Thursday, July 12, 2012

Someone to snuggle with...

Yesterday morning a realtor came at 9:15 a.m. to look at our house. I set this appointment at a time when I felt calm and in control of life...obviously! Otherwise, even the thought of having 2 adults and 5 children up, dressed, fed, in a good mood and ready for a visitor at 9:15 causes panic! Of course, I realize that this will become the norm (at least the up, dressed, fed part) when my oldest starts kindergarten at 8 a.m. every day this fall. We're not there yet :).

In addition to the above, there was the matter of the house. One of the reasons we plan to move is that this is a small house. But, that also means that I can clean it quickly when needed. Phew!

It was when I making my son's bed when I noticed that the baby had stopped crying. I absolutely hated to put her down crying, but I only have two hands. She was fed, changed, loved, and very tired, so putting her down in her safe bouncy seat was the option.

I was in the other bedroom debating the position of Pooh Bear, Froggy, and Buzz Lightyear on the freshly made bed. Yes, I realize that this is of no importance to anyone but me (and maybe my son!), but I was trying to make the room feel as "put together" as possible. I perfected the order of stuffed friends and realized it was quiet. Ahh...the baby needed sleep and I could now run around to clean in peace.

I ran into to check on her quick (always a little fear when they get quiet quickly). As I approached, I saw a beautiful sight. My first instinct was to be angry, but it was replaced with gratitude in an instant. My 5 1/2-year-old had picked up the baby (which she knows is strictly against the rules...hence, the rush of anger) and had gently rocked her to sleep in her arms while singing the tune that I have always sung at bedtime.

My older daughter, Gianna, spoke before I could. "I'm sorry, Mom, but Lucy needed someone to snuggle with." I just smiled. She was absolutely right. And, I was so grateful that Lucy's older sister was there to fill in for me. I had to check my emotions and reaction.

I do not want Gianna to think she can pick up a 3-month-old whenever she wants, but I do want to encourage her to "snuggle" with her siblings whenever they need someone. It will not always be as easy to calm them, but they will feel her love for them. For better or worse, I know I always had a powerful impact on my younger siblings (in ways that we recognize and many in which we'll never fully appreciate), and I now see how Gianna is just beginning to assume this leader role (spontaneously) for her younger siblings.

The house got clean (sort of), the realtor came and told us that our house is worth less than we'd like (ha!), and everyone was in a fine (?) mood. I will soon forget the chaos of this day. But, the image of my oldest snuggling with my youngest in her time of need...that is an image that will be burned in my heart forever.

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