Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lions, and Tigers, and (Papa) Bears, Oh My!

One of the most amazing things I have watched over the past five and a half years is the transformation Randy has made into fatherhood.  We were surprised with the news that we'd become parents way back in September of 2005.  Our 'plan' had children fitting in somewhere down the line, allowing us time to explore the world a little, or at least this area of the country we had just moved to. 

But God had a different plan, after Gavin was born, Randy was thrown into a world that was seemlingly unfamiliar territory.  We were both new to the 'game' of raising kids, but there's that thing called 'mother's instinct' that kicks in and gives a mommy a little bit of an edge in terms of knowing what to do.  At least, that's how it was in our situation.  I had been around babies for my whole life between younger brothers, cousins, and babysitting charges.  Add the experience I had to my instincts, and I was off to a pretty good start.  However, I'm sure if we could go back and revisit our 'new parent' selves, we'd have quite the laundry list of tips and tricks.

As the years passed, and our family grew, parenting became our second nature.  We have developed a dynamic that works well for both our personalities, as well as for our beliefs in terms of raising our family.  Parenting young children is ever-changing.  Phases and ages pass by quickly, and when you have multiple ages and phases under one roof, it's a wonder anyone remembers what was for dinner the night before. 

In our first *nearly* six years of parenting, things have been all over the board.  We've had stresses and joys and everything in between.  We're learning and changing and working on things every day.  There are things I wish I would have changed, responses I wish that were softer and gentler.  They're minor in the scheme of things, because despite the things I wish I'd been better about, our kids are happy.  They're well-adjusted to the non-traditional schedule that daddy works, because they don't know any better.  They're well behaved when they need to accompany me to the store because daddy is working, or to a book study for work.  They're well provided for, and despite what we ocassionally think, are not spoiled brats because they are developing an understanding that things cost money, and that money does not grow on trees (wow, do I sound like my mom, or what?!)

I've enjoyed watching Randy develop a connection with each of the kids, and in an individual sense.  Out of the two of us, I'd say he's definitely more on the 'fun' side, and often times, it feels like I have an additional kid in the house.  His interactions with the kids remind me that this time is so precious, and that I need to let go, relax, and enjoy the ride.  For a guy who wasn't so sure about being a dad, he sure knows a lot about being a father.

Gavin and Brynn, I love how you remind me the beauty of imagination.
Turning Gavin's room into a zoo, becoming a lion and a tiger...a perfect recipe for lazy Sunday fun

Raegan, I love how you've captured your daddy's heart...softened it even more with your smiles and silly faces.

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