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“I want a little girl”, is all I could say the morning after my son was born. Here I was holding this perfect little bundle; this little human that grew in my womb for the past nine months. Despite the 18 hours of labor, the purple people I saw from the effects of Stadol, I instantly wanted another human. Crazy – probably – but for Ian, the firstborn, the first to start the add-on cycle of children in our lives…it all started with him.
I’m sure Jeff sees it slightly differently than
I did, after all, he was attending college full time, working full time, and commuting an hour every day to get home. Then, we had an 18-hour labor and delivery and here his bride-to-be is saying she wants another one. I’m genuinely surprised he stuck around after that!
Now we have our eldest, Ian. I’m not sure if other firstborns were like this, but one of his first real sentences was, “Ian running.” We’d ask him what Ian was doing, and that was his response. He still loves running – he’s simply added on some Parkour moves, flips and tricks on and off the trampoline as well as weight-lifting and a little target practice here and there. He’s our first born and even though life was very uncertain for a young unwed 19-year old mother like myself, I chose to let life carry on its course.
Unknowing what his life would turn out to be like, he says, “One of the best parts of being in a big family is, if one of my siblings doesn’t like me or we’re fighting, that’s okay. I just go to another sibling and we get along fine. It’s nice to have options and not feel left out.”
He’s such a natural born leader. He takes what he loves, like bugs, animals, and nature and effortlessly answers his younger siblings inquiries about the latest creature they’ve caught. He’s taught 5 of them how to do numerous tricks and flips on our home trampoline. While watching them, I’m amazed at how Ian, step-by-step, taught his siblings to go from a simple somersault, to flips with twists and turns in mid-air within a matter of months. I didn’t teach him that. I see him thrive when he’s around his brothers – as they look up to him, and deep down, he wants to set the example; sometimes proclaiming – “See! Don’t do that, I already demonstrated that doesn’t work on Mom and Dad!”
Then there are times, as Ian gets older, he wants to be by himself.
“It can be overwhelming. There are 10 other people in the house and I just want some quiet time. That can be hard to just ‘get away’ in your own house.” Despite having a 5-bedroom home with over 2500sq feet – it can seem a bit cramping at times.
Ian’s sister, Chloe came a short 19 months after he was born and was instantly in love. He never wanted to leave her side. Since he couldn’t say her full name after we introduced her to him, he simply called her “Coco”; and even to this day, it’s still her nickname.
It was tough being a new mom at such a young age. I hadn’t grown up completely myself and here I am responsible for another human being. At his age, I had my own child. Ian looked at us in bewilderment at the thought and says, “No Way!!” Good. We think so too! Life has its trials and unexpected “whoops”. I’ll be honest and say, Ian may have been one of those “whoops”, but he was intentionally God’s “Yes.”
Ian has made an impact on our lives that we never foresaw. An impact of patience, loss of patience, perseverance, kindness, selflessness, and growth. We do life together whether we like it or not and quite frankly, Ian wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I wouldn’t trade my family in for anything. I may want my alone time, but when I have my own family one day, this is what I want my children to experience; the love a big family that you’ll have for the rest of your life. I love them.”
Photo Credits: AndiL.