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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Didn’t You Know I Love You Too?

In case you haven’t been following along… Here’s what we’ve been up to the last week or so…
fights with doctors
blah blah blah
back to normal
blah blah blah.
family time
awesome students
fun lessons
blah blah blah
Got it? That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. (Throw in a few shin splints and barely runs)

But that is not what is on my heart.  My heart has been focused on what I saw last week. 

The look in my son’s eyes.  The look in Andrew’s eyes.

Andrew has been a wreck this past week.  He’s kicked something or someone every day…. repeatedly.  He’s acted out, he’s back talked, he’s hit, and he’s bullied.  He has taken the most simple activities and turned them into show downs between us.  He will defy me just to defy me.  If I say, “let’s go take a bath,” he refuses; but If I say, “fine. We won’t take a bath,” he will run to the tub instead.

It isn’t Andrew.  It isn’t his fault.  This post isn’t really about him lashing out.

It is about the fruition of my “Mommy Gut Fears.” 

I knew this day would come, I just prayed it would take longer to get here.  I knew the day would arrive when the twins would put together Alexander and our absences.  It happened last week.  I saw it on Andrew’s face when I walked out of the store and Alexander was having a seizure.  From there, our ‘emergency routine’ was enacted.  An aunt was called.  The twins were taken care of.  They spent the night away from us.  They didn’t return to us for many days.IMG_0283[1]

He put it together.  He always was a bright kid…

What am I to do now?  Now that he knows… in the way that a three – year – old “knows?”  That Alexander has needs and sometimes those needs get put first.  *sigh*

He doesn’t understand the difference between life threatening needs and normal life “wants.”  He shouldn’t be expected to.  He is 3.  But… it doesn’t stop the fact that he feels…  (so many words come here that I can’t even begin to write them all.)

I wonder if a person can’t understand the true magnitude of a mother’s love until you have children yourself?  But really….
I wonder if a person can’t fully understand until they’ve had more than one child? Please allow me to explain – I’m not trying to minimize the motherly feelings of anyone who has one child.

I remember when a good friend of mine was pregnant.  She was already a mother and … in love with her daughter.  I remember asking her if she worried that she would love this baby as much as her daughter.  She said, “I know I will… but I honestly don’t know how I will.” 

She wasn’t alone.  When I was pregnant with Alexander, even though I had two children already, I remember thinking… “I know I will love this child beyond belief, but how will that be possible when I already love the twins so much?”

Truth.  I love them all.  Heart achingly so.  Breath Takingly so.  Equally.  Completely the same.  And Completely different.

I can’t explain it to anyone.  I think the only way to truly understand it may be to live it. 

Dear Andrew, IMG_0544[1]
Please understand that I love you more than words could ever express.  I would lay down my life for you.  I would move mountains for you.  Please don’t question my love for you.  Please let me cuddle you.  Please let me kiss away your tears.  Please do not turn to anyone else.  Please know in your heart… let me prove to you that I love you as much.

Dear Addison,IMG_0506[1]
You are such a blessing.  Please know that I love you also.  For your feisty spirit and your amazing heart.  I love the way you say “Alay- zan – der.”  I love that you say, “where’s Andrew?” about 100 times a day.  Please remember that I would travel to the end of the Earth for you, my baby girl.  Please allow me to continue to prove to you that you matter too.

Dear Alexander,IMG_0541[1]
Please don’t feel left out.  I’m so torn.  I need to cuddle them a little extra right now because they are hurting.  Please know that this is completely on my shoulders.  Please remember that I love you.  You are a blessing to all of us.  Your brother and sister are proud of you.  They love you.  They have a bit of 3 year old jealousy, but this is to be expected.  Just know that needing help is never something you should be ashamed of.

My post of my heart is also my most difficult aspect of parenting right now.  How can I convince all my children that I love them equally?  It really does seem like a foreign concept… that you can love so many people so much – but … I do. 

Thanks Shell…. For letting me Pour My Heart Out

I'm linking up with Mama Kat too... I know it's sort of cheating - but it was her writing prompt that gave me some clarity on this situation.

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At November 16, 2011 at 7:17 AM , Blogger Hines-Sight said...


I wish I didn't read this as my time was up on the computer, and I have to get the kids ready for school because my response may seem too short, but we understand how you feel you. You started out with two kids right on the bat which is even more challenging, but when you add another child into the family, what you say is so true. You get pulled. My oldest son gets jealous of his baby sister for attention, and they are almost four years apart.

We love them all equally, but sometimes it is hard to balance.

At November 16, 2011 at 7:35 AM , Blogger The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

This is one of my hardest every day battles too! I only have two girls but one definitely demands more time over the other and truly needs it. I do my best but I always worry that the other one's heart is aching...I know mine is. Beautiful post. So happy you linked up with Shell.

At November 16, 2011 at 8:03 AM , Blogger Tara R. said...

My kids are four years apart in age. My son has many thought disorders, his sister is a high achiever student. When they were younger there was a lot of resentment between them. He thought she had life easy, she thought he acted up and got away with it. As they got older, they were better able to understand that they each needed attention in their own way.

