Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lillie and Kapaun

My favorite childhood memories hands down were when my parents had a new baby. I was so overcome with happiness that I could not contain myself. With one of my siblings, I went down the phone book and called people to let them know my mother was going to have another baby. I remember I called Mr. Eilert, an elderly farmer that I didn't know that well, but I sure thought he would want to know this FANTASTIC news. I really thought the world stopped those days!  My mom was always so excited to tell me because of my reaction.  I haven't changed much.  Each time we find out we are expecting, I want to call myself to tell myself!  Isn't that fun!

With that said, I was SO enamored by the babies when my mom came home that I almost lost my mind.  I wanted so much to hold the baby, talk my poor mother's ear off, sleep with the baby, take the  baby to school, and show everybody that I am sure I was a bit of challenge to deal with because I was TOO excited.  One night after my mother had just come home from the hospital, I remember just breaking into tears because of all my emotions.  I told my mom to take that baby back.  Of course, I didn't mean it, but I was so overcome with happiness that I didn't know what to do.  I wanted my mom to be normal.  I wanted the baby to be mine and none of that was happening.  Funny now that I am the mother.  I understand Lillie.

Many have asked me how Damaris is doing with Kapaun.  She has been pretty unaware for the most part.  She was already in toddler mode before he came so not much has changed.   Thanks be to God.  What I wasn't prepared for was Lillie!  She probably has had the hardest time and reflecting back upon my young self, I finally realized what was going on.  She LOVES him.  She LOVES me.  She craves order and routine more than any of our other children and right now our home is not much of a reflection of the order and routine she had grown accustomed to. 
I am always hesitant to write personal information about our children because I blog 99% for them.  I blog so that when they get older, they will be able to look back upon their childhood through the lens that I saw them through.  I want them to know how much I loved being their mother and the goodness I saw in them.  I want them to know how much I cherished our days together and noticed their interests.  I don't feel the need to write about the "negative" aspects of children because aren't those a given?  Doesn't everybody know that children throw fits?  Doesn't everybody know that children are often ungrateful and fight?  Heck, adults are ungrateful and fight so I really don't feel the need to share that stuff mostly because isn't it a given?  It's not that I don't want to be real, but won't they realize that stuff on their own.  I don't want to step on their dignity for just being a child so I am careful to protect their dignity as I don't want them to look back at their childhood self and say, "Hey Mom, why did you write that about me?  I was just a child.  I was just learning and growing."
We've been schooling since last August and stopped when Kapaun was born for the semester.  Lillie was my most efficient child at getting her work done.  She would get up, get started, and be done well before anybody else.  She wanted to know her morning job.  Right now, most of that routine is on hold and that has been hard for her.  Her compass is off.  I didn't realize what was going on until last week.  After speaking with John one night, we realized she just needed our love and patience, not our constant correction.  I was starting to get on her about everything and I didn't like myself for it.  
I remembered these words, "Action has meaning only in relationship and without understanding relationship, action on any level will only breed conflict.  The understanding of relationship is infinitely more important than the search for any plan of action."
I started to focus on very simple things with her.  I know this is probably silly, but I once read somewhere how important it is to hug your child for longer than six seconds.  (Don't laugh.)  If I was nursing the baby, they would lean in to hug and kiss me goodnight. I would half hug them as my arms were full with Kapaun.   I realized how I needed to hug them, hold them near me, and tell them something I saw about them that day. 
We both knew we needed to back off the correction especially during this time of adjustment and focus more on her, as a person.  As much as I want to correct her, I am trying to turn it around to asking her a question or telling her something interesting about the baby.  
Lillie has the genetic death grip baby hold.  She gets that from me.  We don't share babies so don't ask to hold ours.

She really is so good with him.  No matter if he is crying or not, she will hold him, talk to him, walk with him, bounce him, and is really good at soothing him.  I don't know how she does it, but I am sure grateful. 

She can even get him to smile which makes her day!


