Four. It’s the number that changed my world forever. Four is the number that completed our family and when I go to bed each night, I sleep with a happy, content, and full heart. Four is the number that made me rise up and learn the most important lesson, the lesson I hope to teach to my children, the lesson that took me 35 years and four children to learn:
…it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway. ~Mother Teresa
Chris and I didn’t go into deciding to have our fourth and final baby lightly. We thought, we prayed, we talked, I worried. And all the while my heart was longing, longing to have our fourth.
My sweet number four has been a gift to me in more ways than one. He made me a better mommy. A better version of myself.
I used to worry so much about what other’s would think. Many times I would come home broken hearted over a stranger’s comment. The time a little old lady at the grocery store stopped me to tell me I had too many children close in age–I bit my tongue and walked away. My hands shaking as I buckled my 3 year old and 10 month old twins into their carseats, collapsed into my seat and then cried my eyes out—so upset by this stranger’s opinion. And I’m ashamed to admit there was one moment in time when I was worried what other’s would think if we added a fourth baby to our family.
Four. I look at him, his smiling eyes, his tender-hearted personality and I can’t thank God enough for gifting us with him. Each and every one of us fell in love with him–love at first sight, head over heels, we make fools of ourselves just to earn one of his smiles. It’s an honor to be his mommy and to witness the warm relationship he has with his brother and sisters.
Those silly comments that use to tear me down: your hands must be full, better you than me, and you’re having another one?! They make me laugh now. How foolish I was to care, to worry, to hurt over what others’ thought about our family.
Having my fourth child taught me so much about myself and the world around me. Four children taught me to toss my head back and laugh. To laugh at the: your hands must be full, better you than me, and the I don’t know how you do it-s.
Four has taught me to laugh at the silly and judgmental comments of others, because I know our secret. The secret that rests with all of us: contentment and joy in being a family of 6, no matter how overwhelming that number may be to others, it’s anything but that for us.
Four has taught me the world is full of opinions–of what others think is right and wrong, what others think I should or shouldn’t be doing–four has taught me none of that matters.
Four has taught me time is precious and goes by so much faster when you are a parent. Four has taught me to never wish away the hard moments–they’ll be gone fast enough, to treasure each stage and not rush or push to meet the next milestone. Four has taught me to slow down. Four has taught me just how big my heart was capable of growing. Four has taught me to focus on what is right and good for my family.
I look at my fourth, his bright eyes, precious smile, our baby and I feel peace. And I know it was never about them. It always has been and always will be what is best for us and our unique family. He is meant to be. He is meant to complete our family. And he does.
Baby you’re all that I want
When you’re lyin’ here in my arms
I’m findin’ it hard to believe
We’re in heaven
And love is all that I need
And I found it there in your heart
It isn’t too hard to see
We’re in heaven
Oh – once in your life you find someone
Who will turn your world around
Bring you up when you’re feelin’ down
~Brandi Carlile, Heaven
Happiest of first birthdays, to you, Sweet Baby. We’re in heaven with you here.