In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, May 23, 2005

Following In Her Footsteps

I love to go for walks with my family. There is something so relaxing--so therapeutic--about strolling through the neighborhood in the cool of a Colorado evening.
Christa loves to go on walks, too, because our course usually leads to the nearby playground. However, even with the promise of swings and slides and merry-go-rounds, Christa is not the most focused walker. She meanders here and there, climbing on rocks, picking dandelion bouquets , running ahead and then turning around and running full-tilt back to me.
The other day, she decided to walk right in front of me, taking little one-two-three baby steps. I stumbled for a step or two, shortening my stride to avoid running over her.
Those few moments reminded me of how my life changed since Christa's birth. Being a Mommy-Come-Lately threw my life off-kilter. I slowed down in some areas of my life, and completely stopped other interests. Christa's arrival required change because my life now involves another person with distinct needs.
If I refuse to slow my steps to match my four-year-old's pace, think of all I would miss. Christa gives me a reason to head to the playground, indulge in a McDonald's Happy Meal, color in or outside the lines, and browse the children's section of the library. This may be my fourth trip on the mothering merry-go-round, but it's Christa's one and only childhood. She should have the chance to determine the rhythm of our days.

For another article on life with a caboose baby, read Change of Pace on my Web site at

Friday, May 20, 2005

Hero Worship

"I love Josh more than anybody in the whole world," Christa announced.
"Even more than me?" I asked.
"Yes," she replied, without a hint of concern for my mommy-feelings.
And I'm okay with that.
Josh is Christa's older brother. He is 22, while four-year-old Christa won't break double digits for a few more years. Josh just graduated from college (hooray!) and Christa starts pre-K in the fall.
Despite the huge time gap that separates them, Christa and Josh have a heart connection. Maybe it's because he was the only one in the family who could get her to fall asleep when she was a fussy infant. (He agreed to bedtime duty if I agreed that he would never change a diaper. I thought that was a fair trade.)
When Christa refused to fall asleep, Josh cradled her in his arms and walked back and forth in his room while Celtic music played in the background.
These days Christa loves to Instant-Message Josh. Her messages are long lines of letters like "zzzzdfdfiiuuuu" puncuated with what she calls a sticker--a smiley face or rainbow or heart emoticon. She is over-the-moon thrilled that Josh got a webcam, allowing her to see her big brother wave and sign "I love you."
I'm thankful Christa loves her big brother more than anybody in the whole world. Christa needs heroes (and heroines) in her life. Why not her brother? Having the love and admiration of a young child is not to be taken lightly. Josh realizes that--and he has no plans to disappoint his baby sister.

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