Have you ever noticed how unique and special each child is? So. Different. Each of my children is so different from any of the others and has something so valuable to offer the world. I learn something special from each of them and that began right from their birth.
My kids like to ask about when they were born. Hallmark sent me a book for this post called On the Night You Were Born and I know that it is going to become a favorite. Photo albums with their birth stories are already a huge favorite with my kiddos and I know it’s because of they love to see not only when they entered the world, but how they changed my life when they did so.
Evan England – 11-15-2004 Evan was the best possible way to end the single most life-changing year in my history. Sidney and I married in January and moved to Texas hours away from family. We learned how to work together and Evan’s birth was the culmination of all we had learned that year. We became parents and it solidified our relationship forever.
I learned to surrender like I’ve never done before. In his story I wrote: “It isn’t an experience I would trade for all the world. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.” Evan’s labor was the longest and there were things I knew mentally I would “never do” that ended up being necessary for his birth. Evan taught me that there is no one-size-fits-all in parenting. He’s still that way – challenging me in his uniqueness and making me think outside the box.
Brianna England – 5-4-2006 Brianna was born like a freight train. She was quick, intense, and had her way of being born. That attitude hasn’t changed one bit either. She’s stubborn and the things that work well with Evan don’t work with Brianna.
In her birth story I wrote: “It was a very intense labor but even at the most intense point I just kept thinking how powerful it all felt. Rather an awe inspiring experience to realize how much power really is able to be created in me. A definite confidence boost in many ways…..and it didn’t feel like _I_ was being powerful….just that I was allowing the power to work in me. I wonder what daily life would be like if we allowed God’s power to work in us more often.”
Micah England – 9-08-2008 Micah was born in what can only be described as a fun and laughter-filled labor. His labor was FUN. I know it sounds crazy to describe it that way but it’s true. I think that the labor matched the child – Micah is a joy. He truly delights in making others smile and laugh. He has a unique flair you can’t overlook.
I wrote in his birth story: “The kids made me laugh between contractions which was a nice difference with this labor compared to my other two. Having them there kept me in control.” I remember telling Sidney I could do this a hundred more times but this was also the first pregnancy where back pain was a significant factor.
Adam England – 4-09-2010 Adam is on the surface a little mini-me of his brother in personality, if not in looks. But Adam is the baby who taught me to let go of expectations and embrace my ability to dance with a confidence I never knew before. When I wanted to move I moved. I didn’t have to know why, only trust that it was the right decision. In parenting, in business, and in life in general that confidence has made the last two years of our lives truly amazing ones with so many things falling into place for us.
I wrote in his birth story: “Baby is very active throughout the labor. VERY. Moves a lot. So do I. I tell Sidney I’m done. I’m leaving now. He can have the baby by himself. He laughs at me and I laugh too. I know I’m being silly. I can’t sit still.”
Vivian England – 12-6-2011 Vivian broke our trend of having babies on the even years. I think she wanted to be special since she’s probably our last. I wonder if she knew how long her big brother and sister had prayed for her and just didn’t want to keep them waiting any longer. Whatever it is, she is a perfect dichotomy of content and determined. She’s happy and “zen” and rarely fusses, but she is also a go-getter, quietly attacking life with a determination to not be left out of whatever her siblings have going on. Honestly, I think she just didn’t want to wait until 2012 to take on the world.
I wrote in her birth story: “I love the sensation of feeling my body move from passive surrender, to active, working power. I roar. I become strong. Powerful in a way I rarely feel, except perhaps in the most intense moments of intimacy. There’s a letting go and a trust-in-yourself that takes place and energy you didn’t know you were capable of.”
I think what I most want the kids to understand is that while we are an amazing entity – family, they are an amazing solo person. Special in every sense of the world. Marvelous. Nuanced. It is the greatest delight of my life to learn more of those nuances that makes them the unique creatures they are. Our introduction told me a lot about them – and daily I learn more in those little moments that create memories.
Hallmark’s Life is a Special Moment campaign sponsored this post and I tear up at the fitting tribute it is. Embracing these special moments that literally brought forth a new life reminds me to acknowledge what is special about the everyday.
Sometimes I think I learn more from my kids than they do from me. What have you learned as a parent from your children?