There is something liberating about your 40’s. Twenty years ago I thought that 40 was really REALLY OLD…I am 43. I do not feel 43. I do not act 43. I do not look 43. I am ok with 43 though. I am embracing it. I am the happiest, busiest, most active that I have ever been and people continually tell me to slow down…There is NO TIME to slow down! I am raising babies that most people raised in their late 20’s – 30’s.
I have always been a late bloomer and while that used to seem like such a huge obstacle in my life it has turned out to be the biggest blessing of all. I finished college at 35. Working full time, mothering full time and school full time was not easy but with the support of my husband and two kiddos at the time….it got “did”.
At 34 we decided that we wanted to try to have another child. Three years and thousands of dollars in failed fertility treatments and resignation to the fact that it would not happen….we got pregnant and had Caleb. I knew miracles were real. I did, and when Dr. Bailey handed me that big strapping baby boy there was NO denying that God had shown his grace to our family once again. Twenty months later we were blessed with the arrival of our sweet Chloe.
The babies that we never should have had were here. Seven months later I turned 40. People said we were crazy for having more children at this age and stage of our lives. They speculated “why if you already have 2 children would you want more?” That could not be farther from the truth…THIS STAGE of our lives is exactly when God wanted us to have these two children.
These two children have taught Donald and I more about patience than any book or class could. They have allowed us to get back in touch with our inner child. They have allowed us to witness Cory in a totally different light… That of big brother, caretaker, defender, friend….instead of the baby of the family. Cory has the patience of JOB….sure he and Caleb fuss….but if you were a 14 year old boy and had a 5 year old kid “all up in your grill” you might be frustrated too sometimes.
The 40 decade has brought clarity on many issues for us. Clarity on what we will and will not accept into our lives. We will accept people and experiences that make us better people. We will be committed to our church and our church family. We will be committed to providing for our children loving interactions with genuine people. We will be committed to providing things that our children want as we are able but always meet their physical and emotional needs because that is what parents do. LOVE THEIR CHILDREN every one of them.
Late bloomer? YES!!! Finally figured out the big picture??? YES! The big picture is not perfect but it is full of love and patience and forgiveness. It is full of smiles and tears and hugs….there are some ugly spots too but they are overwhelmed by the amount of love that we feel for our children…and each other. God knew when we needed to get it right. God knew that Cory, Caleb and Chloe needed a full time mom. A fully present mom. He also knew that Brad needed the mom that I am now for him. A mom that is there when he needs me …. a mom that is a phone call away but always thinking about him and praying for him…a mom that loves his wife as her own~Anna is just as much mine as Chloe is and that will never change… God’s grace surrounded Brad when he was in daycare and school/after care full time just as it did Cory.
Donald and I are not perfect but we love each other beyond measure and cherish the gifts that Brad, Cory, Caleb and Chloe are and we thank God every day for the privilege of guiding them through these stages of their lives.