[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] M[/dropcap]y first born . . . big sigh . . . I love him to pieces. He is a beautiful, mature soul who thinks and feels everything, and yet he’s a perfectionist, needs to be in control, know the plan, not real flexible type kid. I used to know someone like that . . .

Over the past few months, we’ve been breathing a sigh of relief as R seems to have chilled out a bit, and E has intensified. We’ve been so thankful that it hasn’t been two very intense boys in our household. Yet last week and this week, R has just fallen apart and became an emotional mess. Everything sends him into tears, and our typically non-affectionate child wants to just be held. It’s been bizarre. We even had a drop off morning at school where the teacher was like what happened?! Ryder was just a giant mess. Not his newer normal self.

And brilliant as I am (*rolling my eyes as I type that*), and as I was sitting in E’s old room, folding baby girl clothes and hanging up Ezzy’s clothes that will go into his new closet, it hit me that we’ve been through a lot in the past two weeks. R hasn’t known anything about Edie B and the doctor stuff; he didn’t know why Daddy was in the hospital. But he is our intuitive thinker/feeler, and he’s had enough going on as he now has to share his room and sharing is not his strong point. Life has been very out of our normal routine, and that is not his strong point either. Ezra is always the easy-going, flexible one, and it’s taken only about 3 days for him to adjust to the new room. But R has gotten worse and worse. So it hit me last night that I should have known. I should have made the transition slower, should have given him more time to adjust as he’s not a sink or swim type like me. He’s a bit more like Dad in that he needs to go a bit more slowly.

So as my children went off with their grandparents this morning and my firstborn refused to budge off the front step, it hit me that he’s not flexible or adapting right now. And what’s he going to do when his sister comes along? How do we make all the change that’s coming a bit easier on him? How do we become sensitive enough to know that even though he doesn’t hear or see all the details he feels what’s going on? So I’ve got a lot to pray about, a lot to seek God on as I want to be sensitive to my child, yet I also know that being a controlling type is really hard in life. It doesn’t make life easy. Being flexible is so much better . . . but how to teach that to a 3 going on 4 year old?

And speaking of flexibility . . . while we were in the UK this past Fall, I grabbed a British cook book that was small enough to fit in my suitcase as I knew I needed one. Thankfully, I grabbed a good one, and it’s been fun using it, even if it’s sometimes a hassle to convert the measurements to American standards. One meal though that my husband has always asked for, and I’ve never known how to properly make it for him, is mince and taties. This cookbook has a great, easy, super flavorful, with lots of added veggies, recipe for it, so I’ve been making it on a regular basis. And again, my firstborn had a problem with it last night as he doesn’t like meat or potatoes. Yet I refuse to make two dinners. (I have done so in the past.) So while my husband was saying what a great cook Mommy is, my young man was saying, “I DO NOT like this dinner. It is not yummy!! I tried to tell him that if he’s going to move to Engand – his biggest wish right now is to go back to England – then he’s going to need to like mince and taties because that’s what he would eat there. Yeah, my convincing didn’t go far, so dinner was filled with drama . . . yet again. While my younger child had three helpings and sat and ate very quietly.

Life is funny. And if motherhood doesn’t make us more flexible than I don’t know what ever would . . . if it doesn’t teach us that each person, each child born into our family is a totally unique individual who requires differences in how we parent them, then I don’t know what would either. I sometimes wonder why the Lord gave me Ryder as my first as I feel like I make so many more mistakes with him than I do with Ezra. Yet I’m a firstborn, and I understand that with the first, it’s a big learning curve. I’m learning as much as Ryde is. I’m learning to be as flexible as he’s needing to learn to be flexible. It’s a challenge, yet we have a good, faithful, patient Teacher who always gives us wisdom when we ask for it. So I’m needing lots of wisdom as we transition from a family of four living in a tiny house to a family of five who has to make room where maybe we’re not wanting to make room. I need to somehow let my boy know that he is much loved, everything is okay, sharing a room with his brother will be a very good thing, and change is maybe not easy but it will be good in the end. The sacrifices we’re making to make room for a new little person will be worthwhile as she will bring more love and joy into our home . . . and even into Ryder’s little heart.

One thought on “to be or not be flexible

  1. Aw, this is so sweet, Mic. Ryder will get it…will be praying for him!

    Honestly, I am one of those people who learned ‘sink or swim’ but much prefers to have change introduced gradually or have some kind of conversation three or four times before it happens so that I can prepare myself in my mind. That is one of the kindest things I’ve seen my sister do with her kids…she gives them about a five minute warning if they are leaving or transitioning to a different activity. And somehow even though the kids are disappointed the are leaving or changing, they end up leaving/changing more compliantly (mostly) than if the event was sprung on them. When I worked at Child Start, that was one of the tactics they told us to use…and to have a strong routine. It gives kids a sense of comfort to know what is coming next.

    So keep talking about that sweet Eden and how she’ll be a part of life with your boys. She already is, but they have yet to meet her! 😉

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