I just finished this sweater for Hope. When she tried it on for the first time, Tess immediately asked when I would make her a new hoodie. Daniel chimed in, claiming that it should be his turn soon. My big boys have both grown out of their latest pullovers, and I haven't made even one for Anne yet.
When I was pregnant with James, I worried that I wouldn't have the capacity to love this new baby with the intensity and devotion I felt for Christian. I shouldn't have; my heart expanded so that there was plenty of room for both boys, and it has done so every time we've had a child.
But my time has not expanded. I have six children who are ages 16 years to 20 months. I manage both acne breakouts and toxic diapers. I field requests for Prom tickets and Pokemon. I chauffeur people to toddler dance classes and SAT prep sessions. After school on any given day, I may be reading board books aloud, coaching on phonics, drilling the multiplication tables, and quizzing on the Pythagorean theorem or the causes of the Crimean War--all while baking bread from flour I grind myself and cooking dinner for eight. (And let's not even mention my writing, my church work, and my very deserving husband.) Giving each of my children the time, attention, and concrete expressions of love they need is an Olympic-class balancing act.
And many days, I feel less than Olympian. I work hard to reject feelings of inadequacy, but sometimes they overwhelm me. I'm not asking for answers or advice; my life is great, and mostly I make it all work. I do so by taking things one step at a time, and sometimes the steps are tiny, indeed.
Here's the beginning of Tess's new sweater. We picked the colors out of my stash, and this pattern should go pretty quickly. Then I'll move onto Daniel and Anne, and hopefully by summer, I'll be making some big boy pullovers for Christian and James as well. It's one eternal round, and I wouldn't have it any other way.