Marching On

March is a big month in our family. Three of the six kids celebrate birthdays, so we are busy with all the fun festivities. Birthdays sure are a nice way to make it through a dreary month in Chicago!

Birthdays in our big family are a big deal because normal days are spent vying for mom and dad’s attention. On their birthdays, the kids really do get to be the center of everyone’s attention. They are treated to a special birthday morning dance party followed by a breakfast of their choice. Chris and I take the birthday kid out for a special birthday lunch, and dinner is celebrated at home with the siblings and homemade cake or pie. I am truly grateful to have the chance to focus my attention on just one kid for a day, and I’ve noticed that as the kids get older they get less jealous of the attention given to the birthday kid and more excited to celebrate a sibling’s special day. It is really nice.

I don’t think I’m unique in feeling a wee bit emotional when my kids turn a year older, so having three birthdays in three weeks can be a lot for me. I miss them as babies. Yet, I love them as big kids. The passing of time and the growing of children is almost too much for a human to bear.

Mama and baby Vivian.

This year, Mack turned 9. Halftime. All the time we’ve had with our Mack is equivalent to all the time we have left. He is the child I am most overwhelmed by and proud of. He is so sweet and gentle towards his baby twin sisters, but so rough and tumble with his little brother. He has a group of best friends he adores, and school work comes almost too easy for him. I love my little Baby Mackie.

Little Mack, just 4 months old.
Mack and his birthday banana cream pie. 9!

My dear Vivian turned 7 this month. She is the kindest person I know. So sweet and gentle and perfect. Like a beautiful butterfly, she quietly floats through her days, waiting patiently for the attention she so deserves. Sometimes I worry that she doesn’t speak up enough for what she wants, so I have to make an extra effort to ask. My little Wibbledy Wobbledy Wibblian.

Precious Vivian at just 6 months old.
Vivian and her birthday breakfast of a bagel, grapefruit and Irish tea. 7!

Ben turned 5 at the start of the month. He was supposed to be our baby, so I’ll always think of him as Baby Ben. He is loud loud loud, probably because he’s fought hard to be heard among his older siblings. I admire his tenacity and persistence, and I am grateful for his big blue eyes and sweet curiosity. Benji, our Little Lefty Puppy.

Blue eyed Ben at five months old.

Celebrating Ben’s birthday in his classroom. 5!

I feel so grateful to be a mom to so many unique and special kids. While I am desperate to slow time down and maybe even press pause once in a while, I recognize the gift of another year with them. Life is good.

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