Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blessings of Having Small Children

People often tell me, "You have your hands full." And it is true. My hands are usually quite busy, but when does God's blessings ever leave our hands empty? I get asked if I ever get them to nap 'n sync and how will I ever handle the hair and the phone calls when they are teenagers. It is funny how total strangers can worry about things I haven't worried about yet! LOL! I realize and understand the reality of three small children can seem overwhelming to some people out there so I thought I'd list a few benefits to having several small children:

§ When you just have the urge or need to play or be silly, you have a whole group to do it with you.

§ You always get many kisses for your boo-boos, even the ones you can't see.

§ You get more hugs than you imagined possible.

§ One toy can be easily played with by everyone!

§ You can always get a smile, and indeed, often many smiles - even at the same time!

§ You learn more patience than you ever would have thought possible.

§ Your children can sing and play music for each other or even so their siblings can dance.

§ Your children always have someone to play with - each other.

§ Your children form bonds that will last a lifetime and beyond.

§ Your children are always learning together.

§ Your children enjoy the same books, music and movies.

§ All your children enjoy the same outings!

§ Each child genuinely and strongly supports each other.

§ Your children understand each other.

§ Your children learn to depend on each other as well as you.

§ Your children learn to help each other.

§ Your children learn responsibility helping you.

§ No one is ever lonely.

(If you think of one that should go here, please add it in the comments!)

I understand several small children can making people think of the dirty diapers, the laundry, the cutting of food into tiny pieces, the spills, the crumbs, the handprints, the footprints, the tantrums, the tears, the stains, the doctor visits, and the potty training all multiplied. Some even go above and beyond thinking of the teenage phone bills, the hair and makeup, the borrowing of the car, and the college tuitions all multiplied. And, yes, those things can be a part of life, but I'd remind them of two things.

First, when you have several children close in age, doing multiple of things can be simple. I may change two diapers but make one trip to the garbage can. I cut up 3 pieces of chicken on one plate and then divvy up. Each child uses a towel after a bath but they all take the same bath.

Second, you are forgetting the laughs, the hugs, the kisses, the moments of discovery, the hand-holding, the blowing of bubbles, the chalk drawing, the crayon coloring, the playing Hide And Seek and Ring Around The Rosey, the story telling, the excitement of reading wonderful books, the racing of cars, the squeaking of a rubber ducky, the hanging of pictures on the fridge, the wagon rides, the strolls through a park or down the street, the first steps and the first words, the bedtime prayers and the daily glimpses of God ALL multiplied!

And, although my girls are not far apart in their years, they are very different in personalities. Each brings different gifts and treasures to our family and my day. One morning, Elizabeth woke up and I was so happy to greet her that morning, I began writing a little letter to her telling her so. I've since completed one to each girl. So, in addition to the difficult days and the tests to patience, endurance and peace, consider the following:

My Dear Elizabeth, 
Every day I marvel at how much light you bring to my day. I love how happy and excited you are to see me every morning. You not only smile. You kick your legs and throw your arms. You welcome me each morning with your whole being. I thank you for that. I am not worthy of it but I feel blessed every time. It reminds me how happy God is when we give him our attention. Every day you bring me to God and God to me.
You love to smile, like a true child of the Light. You like it when your sisters kiss you, hug you, and play with you. You are ambitious always trying to learn something more, something new. I love when you gently rub your soft cheeks against mine or grab my nose with your adorable fingers. You are, by far, the most ticklish baby I've had and I love tickling you. Under your chin, under your arms, along your back, your tummy, your thighs, your toes, you love to laugh and your laugh must send fairies skipping about because it is the essence of joy.

My Dear Cecilia,
You are truly alive in the Spirit and His Spirit dances within you. Your creativity is a testimony to your celebration in light, color and that gift of the Father to create. Your love to learn is just as infectious as your love to play. Your ability to remember things amazes and truly humbles me. You are a great gift to our family as you cheer us along our paths to heaven with your devoted reminders to say our prayers. You are a wonderful big sister not only playing with your little sisters but helping and caring for them.
Every morning you are excited to be alive. You radiate energy and enthusiasm and joy. You wish everyone a "Good Morning" truly making all our mornings good.  You remind me daily that God loves us and wants us to enjoy life and appreciate every gift He gives us. You remind me to be present here and now and celebrate every moment. You live the praise, "Hallelujah!" You are my little Pollyanna giving joy to everyone you meet. 

My Dear Felicity, 
I love when you dance. You dance on your tippy-toes with your arms waving about seem to have invented your own dance crossed between an Irish jig and ballet. You are so graceful you are a pure pleasure to watch. Your laugh possesses the child-like joy of Snoopy and makes me smile just to hear it. You are always tender and caring. You greet your little sister with a hug and a kiss after each of her naps and play with Cecilia whenever she asks. Even if I just have my head down, you ask, "What happened?" in such concern I can't remember why I even had my head down. 
You are the mildest, gentlest creature I have ever known. You are warm and affectionate. When you raise your hand to touch my cheek, it is as though the hand of God were caressing my face.  Your kindness is an example to all of us. You reveal to all of us our meek and gentle Shepherd.

Each of my children shine reflecting God's light from a different angle, each one bringing Him into my day, into my life, in a different way. Each is unique and precious and a beloved gift beyond description. Sometimes, when I am tired and my patience is running dry and my head hurts and the house is a mess, it can be easy to forget just who it is all for. Each of my children is a blessing from God in themselves but likewise each is a lifeline from God to me. For, though they do not know it, each of them is teaching me about God, holiness, my vocation, virtue and sanctity just as much as I am teaching them. 

Yes, my hands are full, very full indeed, but they are abundantly overflowing with blessings to be cherished and appreciated. For this, to my Savior, I shall be forever grateful. 


  1. this is SUCH a lovely post and encouragement!

    i have 2 sisters--7 years older and five years younger. we are close now, but it took about 20 years for us all to be on the same page. your girls will be there from the beginning:) three beautiful blessings. i love all their names!

  2. Katherine,
    This is so beautiful. With mine being 3, 2, and 1 at this moment you can guess the comments I get. I always tell people if they think my hands are full they should see my heart. There is always someone to conspire with, I realize, the older they get. I think the greatest gift parents can give their children is siblings and I am so grateful all my blessings have each other. My daughter is autistic and non-verbal and having my older son help now with her is wonderful, if we can't get her to do something all that needs to happen is Joey to say: Come on Shelby. They would move the world for each other. Many blessings on your day! Kristen

  3. Suzannah, Thank you so much.

    Kristen, I know exactly what you mean. Elizabeth was terrified of taking her bath until Cecilia got in the tub with her and now she loves her bath and wants to take every bath with her sisters. It is amazing how sometimes what we seem unable to do, their siblings can do even if they are still so little. It is so awesome that your son and daughter have such a relationship. You cannot put a price on it.

  4. Passing this onto a friend who just had her first and plans to have a few more. :)

  5. Come to you tonight from the Saturday Evening Blog posts. I love this! I have three daughters (and then a son) and while they are not as close in age as yours, I find that many of the things you mention are the things I have felt as well. YOu are quite blessed (as you know) with your beautiful family.

    God Bless,