At November 16, 2011 at 8:14 AM , Blogger Jackie said...

Love isn't about equality. It doesn't mean the same thing for everyone, because everyone doesn't need the same thing. Giving your kids what they need when they need it, is good parenting! From what I have read here, you are a good one! Don't doubt that!

At November 16, 2011 at 8:26 AM , Blogger Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

This is beautiful.
I think we all wonder how we'll love subsequent children as much as the others. But then we amaze ourself by feeling that love all over again. It's different, but no less intense.
I think you and your kids will be just fine, because you recognize ALL of their needs.

At November 16, 2011 at 8:40 AM , Anonymous Heidi / I'm with Leia said...

your post made me cry - happy tears. I never thought I would love someone as much as my husband until I met my baby son 6 weeks ago - now I love them both even more.

At November 16, 2011 at 9:22 AM , Blogger Shell said...

Oh, I so get this. I love all of my children. But sometimes, one of them has to come before the others. And I hate that for my other kids. But, don't know how to do it any differently.

At November 16, 2011 at 9:37 AM , Blogger Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

Oh damn. This makes me cry. It's so hard when there's more than one because it always feels like you're choosing. Which one to kiss first, which one to hold while the other plays, which one gets the toy when they fight over it. It's pure love,but it is so hard to keep it all "fair".

At November 16, 2011 at 9:54 AM , Blogger Mel said...

What lucky little ones you have to have a momma who recognizes all of their needs and emotions and tries (and that's all any of us can do, isn't ) to meet them all.

At November 16, 2011 at 10:14 AM , Blogger Christine Siracusa said...

It's very hard. I didn't understand it when I was growing up and resented my sister very much. Now, as a parent, I get it but I think my kids probably don't. I try to tell them. I try even harder to SHOW them. But I'm not sure they feel it. All we can do is try our best.

At November 16, 2011 at 11:22 AM , Blogger Mrs. Sullivan said...

I have to second all of those previous comments that say "I know how you feel; I understand". I think any of us with more than one kid can understand where you're coming from.

Please know that it will get easier. They will understand more as they get older. That doesn't make it any less heartbreaking now, when they don't understand, but it will get easier.

Your letters to them are kind and touching, and I hope you share them with them some day.

At November 16, 2011 at 11:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a mother to more than one requires balance. I always feel guilty at night, did I give each the equal amount of time? I don't think that guilt will go away.

Your letters were very nice.

At November 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM , Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

I have only one. He would probably say he wants more time too.

At November 16, 2011 at 3:03 PM , Blogger christine said...

Yes, yes, and more yes. It is so hard to balance all children to make them all feel loved. Equally. Differently. And when they have different needs at different times it just pulls a mother in opposite directions. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing!

At November 16, 2011 at 7:33 PM , Blogger Kristen said...

All I can say is ... after a long day of work and then devoting 110% to my kids - these comments put my heart at peace. Thanks so much...

At November 16, 2011 at 10:11 PM , Blogger Heather said...

I get this. With three I always feel like there is at least one that I haven't "touched" that day. It is a very rare day when I feel like I have fulfilled mommy duties to all of them.

Just know that as long as you are giving your best and still have the ability to recognize who needs you the most at that moment you are doing your job.

At November 17, 2011 at 4:45 AM , Blogger Sarah of 'Catching the Magic' said...

Great comments and a very touching post. I have three children, none with special needs - but then they all have their own 'uniqueness' and I totally understand what you mean about your love for them all x

At November 17, 2011 at 5:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, heart. Mine aches for yours.

Having more than one child is hard work. You are, after all, only one mother. Adding a child with special needs to the mix compounds....everything.

I feel spread a little too thin quite often. When my third child arrives next year, I expect that to increase a thousand fold.

I am just one little woman. But I know my heart has space for all my babies. The trick is how best to show them.

Thank you for sharing this piece of your heart.

At November 17, 2011 at 9:32 AM , Blogger Sara said...

Very touching post! Great letters!

At November 17, 2011 at 12:52 PM , Blogger Crystal said...

I struggle with this too. There is never enough time to give 100% of your attention, time and energy to each one. I have 4 and one on the me, I know. It's so hard to love them each individually the way each one needs to be loved. Mommy guilt is such an evil destructive cycle. And I've been there...and I'm sorry. Don't strive for perfection...just love as God wants you to love. that will be enough.

At November 17, 2011 at 9:55 PM , Blogger Anna said...

It is so hard to try and balance everyone's needs. I have watched Braeden go through the same things as Andrew. Braeden seems to know that Ryley takes up an awful lot of my time and energy, and he makes sure he lets me know when he is feeling angry about it! All you can do is to keep acknowledging it. Braeden now understands that sometimes Ryley needs Mum. Sometimes his Nan has to look after him. But that I will always be there. I will always have time to spend with him once we are back to normal.
I make sure that Braeden can always express how he is feeling to me.
It is hard work. And I spend many night crying myself to sleep as I wonder how I am ever going to make sure my boys know how much I love them.
But I think they do know. And your beautiful children will know too. Be kind to yourself. They need a Mama who has the energy to love them don't forget xox


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