Wednesday, April 28, 2010

::My Children::

My cousin Maryanne regularly dwells on the beautiful uniqueness of each of her four children. It has been a long time since I have done the same.


She catches any and all hypocrisy and presents us with her findings. She mulls over any scrap of information she comes across until she understands it to her satisfaction. She asks the hard questions, fully expecting to be satisfied with the truths we offer. She clings tenaciously to her convictions. She is aggravatingly hard to sway but I am secretly thrilled because I have often regretted the inconstancy of my own character. She is at once boldly herself, yet timid in the face of too many faces.

She exudes creativity and joy. Her greatest pride in me is my artistic ability. She watches me closely and emulates. She is classically feminine: prancing about the house in tutus and relishing the diameter of her twirling skirts as she pirouettes. She leads her brothers, with increasingly less co-operation on their part, in rounds of imaginary play. She LOVES to laugh. She has a rolling, inhibit-less laugh. She comes by it honestly.

Anecdote: After a particularly chilly morning run I sneaked up on Aidan and placed my freezing hands on his bare back. We proceeded to play tag for fifteen minutes around the house, tearing around the island and eliciting uproarious laughter from our children. At that time Caelah had asked us why Aidan and I touch each other so much. I explained that touching is a by-product of loving someone so very much. That evening Caelah watched Aidan and I very closely as she headed up to bed. She wanted to know why we stay up long after they all go to bed. I was not entirely forthright in saying that we simply liked keeping one another company. But she saw through it. "I know what you do. You kiss and kiss and kiss." And when we had a good laugh she added slyly, "I am pretty good at figuring these things out."

Favourite Words: "Right, Mom?"


A deep well, this one. All at once the most complicated and most misunderstood. This boy has a reputation. The boy with the twinkle in his eye. The one looking for trouble. Yes, he is very quick to irritate and pester. And yet he is quicker still to defend and plead on another's behalf. It seems he has a very strong sense of justice. Like many troublemakers, he understands the 'law' and so breaks it artfully and willfully in his sin. And yet his awareness of right and wrong is so acute that he feels compelled to champion anyone dealt an unfair hand. If he is wrongly disciplined, which happens frequently, as he is most often the guilty party, he descends into the pits of despair. When rightly disciplined we must push beyond his resistance to the wonderful place that lies beyond: his warm well of a heart.

He works with his hands to produce the most intricate creations and is simply bursting with pride upon discovering they function exactly as he had intended them to. I foresee him to be an invaluable help to me in my ineptitude with all things mechanical. This gift is both the element that draws him to his brothers, as they watch amazed and become students. Yet it can quickly dissolve into war as his carefully constructed masterpieces risk destruction at the hands of littler hands. I look forward to older days of tree houses and teamwork. What will be created with three sets of boy hands and loads of time?

Favourite Saying: "But, but, but. . ."


The talker. This one is very rarely quiet. He was late to speak and is more than making up for it. My heart is often burdened for this one. He is classically stuck in his middleness. I tend to be pulled to the oldest and youngest and Gabriel gets neglected. This may be the reason for the tendency to whine. He is quick to cry and slow to quiet. I must intentionally seek him out and give myself wholly to him for a time. He thrives when I do.

Whatever the reason, the conditions of his young life have nurtured him into a lover of people. He sidles up to any and all only to share the contents of his mind fully and at length. He relishes the listening ear and takes full advantage of any quiet moment or idle stranger or family pet. And when no other soul can be found he is content to talk to himself. He find himself to be a very good audience.

Favourite Words: "Why?"


Isaiah must be fully engaged by me or he will make good use of his free time creating a mess of epic proportions. I have never had a more destructive child. Isaiah can draw across three walls, empty my wallet across the floor and play in the toilet before I have had my morning coffee. Seriously. And this is a daily occurrence. He seems to have no interest in toys. He wants to get into the interesting stuff.

However, engaging this boy is a delight. He snuggles into me as though I were warm winter blanket. And he simply sits. His words have been slow in coming, but I don't mind. These quiet moments will soon be gone and I am not eager to see them go.

Favourite Words: "No."


It is hard to determine the personality hiding behind a nine month old. But she certainly has a temper. It erupts if I move beyond her range of vision. I must be right by her or she lets us all know she has something to say about that. Partly, I am relived to see the strength of her spirit. Her spunk will give her a foothold in the whirlwind of a larger family.

Favourite Words: In my arms; "Ta-ta-ta-ta-ta" Out of my arms; "Roarrrrrrr!"