From the youngest age, I always wanted a big family... something about having a little brood around me, playing happily in the sunshine, lots of laughter and fun and exploration. Of course the reality can look somewhat different... the laughter often turns to bickering, the sun doesn't always shine and four under six is no walk in the park!
Take these pictures for example... we got there. The four of them gathered on the front step of their little Huette, suited and booted and even all looking at the camera! But the photos don't tell of the thump one child received from another in arguing over who would hold the baby, or the little boy who just wanted to play in his playhouse, and not be photographed in it. That's the reality the photos don't show. I grab these photos quickly these days... They aren't perfect. But they are a little snapshot of life with these littles of ours.
And yet despite the seemingly never-ending teaching and training, modelling and challenging, failure and self-analysis, this is the glory of motherhood. Watching these four little people learning life together... learning how to solve problems, how to compromise, how to apologise, how to build each other up, how to be kind, and generous... how to forgive. Each of them so uniquely gifted... inspiring each other, bouncing off each other, learning to appreciate the differences they have.
Nothing brings me more joy than seeing them together.
So many dynamics weave their way between them now; overlapping and interlocking... each pair having their own dynamic and unique relationship. And already I can see the different relationships each of the children are establishing with Elias... the nurturer, the besotted one, the adventurer...
I am so thankful for this little tribe of ours, and so excited about the honour of the role that God has given me. So thankful that this gets to be my full time job... drawing them out, thinking creatively about establishing our home culture, nurturing and cultivating those sibling relationships, watching them and encouraging their interests and passions. It is all that I loved about teaching, without the paperwork and the bureaucracy, but its hard... so hard sometimes... hard when you are so personally and emotionally invested... hard when you're exhausted... hard when so often the day to day doesn't feel like its getting you anywhere.
But I know, without any shadow of a doubt, there is nothing in this world I would rather be doing than spending my days with these little siblings.
My little tribe of siblings in May...