Friday, October 10, 2008

Before There Were Four: Part 2

Caleb was almost a year old and I had been taking care of Pappy for about 7 months when I started desiring to have another baby around the house. Granted Caleb was still a "baby" but not so little anymore. I truly felt that it wasn't time for us to have another one yet, because I was still taking care of Pappy. Pappy required a lot of lifting and that wouldn't go well with pregnancy or soon after having a baby.

(Ethan and Caleb)

God heard my heart and sent our neighbors, Mike and Gloria, to us. They had just had their precious baby boy, Ethan, and needed someone to watch him a couple of days a week. It ended up working well since I could enjoy taking care of a little one again but not have the full 24/7 responsibility that comes with having your own. Caleb and Ethan are 11 months apart. I will admit it was an adjustment. Looking back, I wish I had had my sling back then. It would have given me more hands. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it all with two. I still remember the first time that I took both of them to lunch. We went to Chick-fil-a. I got quite a few stares. I'm sure the people staring were trying to do the math of how far apart in age they were. Caleb and Ethan grew up together until they were 5 and 4 years of age. They loved each other like brothers and fought like brothers. We still try to see them whenever we're back in Texas, but it's not the same.

(Caleb and Kylie)

Caleb and Ethan were getting older and once again I was thinking how nice it would be to have a little one around again. Once again, I knew it wasn't the right timing and once again God heard my heart. Ethan was going to be a big brother and his baby sister was going to need someone to take care of her a couple of days a week too. I wasn't sure I would be able to handle it all but was willing to try. Kylie quickly found a spot in my heart. Not only did she have her own brother to look out for her, she had Caleb too that was willing to do anything to protect her.

(Caleb, Ethan, and Kylie)

My sister found out she was pregnant in February or March of 2004. She had plans continue working after Brock was born and wanted to know if I would take care of Brock while she worked. How could I say no and send my nephew to be cared for by someone else? I couldn't and eagerly agreed. By this time, I was starting to wonder if we would ever have anymore of our own kids or if God wanted to use me this way in taking care of others on a part time basis. I didn't know if I would be able to take care of Pappy and the kids but God told me not to worry about it which was impossible for me to do. Pappy passed away four days after Brock was born. God had taken care of it. I started taking care of Brock in January of 2005 and cared for him until the school year ended when RyAnn decided to become a somewhat stay at home mom. I'm sad that I miss out on his day to day life now that we've moved away, but I'm thankful that I had that special time with him during those first few months of his life.

(Caleb and Brock)

The years between Caleb and Josiah were just as busy as they are today. They hold special memories that are near and dear to my heart as well as Caleb's. There is something very special about taking care of a child from the time they are a baby. Also, Caleb didn't grow up completely as an only child during that time. He had to learn to share his toys, get along with others, and how to help others. So, there is my story of before there were four.

1 comment:

The O'Connell Clan said...

Thank you for sharing your heart! You too have been blessed with so many wonderful people in your life. It would have been an honor to meet Pappy! I know how much you still love him! Kids love you Steph and mine are no exception...they love Miss Stephanie!