I was going to post today about all the little adjustments we are making in the Squires household as I slowly modify my “modified bedrest,” increasing my activity little by little (and having no physical issues with doing so!) while still maintaining some mandatory resting periods throughout my day–adjustments such as letting my house get a little less tidy than I am comfortable with, devising ways to make fewer trips up and down the stairs, and asking my husband to do things like grocery shop and clean the floors; but there is one adjustment far more worthy of telling about, for it involves the two little people who have been more affected by all this than anyone else.
Abel, my three-year old son, and Amariah, my 21-month old daughter, are accustomed to relying on Mommy for all their needs. I am with them 24/7, and whenever a need arises, I have always been there to fulfill it. However, in my attempts to “take it easy” for the remainder of this pregnancy–and in preparation for suddenly having twice as many children (and therefore, twice as many needs) to care for–I have stepped up my expectations of Abel and Amariah.
For example, instead of lifting Amariah into her booster seat at meal time, I have taught her to utilize a step stool to get herself into her chair. And instead of allowing Abel to have numerous toys out in the living room at once (which creates a bigger mess that I end up feeling compelled to clean up myself because it’s quicker that way), I have been asking him to put away anything he’s done with before moving on to the next thing.
And today at naptime, I decided to try another high expectation: I asked them to take themselves upstairs to bed, giving only the instruction that Abel was to help Amariah get tucked in. After giving Travis and me hugs and kisses, my two little children who are far bigger than I sometimes realize took off up the stairs hand-in-hand. A few seconds later I quietly followed and proceeded to secretly observe what simultaneously brought joy to my heart and tears to my eyes.
As Abel and Amariah entered their bedroom, Abel said to Amariah, “Help me pick up these toys, Sissy. This room is a mess.” I watched and listened as they worked together to put every toy in its proper place. When everything was placed according to Abel’s high standards (which I’m proud to say he has acquired from his Mommy!), Abel then announced, “Sissy, we need to pray. Come hold my hand.” And I watched and listened as they sat side-by-side and hand-in-hand with heads bowed as Abel prayed, “Jesus, please help Sissy do better and grow strong, Jesus. Amen.” Then, after changing himself into his pajamas, Abel told Amariah to lay down. She crawled into bed, and Abel proceeded to place each of her three blankets perfectly on top of her. “Goodnight, Sissy!” was followed by a big, sweet kiss and the announcement, “I’m going night-night, too, Sissy!”; and he crawled into bed.
I came back down the stairs in awe of both the evident reasonableness of my lofty command and the obedience and accountability of my two babies who aren’t babies anymore. Not only did they obey me in taking themselves to bed, but of their own accord they also tidied their bedroom and prayed before doing so.
Needless to say, I am blessed beyond measure by my two dear children and by the fruit of our labors in training and disciplining them; and I am thankful to God that He is using this time of adjustments to prepare all of us for the adjustments sure to come!