We have had such a good week. Clark has taken Joshua into Little Rock with him...to his Therapeutic Recreation Summer Camp, which has freed me up to go over and help Holly with Rhodes.
I've spent most of each day over there with her. I try to do what I can to help out around her house...laundry, and stuff like that...but the main thing I do is hold the baby while she rests. Rhodie is up for several hours in the middle of the night, and so I try to hold him after he eats...and give her a little time to rest.
It's a hard job.
And, hey. I know how fortunate I am.
We've never lived near any family...mine, or Jim's. So when my kids were born, my Mom came and stayed one week with us, and then she went home. My mother-in-law would come as needed, and she was a great help over the years. BUT, it was mainly just me and the baby...and it was hard.
And then, as we had more kids, our friends would help out with carpool and meals and stuff...but it was still all day, every day...just me.
But, I got stronger every day...like Holly is doing. There will come a time when she doesn't physically NEED me to be over there...and I'm okay with that.
What I am so excited about, and what I'm hoping for, is the chance for Jim and I...and our boys...to invest in Rhodie's little life as he grows up...to get to teach him about God, and family; to teach him to make cookies, and paper airplanes, and mud-pies, and snow ice-cream; to teach him how to swim and fish and throw a ball; to read books and build towers out of blocks and make forts out of blankets in our living room; to share our home and our faith and our history with him.
Oh, I know that his parents will have the ultimate responsibility in his life. We are just hoping to reinforce what they teach him.
Today, as I write this, he is 12 days old.
Twelve days ago, he was nestled safe in Holly's tummy. He moved and kicked and hiccuped. SHE was getting to know him...but WE didn't know him. We didn't know when he would be born...or how. We didn't know what he would look like, or how big he would be, or if he would have hair. We didn't know if he would be okay, or be born with a medical condition. We didn't know if he would have special needs.
But now he is here, and he is beautiful. He is big, he is sweet, and he is squishy. He was delivered safely, by c-section. He looks a little like Holly, but mostly...he favors his Daddy. Which is good, because he's a BOY. He has a ton of hair.
In twelve days, Holly has learned to tell when he's mad, or hungry, or if he has a wet or dirty diaper...just by his cry.
She knows that he likes to be swaddled, but that he doesn't like his ARMS to be swaddled. She knows that he likes it when she carries him into his room to be changed...and she knows that he likes it when she washes his hair.
We've learned so much about him, and we hopefully have a lifetime of learning to go. Yes, we hope to teach him...but he's also teaching us. The innocence of him...his newness...has brought energy and more life into our family. He is teaching us how to care for him, and how to love him.
Watching my boys, who are grown or nearly grown, gently holding him, quietly talking to him, kissing his little head...getting braver and braver, as they get to know him more...it is about to make my heart burst.
We are so thankful for Rhodes Everett.