Saturday, April 15, 2006

Room for Two

Well, I found out that I have an enlarged heart this week. No, not anything to do with the ticker sittin' in my chest. The heart I'm referring to allows us to give and receive love and, after we got Daniel, I thought I had used it all up. That was before I had the privledge of keeping my niece Alden for the past few days. It has truly been a joy to have her here and it has impacted our family dynamic in many ways.

First, it's been an adjustment having "two" children. Many of my friends have shared with me the challenges of caring for more than one child and I now understand what they mean. Two children at different stages of discovery and boundary-pushing darting off into different directions--I'm not quite sure how mothers with more than 2 kids do it. God must bless them with invisible third and fourth hands...

Another way that having her here has changed me is I feel like my mothering "pilot light" has been reignited. Daniel has become so independent that, even at age four, he seems to know everything (at least in his little mind). That, combined with a fierce determination to prove that he can do everything "all by himself" often leaves me longing for little arms that reach out in need of Mommy help. Having her here has made me feel maternal again. Not that I don't feel like a mother to Daniel--quite the opposite. It's just that I miss his being dependent on me for the little things. But, as I watch him pick out his own clothes, help with household chores and learn new things each day...well, I'm proud of the "little man" he's becoming.

Finally, back to the heart thing. As anyone who has ever been a parent knows, it's hard to imagine loving anything or anyone else as much as you love your first born, or in our case adopted, child. But these past couple of days have enlightened me. My heart has expanded to fill the needs of both of these children and something about Keith and I playing on the floor with both kids simply felt "right." It was also nice to see Daniel feel just a tad of jealousy. It is a good thing for him not to be the center of all things occasionally...a trait that will benefit him as he grows older.

But most of all I have once again experienced the joy of baby kisses and little hands rubbing sleepy eyes and giggles and yes, even carrying a diaper bag again has been comforting--knowing everything I could ever need is within reach. If these past two days have taught me anything, they've taught me that my lap, much like my heart, is big enough for two........

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