A Few of My Favorite Things

Oftentimes when we look at Alexander we all ask why? Why did we go for that third kid? Why would we want to, knowingly, add to our ever-growing chaos and mayhem? Why would we want to further complicate things? Why would we want to ruin our idyllic life with two young children? (My kids were 3 and 5 when I first learned about the Third Child -- a secret I hid from Don for over a week) Like all other times I panicked... was plagued by the same universal fears all expecting parents experience. Would I, could I possibly love another even half as much as I loved my other two? Have I ruined their lives? Would we be able to handle everything emotionally, physically and financially?

It's been nearly two and a half years since that child, now known as Alexander, made his very memorable arrival into the world, our family and my arms. In all honesty there have been equally as many ups as there have been downs. Transitioning to that third child, with a greater age difference than the other two, has been trying and difficult for me. My life has been turned upside down. A third child is more, much more, than one more mouth to feed, one more bed to make, one more load of laundry (MUCH more than one more load of landry. The third child means making sacrifices. Things I would love to be able to do that I just can not at the moment, but will be able to as soon as school starts up again in about 300 days! It does sadden me that my other two have to make sacrifices too. They never asked for him and sometimes I feel terribly guilty asking them to give up or forego something and having them put the baby's needs ahead of their own. Children should not have to make sacrifices. Last summer was terribly difficult for them as they had to work around the baby's schedule. I will feel forever guilty about that. Rebecca, for the most part is good, very good about helping out with Alexander when she is asked to. But sometimes, there are a few, she doesn't want to. I keep having to remind myself that she is only 9 and taking care of her brother is neither her job nor her responsiblity, yet by that same token she does need to contribute to the family and helping out with Alexander is just as important as making her bed, setting the table or putting her laundry away. Christopher doesn't seem to be quite as affected, partly because I do not trust him yet to look after his brother and partly because his brother does not get in his way quite the way he does with Rebecca. The only time I ever see frustration in Christopher is when he is trying to build, whether Legos or blocks, and the little one comes and knocks it all down which sends Christopher flying out of the room in tears. And rightly so, who can blame him? Yes, there are moments when Rebecca will exclaim in exasperation that she wished her youngest brother was never born. I can not tell you the amount of guilt I feel when those moments happen. I try to give my kids equal attention but it is hard and the youngest really does need me the most. I can honestly say without a moment's hesitation that I love all my children dearly,completely and unoquivocally equally and without them my world would be nothing. Though given the day, I may like one more than another!

I was making a mental list of my favorite things the other day, while listening to the song made famous by Julie Andrews a long time ago and realized that the one thing that has complicated our lives so is also responsible for many of my favorite things. With all the near heart attacks he causes, and the frustrations and all the other things that go hand in hand with having an extremely inquisitve and smart two year old boy, I can honestly say I am in a much better place because of him!

Here's my list of a few of my favorite things:

(Apart from the obvious a glass of red wine at the end of the day!)
Good, dark chocolate and when I do not have those m&ms will do
My children's kisses
Looking at the world through the eyes of a child
Snuggling in bed with Alexander early in the morning before everyone else is awake
Warm baby hugs just as Alexander is waking up
Rebecca's infectious laugh
Freshly fallen snow and playing in it with the kids
The smell of rain on a warm summer day
The smell and feel of freshly mowed grass
Running barefoot through the sand when the weather starts to warm up
A really good book that you can lose yourself in
A really good movie that'll make you laugh and cry
Movie theater popcorn
Paris in the Springtime
The South of France
Florence, yes in Italy
New York City
The caroussel on the beach in Newport, RI
The Soda Fountain in Ocean Park, ME
And the Graham Central Station ice cream they serve!
Long bubble baths at the end of the day
Clean sheets
Stargazer Lilies