Friday, August 13, 2010

Something happens to a child when they get a parent all to themselves - the very best parts of them emerge. There are no other children to compete with or to cloud the eyes of the parents to their true personality. They are absolutely free to be themselves, with no leaders and no followers.
I am a big believer that so much of great worth and value is learned by being a part of a large family, but I also see the very real need to have time, not only for the parents to see who a child really is but for them to see themselves as an individual also, to be able to discover who they are - Someone who is important all by themselves, just because. We need to remember that the younger ones in the family have never had mom and dad to themselves and that they need those opportunities. Likewise the oldest one, because they have, still need moments of that as well. You will discover things about your children and wonder, "how did I not know that?"
{Tate and his woodbug}
Yesterday Tate and I had them most wonderful day. Even though Nya was with us she doesn't count as competition, and somehow Tate takes his responsibility as "older sibling" all the more serious and sweet with her. I think somehow he realizes that he is all she has at the moment.
We had no real agenda and no reason to rush. We just took our time doing everything.
Our day started out with some shopping. We went to buy a metal garbage can for storing our chicken feed, some dinner ingredients (pizza - his favorite) and of course a few treats for later that night. Tate insisted on pushing the cart and loading the groceries. He even put the cart away when we were finished.
When we got home we had lunch and Nya went down for her nap. Then Tate and I went outside to garden and let the chickens out. He fed them their chicken scratch, he helped me water my new garden bed, he pushed the wheel barrow with me, and everything and anything else that needed doing, he was there to do it! After dinner and a bath, and Nya was in bed, and the chickens were put away, Tate and I snuggled up to watch a movie. He feel asleep before it was even over and we both slept in my bed.
I was really missing the rest of my family by this point, so his little body beside me was very welcome company. There is something so very strange about not having all your little ones tucked safely in bed under the same roof and then collapsing with your husband at the end of the day. But I am so grateful for these opportunities to get to know one of my own children in a way that needs to be done one-on-one. I am grateful for the love that Tate has for me and his willingness to be of service to his mom and that he still finds it fun. I am also grateful for a husband who took my older children camping and surfing, and is willing and able to share one of his greatest passions with them. A very seemingly ordinary day, but one I will always remember.

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