boy? How is this possible? That’s not the way it was supposed to go…BOY-GIRL..in that order. Mmmmmmmmmmm.. well… if he’s as amazing as his brother we will be very blessed. And I proceeded to scold myself for my selfishness and lack of gratefulness for even being ABLE to be pregnant and have a healthy baby. Shame on me. Then… we became very excited about our impending “boy world” and started planning.
Here came baby number two…another whopping boy at 9lbs 2oz and he melted our hearts just like his brother…and “girl” never even crossed our minds.
Another four years went by and I started to remind myself of the days I swore I wanted 6 kids. I wanted a big house in a suburban neighborhood and I wanted to be a stay-at-home-Mom. I guess you could call me a habitual planner. I mean.. how can life move on without many well laid plans? 🙂
We then made the decision to add to our family. We made our minds up that if we had more boys, we were more than good with it… the ones we had were the BEST and more of them would be awesome! But, if the girl came along that would be pretty amazing too.
So, as the boys acted like normal siblings and were at each other’s throats most of the time, we became pregnant with baby number three. We were petrified of the impending reality that we would, as parents, soon be outnumbered.
Then…whadayaknow??? Ultrasound came back… GIRL!!!! Whoa! I think we were in complete shock for weeks! We had kind of gotten it in our heads that we were going to breed a brood of boys and here came our first little princess.
So, long story short, the little princess ruled the kingdom for 7 years and her brothers learned to accept it….well, maybe. Then, God decided to change our world a little more and bless us with a little SURPRISE! We gave birth to princess number two 8 YEARS.. yes.. 8 YEARS after princess number one. WOW… 2 boys, 2 girls.. perfect. And guess what? We DIDIN’T plan it! 🙂
Years went by and life went on. We raised our babies the best we could. Far from perfect but our hearts were always in it. Our kids ALWAYS came first. We look back, of course, and wish we would have done some things different…who doesn’t? But, even though we WEREN’T perfect, we have some pretty amazing kids and we are very grateful and thank God everyday.
Our relationships with our kids are pretty stereotypical. We have Mama’s boys and Daddy’s girls. But, we are very tight as a whole and humor is how we roll. Wow…that rhymed!!! 🙂 Anyway, our goofiness is just what we ARE and I treasure it. You should really catch one of our family holidays if you ever have the chance. 🙂
So, as the kids attended college and then started their careers I honestly never thought past the sports, putting them through college and them becoming professionals. We were early on blessed with a beautiful grandson when our oldest son was 20.. another one of God’s plans…see?? HE is in control. We really never thought past anything that wasn’t going on at those moments. Boy…was that a big mistake. I am hoping all you young and aspiring parents out there will take a listen to this old experienced one and maybe consider my advice. Been there…done that… and have the battle wounds to prove it! 🙂
Our youngest son started dating a girl from high school that he was fixed up with at the school where they BOTH worked as teachers. Everyone could see they were perfect for each other and it became very obvious very quickly that they were meant to be. I knew it the very first time I met her.
As most of you know…my husband became very sick a little over a year ago and almost died and has had a long road back to where he is today. Sooooooo thankful. So, my parenting focus was lacking for a good year and there were many things that didn’t cross my mind as our older and grown children began to evolve into functioning mature adults. I was basically letting things pass me by because my husband needed me and that “Mama way” of planning that I based my whole existence on for so many years began to fail and I would soon feel it’s effects.
You’re buying a ring??? What?? Marriage?? Ahhhhhhhhhh… wait… you are how old??? Ummmmmmmm… don’t we have much more time before that happens?
NOPE.. Mama you don’t. I slowly realized that I wasn’t paying attention or “planning” and now my baby boy was GETTING MARRIED!
With 3 kid’s college expenses already consuming our finances and my husband’s illness we were not prepared AT ALL to help plan a wedding. In addition we decided to move back home from Tennessee to be closer to our family. To put it mildly, a wedding was nothing we were even remotely prepared for and I am almost embarrassed to say so.
We helped the best we could and thankfully my son and his fiancé and her wonderful parents picked up the rest.
And through all their wonderful help, our son became very close with them. They were there when we couldn’t be, physically and financially and as GRATEFUL as we were and are, we started to struggle with, in our minds, losing our baby boy….to his new bride AND his new parents.
So…we were almost to the big day. The happy couple bought their first house…we were so proud…and we helped in anyway we could. Everyday our son would tell us of all the things his future in laws bought and did and as much as we tried to stand back and be happy…and really just grateful, we continued to feel inferior and hurt that we weren’t able to do more. And really just felt more and more like we were losing him to them a little more each day.
It seems almost childish, doesn’t it? And why I didn’t see that sooner I don’t understand. But.. God saw I needed some adjusting as He always does, and I got it the night of the Rehearsal Dinner.
As my son stood up at the alter and giggled as he took his fiancés hand while we practiced the ceremony, God spoke to me by showing me at that moment how LUCKY and BLESSED we are. By showing us in seconds how ridiculous all these feelings we were having were and that we were NOT losing our baby boy…we were gaining wonderful, giving, generous people who love our son and would do anything for him. And, we already knew we were gaining another daughter who makes our baby boy happy and sees him as a man, a provider, and the future father of her children. And thank GOD they found our son and were ABLE to make him happy and secure. We realized instantly that these people and our new daughter-in-law were sent to us as a gift and we finally felt the blessing and I thanked God over and over and asked forgiveness for not seeing it all along. And, I also had a new empathy for how MY mother-in-law must have felt when I came in and infringed on her world with her baby boy.
You see… you DON”T lose your little boy, or your son, or even the man he has become. You can now stare at the marvel of what you created with all your good parenting, bad parenting, his hard work, God, and the compliment and addition of his new beautiful wife and her wonderful parents. We have only GAINED, and as with all our children are SO proud of what they are and what they will become. And guess what??? WE didn’t plan a bit of it 🙂
Created with love by:
Char Head 🙂