I am a mother of six. I have three children from my first marriage, a 15 yr old boy, a 14 yr old girl and an 11 yr old boy. I also have two stepdaughters who are 14 and 9. All of those ages are close together, which makes it nice for them to forge strong bonds between them. They can share clothes, listen to the same music, get together with the same group of friends, etc.
Then there is Abby. She was born when the youngest of our children was six, and the oldest one was 12. She is different from the other children in that she is just starting the preschool age, when most of them are starting their teenage years. That's a really big difference.
It's really different for me too. Just when I thought that time of my life was over, it wasn't. I experienced diapers, nursing, midnight feedings, and all the baby stuff all over again. But this time it was different. I was older. My other children had been very close together and it was ALOT of work when they were babies. This time, I had just one baby when I already knew exactly what I was doing. And this time I knew just exactly how fast it was all going to be over. So I have relished every second of Abby's growing. I do not mean it to sound as though I didn't or don't appreciate the moments I've spent with my other children, because I do. Each child is special and gives you their own unique memories, each have their own special bond to you. If you are a mother and you're reading this, you know exactly what I mean.
But because of the age gap, I have had time to grow as a person myself. I've gotten some maturity, some perspective, and I'm a different mother for Abby than I was able to be for my older children. I appreciate the moments more. I don't sweat the small stuff. Even colds are greeted with a different attitude than I had years ago. I know these moments are fleeting. There will be a day when Abby won't want to sit on my lap. I won't have her company in the kitchen, and she won't beg to be my helper. Right now, she wants to be wherever I am, in a few years, she will be begging to be ANYWHERE I'm not. She'll want to be with her friends, not her mother. She will never think I'm as funny as she does now. She will never think I'm as beautiful as she does now. She will never be as close to me as she is now. And while it does make me happy to think I will be able to use the bathroom by myself again at some point, I will be sad to lose my best friend. Because I know that for a few years, somewhere between middle school and adulthood, I will love her with all my heart but she will have to let me go a little, to find who she is for herself. And because of the gap of my children's ages, I know all this. I know that it's coming. So for right now, while she's still in my lap, I am grateful.
To read about other things people are grateful for, head to Heavenly Homemakers and read all the Gratituesday links.