When we found out we were pregnant with Noah, I was instantly sad for him. Sad that he would never grow up with his sister, play with her, take pictures with her, drive her crazy, etc. Sad for all those memories he would never have the chance to make. But now that he’s here and starting to interact more with other kids, I’m sad for him in a whole different way.
Noah is only around other kids at school, at church, and when he plays with his cousins. Maybe 10ish hours a week. And, I think he has a hard time around other kids. Honestly, probably no harder than most kids who are learning to share and be nice to others, but it hurts my heart to watch him struggle with his sinful nature. It’s hard because his limited interactions with other kids shouldn’t be the only time he’s around kids his age. He should have a sister at home to learn these skills with. He should be learning to share and play nicely with her. But he can’t, because his sister isn’t here. He’s the little brother who lives the life of an only child.
I know that even if Hannah was here, he wouldn’t be a perfect child. She wouldn’t be a perfect child. They would both struggle with sin, and I’m sure it would be more difficult for me. But maybe it would make things easier for him. He’d still have to learn not to hit and bite when he doesn’t get his way, how to let others take a turn, how to share mommy’s attention, but the majority of that would be done at home. Maybe he would be more comfortable around other kids…and maybe I would feel more comfortable when he plays with others.
I hate knowing that I can’t just fix this for him. I don’t think there is an easy way to get through this age. This toddler stage is so much fun and incredibly frustrating at the same time. You just have to be consistent and patient and pray…a lot. At least that’s what I’ve been told.
I’ve always loved this part of Scripture. There are two places in Luke where the Bible talks about Mary treasuring things and pondering them in her heart. The first time is in Luke 2:19 after Jesus is born and is visited by the shepherds. Here’s Mary, this very young women who just had a child. And not just any child but God’s Son. I can’t imagine how overwhelmed she must have been. I love that her reaction was to treasure up these feelings and memories and hold them in her heart.
Even though I’ve always related to Mary’s action, I don’t think I really got it until I became a mom. Of course I have a lot of memories from before I became a mother that will always be special and important to me…family vacations, getting baptized, graduating from college, getting married, finding out we were going to be parents, etc. but, there are so many little moments that I have stored up since becoming a mom. Time just goes by so fast, and babies change and grow every day. I try to take a lot of pictures and really need to be better about taking videos, but let’s be honest, there’s no way I could ever document every moment and memory. But I have so many of these little day-to-day things treasured up in my heart. Even if the fine details fade, I will always have these impressions on my heart…the way Hannah felt in my arms, how Noah looks when he sleeps, his sweet little laugh and mischievous grin, the way he gives hugs and kisses, hearing him say “mama”, the way he cries when he’s tired, and on, and on, and on.
Last Thursday, Zach and I took Noah out to visit Hannah after dinner. It was the first time we’ve taken him since he really started walking. When we put him down in front of Hannah’s marker, he immediately grabbed the butterfly pick out of her flowers, then stuck his face in the bouquet and tried to smell them. I’m pretty sure he inhaled a lot of dirt. Zach and I were laughing and trying to explain that they don’t smell, but he didn’t care. He saw flowers, and he wanted to smell them. Over and over again 🙂 We practiced saying Hannah’s name, and he blew kisses to her. When it was time to leave, he waved “bye bye” as we were carrying him to the car. As we were pulling away, I told Zach that I wished I would have taken my phone with me to take pictures. The more I thought about it though, as sweet as that picture would have been, that moment is something that is forever engraved on my heart. I will never forget that.
I pray tonight that as life gets busier, I always remember to be present and allow myself to soak in the moment. Thank you Jesus for all these things I have stored up.