|Elijah at eight months old.|
Before I can write about much of anything else around here, I have to tell you about our newest family member: Elijah.
He's somehow already eight months old, and planted solidly at the heart of our family. We absolutely adore this happy, wild little kid with his easy smile and goodnatured little ways. Espen half-jokingly calls him "The King", which, considering the way we schedule our days around his needs, sneak around quietly while he's napping and let him eat from our plates, is really not too far from the truth. Fortunately, Elijah adores us right back, and is never happier than when his siblings include him in their games and make him one of the gang. He loves singing, tickling, roughhousing, walks in the stroller, taking a bath and going to bed. Above all, Elijah loves food and eating and all activities that include those two things.
In other words, Elijah is a pretty standard baby. But what feels completely non-standard (although, of course, most of us feel this way about our own kids) is how much sheer joy and happiness this little person has brought into our lives. I rejoice in being his mama each and every day.
And that is something that has felt different this time around: now that we're not completely overwhelmed by the terrifying newness of parenthood, or utterly exhausted by having two tiny people under three to chase after, having a baby is actually a genuinely delightful thing. Okay, at this juncture I feel like I need to clarify that all of our babies have been delightful little sources of enormous joy, and being their mom has been my absolute favorite thing in life. But this feels like the first time in my journey in motherhood where I a) am not utterly overwhelmed by other little people that need constant care and supervision, and b) I just feel comfortable and confident in my own abilities as a mom. I know what I'm doing! I've got this! And I think that a happy and comfortable mom makes for a happy and comfortable baby, so we have just fallen into a routine that is, well... happy and comfortable.
Of course it's not all sunshine and rainbows: Elijah' nap schedule is constantly getting messed with because I have to wake him to pick Gwen up from school or to take kids to their after school activities. Sometimes he wakes up at 4 in the morning for no discernible reason and decides to squawk in his bed for the next 90 minutes. Sometimes I don't get a shower because I have to hold my teething, and therefor, screaming baby all day long. But, I know how to do those things. Even when it's hard, it's never actually impossible. Sometimes I do have to call in the cavalry (which usually means Nick) because I just can't be multiple people in multiple places at once, but nine out of ten times, I find a way.
It has to be said that Elijah gets a lot of the credit for all this happiness and contentment around these parts. He is just an unusually happy, chill and easy baby. He gets fussy when he's hungry or tired, but other than that, he's really just a remarkably "good" baby: he's friendly and loves people, he loves to eat, he's happy to play on his own, he's been sleeping through the night since he was about 4 months old, he actually gets excited when we put him in his carseat, and the list goes on. 90% of the time, Elijah is just a joyful little soul, and the other 10% is generally when we've kept him awake for too long, or he's hungry*. You know, user errors.
So, that is our Elijah. At a stage in our life when so many of our peers are raising teenagers and squaring up to the possibility of becoming grandparents in a few short years, we feel so happy and lucky to back in the world of nap time and diapers. Being a parent has been such a huge blessing in my life, and I absolutely love that we get a few more years in that priceless "little kid" phase before they all grow up on us. Elijah is our grand finale, and we couldn't be happier he's here.
*Also, when I don't let him play with my earrings.