Raising Future Mothers and Fathers

A photo from yesterday, snow on fence posts. More is due in tonight and tomorrow. The children are having a ball!
A photo from yesterday, snow on fence posts. More is due in tonight and tomorrow. The children are having a ball!

Evie was heading up the stairs yesterday afternoon in order to play with all of her people.  “Jon!” I called.  “Evie’s coming up!  Keep an eye on her, please!”

Jon appeared at the top of the stairs to receive her, but as soon as she saw him, she laid down right where she was, and said, “I stuck!”  I smiled, because I knew her game, and Jon came down to her, just like she wanted, and scooped her up.  As soon as he had her in his arms, she put her head on his shoulder and just snuggled in.  Jon glanced at me and grinned.

“it’s good to be loved by a baby, isn’t it?” I said.

He nodded slowly. “Yes, it is.”  And away they went.

Evie adores her big brother in a way that is completely unique among her siblings.  And Jon is just as devoted to her.  My friend Elizabeth remarked the other day that, “Babies make it easy to raise good daddies.”  So true, isn’t it?  Except that many of us have all the babies we’re going to have when we’re young, or when they’re young, and so children don’t often have the opportunity to grow up around infants and toddlers.  They don’t learn how to care for them, or what to expect from them, or how to interact with them.

But I am older, and still having babies, and at least half of my children are old enough to feel more paternal/maternal toward their littlest siblings than anything else, and so they learn to care for babies and toddlers and preschoolers, and to be good mothers and fathers.

Those same children are old enough that my youngest children, God willing, will grow up with little nieces and nephews to learn from, and our pleasant little circle of love will continue to grow, knowledge and experience will be passed along, and that next generation will know how to be good mothers and fathers without having to reinvent the wheel.

That’s a beautiful thing.

Just another snowy day photo from yesterday, these little weeds poking out through the snow.
Just another snowy day photo from yesterday, these little weeds poking out through the snow.

*When Evie was a newborn, Jon was holding her, and I don’t know what happened, but he dropped her.  She bawled as only a newborn can, and once it was determined that she was uninjured, and once she had calmed down, I handed her back.  He didn’t want to hold her again, afraid he might do her real harm, but I said, “She’s your sister and I don’t want you to be scared of loving her.  Just don’t drop her!”  In that moment, their fledgling relationship could have been ruined, and might have been if I’d been younger.  Every time I see them together, I remember this as one of my parenting wins. 🙂

I forgot it was Thursday, what with all this cold and snow messing with my routine, but this post does have a little bit each of {pretty, happy, funny, real} so I’m going to go ahead and link up with Like Mother, Like Daughter, okay?  Okay.

4 Comment

  1. Elizabeth Maxwell says:

    My favourite part was ‘my friend, Elizabeth…’ ?

    1. Isn’t it lovely how much we grow to love one another, even if we’ve never met? 🙂

  2. Melissa says:

    My parents are both from larger families and each have a sibling that is considerably younger than they are (my Dad’s “baby” brother is 21 years younger than he is), and my brother and I have enjoyed the best relationship with these “baby” siblings of our parents. And my parents have a special bond with their youngest siblings. It has been wonderful to observe all our lives. It is indeed a gift.

  3. Cecilia loves her older brother. She is 2 and he is 12. I find I have to make her go with older siblings a lot lately because she plays this game and just wants me. And then whines when I tell her no. I can tell he gets uneasy when she’s like that, but she always stops and it’s the most beautiful thing to see him carrying her up and around the house. My oldest daughter will be 15 in a few weeks, and after cecilia fell asleep on me last night, she offered to put her to bed. I watched her take her up the stairs, with her little arms draped and still snoring…my daughter just full of this maternalness. It was pretty awesome

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