In December of 2015, we were excitedly awaiting the arrival of our third baby. With our first three, we didn’t find out the gender and so we were wondering whether another little boy would bless us or if the dynamic of our home would change by adding a girl. Corbin arrived (a day late) and I officially became a mom of only boys and joined the “three boys club” of mothers. My husband and I felt as though, we were finished growing our family. We had had a miscarriage prior and Corbin was our rainbow baby, we were thankful to have another chance to raise a son.
If I’m being honest, there was a sense of mourning once the realization occurred that I will never experience raising a daughter - tea parties, dress up, princesses, and planning her wedding day - were all things that my heart ached a little for. Being such a girly girl myself, I was surprised that God felt I was meant to be a boy mom. But I have found through the years, He knew exactly what He was doing, even though I was questioning it.
Being a mother of boys is a blessing and a huge responsibility. We have to teach them to be strong, but also compassionate. We have to remind them that it’s okay to be sensitive and to follow their heart. We have to show them how to lead and respect others. We are growing and shaping someone’s future husband and father, what an important task for a mother.
We were surprised to learn that I was once again pregnant, just seven months after Corbin arrived and not just with baby number four, but also with baby number five - twins! People often ask if we were trying for a girl, but no we were not, my husband will joke and say “we weren’t trying for anything,” but God had a different path for us, one we never considered and are now thoroughly blessed because of it. With the twins, we decided to find out the genders, our thoughts were that this might help us prepare, because we were spinning with anxiety about adding two more and the closeness in age they would be to Corbin. When the doctor said “Baby A is a girl,” my husband and I both said, “wait, what?” I had embraced the boy mom journey, and now feel like I’m kicked out of the club - but having four boys gives me some sort of in, right?
We welcomed Caroline and Ryland in March of 2017 and became our “party of 7.” There are many things I wasn’t really ready for when the twins came into our lives, but one was what a girl does to the dynamic of our family.
Caroline is sweet, but she is also strong, relentless, opinionated, and fearless. From birth she has shocked us all. She is 12 minutes older than her twin brother and she weighed more than him at 8 pounds 5 ounces (he was 7 pounds 1 ounce). She had a full head of highlighted hair, she crawled first, and walked first. She loves to eat salad and salmon. She will defiantly say “no” and has this mysterious look in her eyes, like she is always up to something.
Caroline is also the mama. She takes care of her twin brother - getting his water cup for him, finding his binkies, or standing up for him to others. She is his voice sometimes and his protector. When I watch Caroline I’m completely in awe. She has this nurturing way about her. She carries her baby dolls around just as if she lives in a house with a baby, but she doesn’t. She will rock her babies, cuddle them, but she will also pat her brothers’ back and talk in her sweet voice to comfort them. She wants to sit at the table and color, loves Ariel, the little mermaid and has a crush on Johnny from the movie Sing. She wants to wear pretty things, and have her hair in pigtails and bows. She loves shoes and goes around taking pictures of everything with my phone. She is the only one of my five to suck her thumb, and wants to cuddle, but also thrashes around like she just can’t be still.
I got accustomed to bugs, dirt, basketball, Minecraft, LEGOS, and WWE. I know how to manage a wrestling match between brothers (to stop it right before the injury and tears), how to fight bad guys as a Power Ranger. I am fluent in all things Thomas the Train and have a knack for reining in the wild boy energy when needed. I have perfected the art of buying a wardrobe for the boys that is durable and also stylish (lots of stripes and blue).
With a girl, my skills are still in use because Sister (or Sissy, or Liney as the boys refer to her as) loves to get dirty, is constantly running, and is not afraid to get in the mix of a wrestling match. But I have to work on the art of negotiation because she is stubborn. I also have to beef up on my hair styling skills and find restraint when adding to her closet. I have to learn the trick for getting someone to stop sucking their thumb, and have the right words to explain why she can’t stand up to pee, when everyone else can.
Sweet Caroline… she has added a dynamic to our family that is refreshing and needed. Like most daughters, she has her father wrapped around her finger and he can’t start his day without their morning kiss. She is the perfect blend of fierceness and gentleness to be just what her brothers need - they soften around her, they listen to her, and they want to please her. Caroline challenges me, she makes me realize there is so much more to motherhood that I have to learn, and I’m blessed that God gave me this opportunity, to raise five very unique children, Caroline being one of them.
Sweet Caroline… good times never felt so good… how can I hurt when I’m holding you. - Neil Diamond