  1. Yours is truly the most beautiful blog I've ever read. Your love, kindness, and passion is contagious and I can't tell you how much I love reading about a parent who truly, truly enjoys her children in a world where other things are now getting in the way of this for some. What a wonderful family you have and what a wonderful mother you are. My first (and only, at the moment) child is ten months, and she is truly the most amazing thing in the universe. I hope to be able to adequately express to her one day what a pleasure it has been being her mother, just as perfectly as you do for your children through these writings.

    Best wishes, congratulations on another little blessed life, and thank you for sharing with us all!

    1. I agree 300%. I honestly am blown away by your gift for expressing life in such beautiful terms.

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    3. I so agree, and love your adorable enthusiasm! I LOVE being a mom & it's great to see your affirmations of your beautiful family as well.
      :-) Keep up the good work!

  2. Sweet Lillie, she reminds me of me ( and my Gemma). We were experiencing a little of the same problem and you know what made a WORLD of difference? After one of those drag down, worn out, oh my word...what's gotten into her kinda days, instead of correcting her ( for what seemed like the 1,000 time), I had daddy take her on a date. They just went to the book store and to get ice cream. I knew she was beating herself up more about what was going on, then my constant corrections were, and I wanted to let her know that we knew she needed us, that as the oldest I do expect so much and I see how much she truly does. So then, when she got home with daddy, I gave her a journal, and empty one, and then I showed her that I have one too. Each night we write to each other...about anything, our day, something that may have bothered us, about our love, a praise for something I saw her do. Let me tell you, it's been two weeks and it makes THE WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. For her to know when she wakes up she can read a special letter written to her from mommy, it makes her day. I have seen a total turn around. I know writing a letter on top of everything else right now, especially with exhaustion and putting a baby down at night can be tough, but it's only been taking me 5 mins tops, and the joy I'VE been getting from reading her journal makes my day too.
    Much love and prayers for you all. Especially you and Kapaun as you walk on through this difficult baby stage.

  3. Lindsay! I am just so so so grateful for your blog. Halfway through reading this one, I stopped and hugged my kids for six seconds. I'm expecting my third around Ash Wednesday and will earmark this particular post for when baby is born.
    I also want to say that as a melancholic, who is so accomplishments-oriented, I loved your quote about action/relationship. I need to have it tattooed on my forehead, or at least put it on my fridge to look at every day and pray over. Thanks so much

  4. This is why I blog as well, I love this post - it has helped me fine tune exactly how I feel about 'sharing' the days through my lens for my children's sake. I get that 'death grip' on baby thing, everyone teases me but it is true, when I have a baby I do not share very well and I never want to put them down. It is almost primitive, and I can't help it I'm just so exhausted, so proud, and so in love all at once. I have a tendency to go into 'turtle shell' mode with my whole family. I have to go inward of our home life until the 'new normal' reigns then I can go outward again. I think holding the baby so close is a part of that instinct.
    God Bless you for sharing this blog, it is just so beautiful and so very inspiring!

  5. Lillie is just so beautiful! What a special young lady.

  6. You are beyond encouraging, I hope you know that! I am so uplifted by the time I spend here.

  7. Lindsay, I can relate so much to everything you've written here. I too have a child that is similar to your Lillie, although she is only 5. Her personality is so much like my own. Sometimes we get along like peas and carrots and other times we are like oil and water. Your quote above about relationship really struck a chord with me with regards to my relationship with her. Thank you for taking the time to share about your beautiful family and your obvious gift in your vocation as a mother. You really are an inspiration to me! God bless you!

  8. I love reading your blog--especially after you have a baby. I'm always interested to hear how attentive you are to your other children and how you help them in their adjustment to this new member of the family. I've been reading your blog for several years now. You are a wonderful mother and an inspiration to me! I love your quote about relationship and what you said about hugging your children for more than 6 seconds! Thank you!

  9. Wu is so pretty! ~ Mammy