Sometimes I have to sit in wonder at just how detailed God was with His creation. And nothing shows me the evidence of God’s sense of humor more than my own family.
When Rebekkah was born, I was sincerely unprepared for this serious, rather pessimistic child. Everything was a battle for me with her. She refused to talk for the longest time. She was over a year old when she began to walk. I am convinced she was weighing the pros and cons about getting hurt, and erred on the side of caution. She was (and is) stubborn. While she is worth every minute, she was a lot of work.
In contrast, my younger daughter, Caitlyn, was her opposite. Born only a year later than her preemie brother, Caitlyn was a quiet, good-natured baby. Thank God. Dj was one, and Bek was two, so I was severely exhausted all the time. Bek was always worried, Dj had figured out how to get out of his bed, and then out of the house at all hours of the night, and I was desperately trying to keep them all safe. It was hectic, and I’d be lying if I said I was enjoying the moment. I was just trying to survive….
During that time, I was beginning to be concerned about Cait because she seemed to have that same intense seriousness Rebekkah had had as a small child. Cait just seemed to sit back and watch everything happening around her. It occurred to me more than once that she was probably trying to figure out what she’d done in a previous life to end up in this chaos of a family.
Having three kids in three years, the grandparents were losing their excitement at the birth of each one. It happens. And when Cait showed up, there wasn’t much fanfare on any of their parts. It distressed me that no relatives seemed genuinely thrilled about her.My mother had all but adopted Rebekkah, and Dj was the first born grandson on his father’s side…that family adored him. But Cait seemed to only have her mom. It made me feel more protective of her, and it also triggered in me the need to develop the bonds between the kids. My heart cried out to Jesus that someone love Caitlyn the most. As a mom, I can’t show favoritism, but every kid needs to think they are the “best” in someone’s eyes.
And then Jesus answered my prayer in the form of Don. From the minute that baby saw him, her eyes lit up in a way I’d never seen, and he was in love with her right back. She was immediately the favored one, and he was adored right back. There was something there that both had been waiting for. Their bond was instantaneous and strong. It would seem she had been a Daddy’s girl all along — she’d just been waiting for the right Daddy.
It has been a long running joke in this family that Rebekkah and Dj belong to me, but Dad has exclusive ownership rights to Caitlyn. They have a bond that is so powerful that it has been used on occasion to get the others out of trouble. Cait had an “in” with the judge of the house, and she pulled strings constantly to get reduced sentences for the others. She would have been an awesome lawyer — she’s been practicing the art her entire life. Their relationship catapulted me into the disciplinarian position of the family for the first time in my motherhood.
All grown up, my little Caitlyn is far away in Japan. She has had to brave several earthquakes, a tsunami, and a nuclear meltdown all without her Dad or me there to help her. And now, she is having medical troubles that scare me to death. And because she is now the property of the United States, I have no say in any of it.
When I began feeling morose about my helplessness in this child’s case, I try to remember the prayer, and realize that Jesus answered that desire of my heart perfectly. He loves Caitlyn like a favorite child, and He is not bound by the laws of the United States military. He’s right there with her, doing what I can’t do for her.
In the midst of diapers, formula, ear infections, pacifiers, and the million and one other things we get busy with when our babies are small, we always hold on to this hope that one day, these kids will grow up, and we won’t worry about them so much. I guess this hope is necessary, but it seems a bit of a false one. Instead, I find that I actually worry and pray more for them as adults. The pains are more pronounced, the disappointments are more devastating. And the environment control we once had is gone forever. They’re on their own…..
Jesus is the only safety net I can spread beneath these lives. Prayer is my only tool.
However, I have more than enough proof that God answers the prayers of mothers.
– Cathie M.