I often wonder what life is like for each of the children in our family. I have a fairly good idea of Eamon's life since I also am a first-born. The other two baffle me. I recall articles and books I have read discussing the idea of family and birth position. I wonder if so much of how we live and function defines these people I share my days with. I know it does, and admittedly it scares me. I look at Aine and think about her role as only female and middle child. Will it give her a greater ability to flex directionally as the world pulls and pushes her? Or will she aim to please more, attempting to appease those above and below her? As a woman and mother I worry and wonder. And then there is Benton. He is our baby and relishes the role, but his birthday is approaching next month. A baby he is not as he comes up on five years of age. Will he always look to get his own way by batting those big lashes and smiling? Will he learn to get his ideas and words across despite the constant interrupting he endures? Will this give him tenacity and strength? These are the thoughts that keep me up at night!
These next few weeks, while the older kiddos are in a class, find Benton and me together without the distraction of siblings and the role he has assumed in our family. A chance for us to be with one another and really spend time together. So far, we are loving it. I enjoy hearing all he has to say without being interrupted. This little boy has big ideas and even bigger dreams (to drive a front loader, yes indeed!). He loves being the center of my world for a few hours. He leads, and I follow. I say yes to scootering and even a stop at the local convenience store for a donut. Yesterday his biggest desire was to go to the park and just play. But first we had to explore the woods.
As we hiked yesterday we both marveled at the barren trees and the water flowing by the path. He led the way pointing out branches and puddles for me to avoid. As leader he found deer prints in the mud. As I bent to explore them a bit and take a photo of his find he urged me forward. There was so much more to see for this busy fellow. We threw rocks into the stream hoping for huge splashes. Benton marveled at the moss and little bits of green poking through the landscape. He wanted to bring a chunk home, but we decided it was much better growing in its natural habitat. We walked a bit more climbing over the many fallen trees until abruptly he said it was time to turn around.
As we skipped, leaped and ran back along the path toward our car, Benton eagerly told me the rest of his plans for the day. Besides the park, a big ice cream was at the top. He wanted one "from that place with all the toppings!" So we agreed to head home just the two of us and make our way toward ice cream. No zoo no museums, just the two of us talking, laughing and holding hands enjoying our special time together.