It's strange growing a big family when neither Neil or i ever came from one. There are just over three years between my oldest sister and me and only 18 months between Neil and his brother.
One of the things that i found with my littles - is that opportunities might come for one child - that never present themselves for another. When Cai and Sloan were little, we lived in a small town and there seemed to be more (inexpensive) opportunities to try things. As a result, they got to try art lessons, swim lessons, gymnastics, baseball, soccer and dance lessons. As we added little people to our crew - and eventually moved to a more expensive location - we found fewer opportunities that we were willing to take advantage of... and there are quite a few things that my littler ones have never had the chance to try.
It bugged Mollen that she never got to try gymnastics.
She got Neil's cousin's wife to teach her to do a cartwheel - but it never satisfied her itch to go in a class. So, she did the smart thing for a fifth born child to do... gently, she would remind me again and again that boy, would she ever love to take gymnastics. As i would take older children to their activities she would softly say how if she could ever choose - she would choose gymnastics in a heart beat.
Finally one day, i think i heard her.
"Mollen, would you like mama to sign you up for gymnastics this fall?"
"Yes. Very badly, i really, really want to take gymnastics."
"Ok then, we'll do it."
And so i did.
That day she began to count down the days until her first class... and finally the day came and she counted down the hours - changing her mind which outfit she should wear at least a half a dozen times.
We got there a few minutes early - and watched the children through the big viewing window.
She held my hand in hers and shyly bit the corner of her lip.
And i cried watching her sail through that door when the hour finally struck - (just like i do every time one of my littles does something that puts them in the spotlight).
It has been a few weeks since that first class... She's still just as thrilled to pick out her gymnastics outfit. She's as star struck as ever by her coaches. She's still tickled that we get alone time driving to and fro...
And i'm glad that i get to do this again...to see the world through 8 year old eyes... for the 5th time. To try something new - because this sweet dolly - is another new person. i'm glad we get a sampling of life - and that by God's grace we get to raise each one of these little ones for their unique purposes which were planned out for them before even one of their days came to be.