We Walk This Way But Once

Monday October 4, 2010

We walk through colicky nights, potty training, teen angst. Only once?

Yes, I’ve had four sons. And I walked those paths over and again, but not once was the path identical.

Sometimes I wished for a matching trail. If I could have duplicated my first compliant two-year-old, life would have been easier.

Other times I prayed for a distinctly different route – as I walked the floor with my first (oh-so-colicky) son.

But each time, each stage, each child – something was different.

Sometimes it was the child. I tried what worked with #1 to no avail with #2. Different child, different path.

Sometimes it was the trail. There were factors and issues surrounding me and my child that weren’t the same.

And sometimes it was me.
I had more experience – or less. I second-guessed myself more – or less.

And sometimes I had learned. From my experiences and from others.

So if you’re a mom who’s on a smooth path right now – enjoy it. Learn from it. Bank up those experiences.

If you’re a mom who’s climbing hand-over-hand up a rocky path as we speak, just hang on. Don’t give up. Once you reach the next bend, things may just even out. And your next child could be a piece of cake at this stage.

Most of all, no matter what the trail is like for you right now, find a way to enjoy it. Celebrate its difference; savor its similarity.

And reach back to help another mom along the way.

Have you seen differences in your path? (My colicky infant was a compliant two-year-old; his next brother was an angel baby who turned into a headstrong toddler.) Is there a stage you worry about facing?

How did you cope? Was there a helping hand for you along the way?


Jean Wise said...

when you mentioned that sometimes the difference was you is so true. I think we forget as parents we grow and change too. I remember a conversation I had with my brother who is 6 years older than me about our dad. You would have though we were talking about a different man from our views of him and our relationship with him. He WAS different six years later.

Donnetta said...

I never could imagine how having more than one child would allow for all of them to be so distinctly different. Now having 3, I still don't quite understand it (except by God's design), but fully believe it!

Thank you for the encouragement woven throughout tis post!

Victoria said...

Mine was an angel baby and as a 3 year old she's good but she's really strong-willed. As she ages she's becoming more compliant again but I really don't think she'll ever be her perfectly placid and go-with-the-flow baby self ever again.
Even with just one child sometimes it feels like we're walking a couple paths at once. From day to day she can be a completely different kid and require completely different handling. I can only imagine how it must feel with several children!
This was a really good post. :) It has me thinking, like Jean, about how much parents change as well.

Diane said...

Great reminder. What works for one, may not work for another. I am aging too.... :O)

Debbie said...

Hi Laura,
I've enjoyed reading your inspiring posts. I just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

This is so true, Laura! Never fall into the trap of thinking you've got it figured out... all of mine were incredibly different, and then along came my stepsons! God's way of keeping things interesting. ;-)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Thank goodness for friends with kids who'll extend a hand and a hint and a listening ear! My three have been so different. I guess the one thing I've really learned is "it will pass." And it does! Way too quickly.

Faith said...

yup....both my girls were VERY different as babies/toddlers and preschoolers. and guess what? my parenting style was different from my hubby's...and we all survived! lol...
seriously, this was great post! My oldest was the easy baby....slept thru the nite at 6 wks so i'd have to "pump" my milk. 2nd one was up every hour on the hour and then once a nite almost every nite for SEVEN years....around age 4 we figured out her love language is physical touch and she just needed a hug and went right back to sleep. she was our risk taker, tester, and yet today at 11 is the most cooperative and easy child. The oldest at 17 now is my tough one....i have loved all the stages but i must confess i will be relieved when this whole college application process is complete....it is bringing some angst in to our home!

Susan DiMickele said...

I'm ready for your book review on my blog tomorrow! yeah!

Michelle DeRusha said...

My first-born was colicky, bad! But now he is the most complacent, mellow 3rd grader. My second was a mellow baby, but once he learned to crawl, all hell broke loose, and he hasn't stopped moving (or yelling) yet!

I joined a Mom's Club here in Lincoln when my first was an infant. Saved my life and especially my sanity. I am still best friends today with the women I met there 9 years ago.

Brenda said...

I love this post! Time goes by so fast! This idea is at the heart of my blog. I want to savor each stage no matter what it brings. My focus is to create as much family togetherness time as I can to savor every day!
Feel free to stop by and visit my blog!

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