Chubby hands wave wildly, grasping for the spoon. Josiah's mouth is open, expectantly. It's time for our fourth child to begin joining us at the dinner table in his high chair. He's six months old. Daniel and Michael wiggle around in their own big boy places. Mercy sits sideways in her chair. Her little glass of water is in constant danger of spilling.
After his first bite, everyone takes turns giving Josiah a spoonful of rice cereal, cheering for him and the funny faces he makes. We've done this three times already, the First Solid Foods Ritual. But it's all brand new again with each child. And I love that about it.
The second most common thing I hear from strangers when I'm with my children at the grocery store is this:
"They grow up so fast! I remember when mine were that small!"
(The first most common thing is a comment on the amount of and/or spacing of our kids. Unless I'm carrying Josiah in the wrap my mother-in-law and I made out of a twin sheet. Then I get all kinds of comments or just plain stares. Sometimes I have to look down and make sure that the sheet is indeed a simple, pleasing yellow color, not the Strawberry Shortcake sheets I could have used. Come on, people. Wraps aren't that uncommon. Maybe they are staring at something else...)
As a mommy to four small children, I often have to remind myself of the brevity of this season we are in as a family. If I try hard, I can imagine myself as that woman in the Fred Meyer chatting to a harried mom of two toddlers about how "before you know it they will be asking for your car keys!" But only if I try really hard. Generally, I don't because I'm using the imagining part of my brain to pretend to be a rider in Michael's semi truck and a fellow subject with Mercy of Daniel's kingdom, all while I'm accomplishing some household task. Or imagining that I'm accomplishing said task.
But back to Josiah. A brief 7 months ago, I sat in our hospital room and took pictures of his tiny features.
Now, I watch these toes push and poke as Josiah learns to crawl. I squish them into moccasins meant for smaller babies.
Why am I blogging?
Because time is passing.
Josiah is starting solids. Daniel will be six going on seven in a little over a week. In between are Michael and Mercy; signs of the stages we've passed through and of the ones we'll visit again soon. There are parts of me that look ahead with the desperation of a mommy with her "hands full" to the day when all the kids will buckle their own seatbelts in the car. Other parts of my mommy mind are on autopilot each day. "We just have to make it until naptime," they sigh to each other.
Recording the finer moments of this short season reminds me to put all of those selfish thoughts aside. Focusing on the sweetness of these passing days helps me to remember my calling here: to love my husband and children, to be self-controlled, pure, kind and submissive to my own husband, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:4-5 ESV)
If you are reading this, you probably already know the short people in my life and are hoping for a picture or two. Capturing these passing moments on what used to be film is one of my favorite little hobbies. You won't be disappointed! (Well you might be, if you are hoping for a super good fertografer because I'm not one of those people.)
I'm going to start by focusing on Josiah's first 6 months until I catch up to what he's doing now. I"ll try to throw a little of the older kids in as well because they do funny things. After that, we'll see what happens...