Every mother with more than one child - and, I suspect, every father - knows that having more than one child does not divide your love...it multiplies it. Although one-on-one time changes as you add more children, there are myriad benefits as children form bonds with not only their parents but also each other. I was reading today how children from large families score higher in the areas of self-esteem, maturity, self-regulation, and empathy than their smaller family counterparts.
I am continually blessed...even on those days when I am ground down and oft-aggravated...by these little hands and feet that waltz through my days. Tonight I watched my son fall asleep, for the 414th night. He falls asleep like I do. First, he has a hyper period, followed by a long period of staring off into space, sometimes for twenty minutes or more. He occasionally checks that I'm still there by pushing on me with the palms of his hands, and glances over with that sweet, slow smile of near-sleep. Finally, he drifts off, and his deepest sleep is during the first 20 minutes after his lids close. That's the only time it's safe to sneak away to my work, as I did just now.
How like our children we are, in this, too. I think of myself as so independent...yet the very air I breathe and the ability to draw it into my lungs is literally a gift from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17). My children would love to think they can put themselves to sleep, but they can't (although they will occasionally drift off on their own without prompting somewhere around 11 p.m. or later, only to be unbearably crabby the following day). We aren't very different, are we? Thank God that I am not the one who determines how to number my days...or when it should be light or dark...or how many children this family should contain! On all counts, whatever He decides is just right.
this is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me
this is my daily bread
Your very word spoken to me
And I, I'm desperate for you
And I, I'm I'm lost without you
~ Breathe, Michael W. Smith