Wednesday, March 2, 2011

and then there were six ...

no, we're not adopting another baby, and I'm not pregnant, but I do feel that I have a fourth child at the moment.  DOTP, aka dinners on the porch, has taken on a life of its own.  It's so exciting and awesome, but like a new baby, it demands time, attention, feedings (of money), it causes me stress and worry, it gets me all hyped up late at night.  So, that's a partial, and lame, explanation for my laziness on the blogging front.  I am writing on the DOTP blog every week, but it's about food, not my family, so I'm missing writing about the kids, etc.
In the past month, we celebrated Ruby's Gotcha Day, and it's still making my head spin that she has been with us for a whole year.  So much has happened that in some ways it seems like it must have been more than a year, but then in other ways it feels like just yesterday that we came home with this new little person.  Leading up to the one year anniversary, we had a rough couple of weeks.  I have noticed that our relationship seems to have peaks and valleys, and I'm at a loss to understand why, but it's definitely happening.  Right now, we're in a great spot, and I can really appreciate the closeness and connection we're sharing.  A few weeks ago, I could feel Ruby pulling back, testing, reacting to something that was stressing her out (though I'm still not sure what).  It's like what I imagine having a teenager will be like, when all of the sudden your child realizes that it doesn't have to "be" with you for survival.  I think that Ruby already understands on some level that she can choose to separate from us when she doesn't like something that is happening, or is angry with us, or feels anxious about something.  Finn and Gus have never felt what it would be like to be outside the family all alone, so even when they are furious with us, they don't know that they have the option of pulling away, and they rage and carry on right inside the safe space of the web of our little family.  Ruby, on the other hand, seems to understand already that it's possible to go back and forth.  She can weigh her options at any given time and decide whether it's worth sticking with us or if she might just be better off going it alone.
Of course, all of it boils down to attachment, and there's no shortcut to getting there.  With the boys, I never was conscious of creating attachment, because it's so much easier to do with a newborn.  They need you for everything, you are there all the time, they never know anything different.  It's only now, going through this new experience with Ruby, that I realize how strong those bonds between myself and the boys really are.  With them, I know that there are times when I need to push a little to help them be more independent.  And, I am sure, in a few years they will see that they can tear a big hole in the web and walk right through if they want, and it will break my heart.  But, hopefully, when children open the door and walk out, the door is left open, and they walk back in and back out over an over again, maybe the next day, maybe a few weeks or even years later.  So Ruby maybe is just already there.  Certainly I'm so happy that she knows that there is a "here" to come, and she stays in that space alot of the time.  If I'm lucky, she'll get all comfortable and safe and attached just in time to turn 13!
Anyway, it's been a rollercoaster year, with more to come, no doubt, and I will try to keep up with it a little better.  so we'll see ...

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  1. Daniel will finally let me pick him up and hold him and joke with him!!!! It feels good. I had a rough year!

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