Maybe we just can’t cope as parents with worrying about more than one at a time?And maybe worrying isn’t the right word anyway.
Maybe it’s more about concern, and knowing that one child needs extra care and extra love. My little livewire laddie, known here on this blog as Rusty Rocket, is the one of my four who is central to my thoughts today.
As he plays and learns and laughs and kicks balls at school, he’s also very much here with me, on my mind and in my heart.
A month off turning 8 years old, this wee boy really loves his Dad and is missing him very much just now. He’d love to kick a ball and play more with his elder brothers – he hero worships them.
But at 17 and a moody 14 years of age, the big boys can often be unkind to their little brother.
I could also worry about him playing rugby league, but adamantly, I am choosing not to. He absolutely LOVES playing, he adores his fantastic coaches and his friends on the field. It gives him such pleasure and a safe outlet for his endless energy.
This doesn’t mean I don’t find tears sliding down my face every time I hear of how seriously injured player Alex McKinnon is going. I do, and I’m weeping for him and his family and because it could be us one day. But I still encourage my boys to play tough sports.
* the big boys are simply not allowed to be mean to him, consequences will apply and much praise for when they are kind to him and when they play with him
* we have a young man of 20 staying with us for a while, I’ll ask him to play some sport and do some extra rough and tumble
* he can come in to sleep with me if he’s sad at night, sometimes he drops off in my bed and then I take him back to his own bed asleep, he’s a terrible wriggly sleeper
* he and I can have a game of chess or two and he can show me the latest games he loves on his iPod
* I’ll farm out his twin sister to a friend and take him to see the Sea Eagles play this weekend at Brookvale, standing in for Dad
My kids are basically living the life of Riley here in Sydney, but that doesn’t mean their little hearts don’t get sore, or feel empty sometimes.
Today it’s Rusty Rocket, tired at the end of a long term and a bit heart sore. Extra love, extra hugs, lots of looking closely at him, and that most precious gift of all, time… to spend some time one to one with him will help a lot.
Helping our kids thrive is manna for the soul for mothers. Being able to be sensitive and kind to them feeds our hearts too.
And I wonder which child will need that extra care and love next?
And yes, I am taking care of myself too, otherwise I might never even notice when the kids need my help.
Do you find your children take it in turns to need some extra love and tenderness?