One child can feel more hands off, while one needs more focus than the other?
I remember the first time I felt this tug towards one of my children over the other and it nearly broke my heart in two. Ava was 2 years old and sitting on the potty, hollering for help to wipe herself. I was struggling desperately in the next room, clenching my jaw and trying to get my screaming newborn Jackson to latch on without killing me. I was already crying but I called out to her miserably that mommy needed to focus on Jackson right now, she was gonna have to handle this one herself.
Thankfully since then, the pendulum between both children has swung with less severity and more of a regular rhythm. For the most part I can pay attention to the tiny signs each child sends out that they need to be pulled in closer, listened to more intently and observed more carefully. Lately Jackson has been flexing his two year old muscles and exercising a new level of independent play, Ava has been my chick pulled under the wing. I guess the irony of this is that as she spreads her own wings a little more and takes flight into kindergarten and the brave new territory of the wider school world, she's been seeking out more and more time just sitting in my lap, rocking in the rocking chair and telling me the deeper thoughts she's been thinking for the first time. It's like a small switch has been flicked on and suddenly questions and musings are pouring forth. Nothing is as straightforward as it was before, and things taken in faith are now needed more conversation to sort through.
"Mom, there were boys at the park playing guns and playing shooting, why they do that?"
"Mama, why does (our neighbor) like to smoke those things, what if she burns her house down?"
"If I am a cowgirl when I grow up, can I still be a mommy too?"
"Mom, how come you wanted to marry daddy?"
"How come I can't marry Jackson?"
"Mom, how come there are bad guys in the world? How do we know if people are bad or good?"
"How do I know if I'm a good guy or a bad guy?"
" How come I can't stay little forever?"
"I don't know little girl, but I'm trying to keep up with you, and hold you closer than ever. I love that you talk to me, and I pray you always will. I pray that I will have some sort of answers to your questions, that I'll keep a straight face when I need to and a brave face when I need to too. "