I sit here tonight with a heart brimming over with joy. Sometimes, God gives me moments - glimpses - into how very fortunate I am. (I often don't take time in my busy comings and goings to think about it). But, I'm sitting here on the couch, covered in a blanket with Rafael purring at my feet. It's 8:35, and I hear quiet giggling coming from Kayleigh's room. Considering all of the change that took place in there today - quiet giggling only adds to my joy. Here's why: We're doing some home remodeling - well, we're waiting on some things, but we're probably doing some home remodeling in early fall. ... We want to turn the basement "work room" into a "big kid" bedroom for Kayleigh.
Kayleigh needs a new bedroom because Benjamin will be taking over hers. Benjamin is taking over her bedroom because ...
The BABY will be moving into the nursery. Yup, Baby #3.... due August 16th.
We are OVER the MOON excited about this baby. Actually, 3/4 of us are OVER the MOON excited about this baby. Bet ya can't guess which one isn't ...???
Benner ... Benjamin is in complete denial that his place in the family (the role of "baby") is being threatened. We've tried to talk to him countless times/ways about the "baby," and being a "big brother." Any time we approach the subject, he simply shakes his head and starts yelling, "NO NO NO NO NO!!"
Kayleigh, on the other hand, has been toting around a baby doll that cries and talks since I told her about it. She's interested in "touching" the baby and "hearing" the baby's heartbeat; she "kisses" the baby as often as she can. She's also adamant that it IS a baby girl. She wants a sister more than anything in the world. When I asked her why she said, "Because I already have a Benny!" (I didn't have the heart to tell her that even if it IS a boy, it won't be another Benny; you can't duplicate that kid!)
At any rate, this home remodeling is slow in coming ... and, having been through two labors/deliveries and newborns now, I'd like to keep the major changes in this house to a minimum nearing August. So we decided we should get the kids trained at sleeping together well before the newborn arrives and disrupts sleep patterns for a few months. Tennis season is upon us soon, so now seemed as a good a time as any to change things.
NOTHING ... and I mean NOTHING ... could have prepared me for what we've experienced tonight.
Getting the rooms rearranged was an ALL DAY project for everyone. But, somewhere around 5:15, the kids started to understand what was happening. As soon as they realized it, there was no turning back. They promptly kicked us out of their room and started a "secret" meeting and playtime that lasted an UNPRECEDENTED 45 MINUTES. It might have gone on longer, but Mom had to go and MAKE everyone eat dinner. Once I went to check up on them and Benny screamed, "MOMMA! NO!!!" Kayleigh promptly translated and said, "Mommy, we are practicing our sleeping. This door must stay closed!" I happily chuckled to myself, re-turned off the lights and backed my way out of the kids' new 'clubhouse.'
I'm not sure how long it's going to take the two BFF's to go to sleep tonight. It's been almost an hour already, and they are still chattering away. I've gone in once to tell them that they need to get quieted down, and they just giggle and say, "Okay, Mommy ... Okay." ...
Contrary to what I expected, my kids aren't bitter. They don't resent their loss of "personal space." They aren't angry that "the baby" gets a space prepared and they have to share. In fact, I'm beginning to think that when Kayleigh's new room is finished, we will then experience the bigger problem, retraining them to sleep without each other.
I came from a family where rooms were seldom shared (maybe Dan and I did for a night or two while the other got remodeled/decorated) but not on a permanent basis ... we had rooms to spare. Steve shared a room with his sister for a while when they were younger, so for him this was not a big deal. It's in our plans to make it so that each child will have their own room and own space - someday. But for now, I'm blessed by the fact that my children are giddy - happy - even believe this was a PRESENT - to be able to share a room and be together. (Not to mention that it will make staying over at our parents summer cottages that much easier since they know how to share space!!)
So tonight I'm thankful ... more than thankful ... overflowing in the heart ... for my 3 children: the one who will be welcomed into the world (Lord willing) late summer, and the two who are each other's best friends (and I pray will be that way for a long, long time... or, until adolescence threatens to pull them apart).
Here's a few photos we snapped of them enjoying their space: