Too busy to read? Here’s this post as it aired on My Bridge Radio:
When you’re raising a bunch of kids all at once, sometimes somebody gets lost in the shuffle. My daughter was upset the other day and I heard her yell, “Look! Mommy, look! Hey, I throwing a fit. See! Look!” When you’re a middle child, you have to make it really clear when you’re upset or else it might just go unnoticed. When we moved our two oldest boys into a room together I was going to buy Danny a Star Wars blanket to match his big brother’s so the room would have a theme. When I told Josh my plan he said, “But Danny loves dinosaurs. He needs a dinosaur blanket.” So of course I am now franticly scouring etsy to find some kind of boys decor involving t-rexes with lightsabers. Three of my children can’t sleep without their favorite stuffed animals, but one sleeps with an encyclopedia. It makes me wonder when he’s an adult and we say, “We should have seen this coming” what exactly will we be referring to?
I need these reminders that my children can’t just be parented as a little mob. They have their own needs and gifts. They hear love in different ways and need to be disciplined in ways that are meaningful to them. When I see a garden full of flowers, I see God’s creative powers at work. I see that same kind of creativity in God’s creation of my children who come in all shades from darkest brown to lightest pink. I have a quiet introvert and a social butterfly. I have an artist and an athlete. And I am learning to appreciate each of my kids for their unique beauty as reflections of the image of God. It’s so good when we can learn to appreciate even the ways our kids are different from us or different than we expected.