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Thursday, August 6, 2009

State of the Family

I thought I would just post an update about my family. This is gonna be long and boring, but Im writing it more for myself so I have something to read when Ive forgotten what it was like when they were young. I am not neccesarily writing this for anyone else.

Crystal is the oldest and she knows it. She is very adamant about things not being her fault and/or getting her way. Its hard for her to admit that how she attempted to handle a situation was wrong and her younger sibling was not at fault or didnt deserve what Crystal did to "fix" things. I completely understand this. I am also the oldest. The real frustration for me comes when I get on Crystals case about something only to realize way too late that she is only doing exactly what I do when I reach the end of my rope. At that point, so much time has gone by that I doubt she could connect the apology to the actual incident. Kids have an amazing ability to forget things even happened while I can mull over it for a couple hours. When it really boils down to it, Crystal just wants to be the oldest and she wants to be good at it. I need to spend less time getting angry about things and more time showing her a better way to react and resolve. In order to do this, I gotta teach myself the same thing. But Im glad Crystal is the oldest, she is a great help all around and I know she cares about each of her siblings as much as me and Amy do. She is exactly where she needs to be in our family.

Rooker is the puzzle. Its nearly impossible to figure out what it is he wants. He spends a very large part of the day with swords and costumes, unfortunately this has meant that his sisters have been hit by his weapons every now and then. Again, yet another thing I have to learn not to be such an ogre about, I just gotta help him learn that it hurts both inside and out to be hit. Also, being a boy, Ive caught him doing things just to be mean. Like stepping on a book so his younger brother Bridger can't pick it up, or taking a toy he needs without asking. I totally understand this as a male myself growing up with 5 younger brothers and 1 younger sister. There is in fact a certain devious delight to showing your dominance over another. I guess overtime I just grew out of it and I am fairly certain Rooker will as well since it doesn't happen very often and it doesn't really fit his personality. Rooker is also a thinker. He has the uncanny ablity to totally absorb what is happening on TV, commercials and all, and then discuss them at length with us later on. He sees products at the grocery store and he tells us "facts" about them (such as how absorbent they are) that he learned from TV. Before his super-hero phase, it wasnt unusual to find him alone, just sitting and pondering. I dont know where its all gonna lead, but I am totally at peace with it. Rooker is exactly who he needs to be.

Bailey.... Wow, I dont even know where to start. In Dr. Suesses "The Grinch" there is a scene where you get to see his heart grow 3 times its normal size. I feel like Bailey was born this way. She feels bad when things die, she likes stories about princes and princesses, she loves her cats, she is very much the huggy type, her hair is constantly in her eyes and the cuteness of it drives me crazy. She generally takes a beating from her siblings and just cries instead or dishing it back. The ability to make her feel bad is unparalleled because of her personality and Im very touchy about anyone in our family that takes advantage of it. She's the kid in our family that if there is one dish of ice cream left, I'll give it to her cause I have this feeling that "she deserves it" over the others just because of who she is. In essence, Bailey is Charity in the flesh. Bailey will be the child I watch the closest, especially in her teenage years. I will forever be in the shadows of those who have influence in her life.

Bridger is a punk. He gets into everything, he needs alot of attention, he wears nothing but a diaper, he is VERY loud as a person, and he spills EVERYTHING he eats. I know that part of it is his age, but I know he can do better. Ive never met a kid that was so loud. Everything he says causes a tear in my ear drums. It doesnt matter if he is sitting on my lap, everything is 10 decibels above whatever else is going on. I know he doesnt have a hearing problem, cause we never have to repeat anything we say, he was just built loud. We are constantly telling him he is too loud, and on top of that he repeats everything at least 4 times. I just want to put in some ear plugs sometimes to enjoy the silence. He used to be super needy also, but the last 2-3 weeks have been alot better. He is finally spending time playing with his cars and getting into trouble and less time hanging on our necks. He also doesnt take any crap from the other kids. In the end, he will be left crying, but he has an expected male aggression and will go after Rooker if Rooker pushes an issue. He loves his Mom and Dad with all his heart, and feels bad when we get upset at him. He loves his cousin Ryder, and together they can do things beyond comprehension, like drag sugar all over the house, or ride their little bikes forever down "the busy road" in the back of our house only to be brought home by a neighbor. His adventures with Ryder are on a much larger scale than we are comfortable with, but deep down, Im glad they have them. I think that attitude will really pay off for him later on. Or at least I hope so.

Brynzi is the youngest. She would be 8 months old now. She is so freakin adorable I dont know what to do. I love holding her for the most part. I love nibbling her cheeks. I love the way she climbs over me when I lay on the floor as if I were mount everest. I love the way she grabs my legs when I come home from work, I love how she laughs when I place my nose in her ribs. She still does all the normal baby stuff like cry when she's hungry, mess in her diaper, wake up during the night cause she needs her binky, etc. But all around she has been an absolutely wonderful addition to our family. She was exactly what we needed for a 5th child.

Amy is perfect for me. She gets stressed about the things I dont pay attention to but should, like our budget and wether our kids are involved in things that would improve their lives, or how healthy we are eating as a family, or how religious we are outside of church, etc. I can see why a strong marraige is so important. I can only imagine where I would be as a human being if all those things I listed werent being taken care of. I would be totally worthless and not even know it. Im a total loser when it comes to being emotionally sensitive or being affectionate. It basically boils down to a half-hearted "love ya" before I hang up the phone or a peck on the lips that could almost qualify as a kiss as I head out the door to work. Thats about the extent of my display of affection to her in our everyday lives, but we've made it 10 years now with no bumps at all, we have built a very comfortable life for our kids, with good nieghbors, a decent income, activities that make a difference and are enjoyable, a religion that matters, and a family that cares deeply for each other. My marraige to Amy has made this all possible. I can't imagine not having her around.

I am absolutely content with the current state of my life. Everything I need, I've got. Everything I want, I can get. Everything I have, has been given to me with little to no effort on my part. For as long as I can remember, everything, without my influence, has evolved around me such that my happiness is the result. I have often pondered why my life has been this way, and I have not been given the answer. I have deep feelings about those that I perceive have been taken from, instead of given too. It doesnt feel fair and it makes me want to hide. The only option I really have is to be grateful and ready to give what is required. I just hope Im ready when the occasions arise.


K'Lyn Lyman said...

I was touched and moved by your blog. You are very fortunate and blessed!

beardmommaof4 said...

I couldn't resist leaving a comment, Mark. That was a beautiful blog about your children--one to be cherished. I, too, struggle to see how life can beso unfair for others when I see so many blessings in my life. But you are a great person, a great husband and father, a great neighbor and very deserving of your blessings.