The other night after getting up to comfort Isaac I couldn’t get back to sleep. As I lie there in bed a question popped into my head, a frequently asked question. “How do you do it?”, referring to raising three boys who are so close in age and still so young. Many people, especially when dressed alike, ask if they are twins or even if they are triplets. To me it doesn’t seem so strange however, once while going for a walk a lady came out of her house to the edge of her drive way and stared and kept staring. Finally upon our return as we walked by her house again, she, still standing and staring asked ‘are they all yours?’. Yes, they are all my mine and I couldn’t be more blessed.
Back to the question, “How do you do it?”. I’ve had family, friends and even strangers look on with awe and ask this question. Maybe it’s not so much as ‘how’ but ‘why’ and maybe it’s not so much awe as it is pure amazement that someone could keep up with three little tornadoes such as my three little boys. And that’s what Sunday dinners are like. My mother-in-law will testify to that.
My usual answer is ‘one day at a time’ or ‘prayer, lots of prayer’. While these are both very true as I lie there unable to sleep the answer came differently. Love. That’s how I do it, pure love. Love is one of the greatest motivators. We make sacrifices for love, we put ourselves in danger for love, we climb mountains for love…
When you love someone or something for that matter, the sacrifices you are willing to make may be great but they are worth it(in this case). It’s amazing what we will do for love.
I understand and know each of my boys. I know who they are and who they are capable of becoming. And it’s part of my responsibility as a mother to help them reach their potential. Some my shake their heads, but I knew my boys personalities before they were born. The nine months of ‘incubation’ gave me a great deal of insight as to their personalities. One never stopped moving, kicking, never slept and would even poke back when he was poked, he I even knew he was a picky eater. Another was more quiet and calm, and would draw away from being poked inside my growing tummy. While yet another was more in the middle a little of both. And so on. Knowing my children, their divine little spirits is key in understanding and getting through the rough moments. That they’re not bad they’re just curious, bored, frustrated, tired or they’re just past their limit. And knowing them helps me know their limits. I’m not always on top of it, but I try to be. And so when they are crying, screaming, bickering, getting into mischief… I think to myself, ‘this too shall pass’ and then do what I need to do. Remembering this is just a moment of many many moments, mostly good and mostly happy.
The good outweighs the not so good. I’ve learned it’s the bigger picture that makes or breaks the cake. I can either look ahead or I can be swallowed up and consumed in the mass hysteria that is swarming around my feet. Most of the time I am able to look ahead and solve the situation and return matters to a more pleasant state. I will admit that sometimes I am swallowed up and consumed in the mass hysteria that swarms around my feet. And I always regret it and realize what I should have or could have done better.
The great thing about love is that it is exchangeable. We love to be loved and we love to be loved. (in other words: we love in order to receive love, and we love being loved) There is nothing more sole satisfying than to look into your child’s eyes and to see that innocent pure love shining from within them. It makes it all worthwhile. I love my good morning angels, they sneak in and crawl in bed next to me pull the covers up and snuggle up as close as they can. Trying to be as quiet as they can as not to wake me just waiting for me to wake up and when I peek an eye open I’m greeted with the most beautiful sight ever. Their sweet smiles beaming from ear to ear and their sparkling eyes and the love is there, it’s pure, it’s visible it’s even tangible. Those are the mornings I savor and remember, not the ones where they are squabbling before I can get out of bed and I am the one pulling the blankets over my head.
I’ve found that having that love with me helps me see through their eyes, it helps me see the humor and the imagination in the moment.
So that is my answer, Love.