I was thinking last night how interesting it is having children that are so many years apart. Last night, I was snuggling with Luke and nursing Kate and my three oldest were in our family room watching the commentary on the Super Tuesday results. It's so strange to have children at such different stages of their lives. Jay and I both feel that having Luke, and now Kate, really changed our teenagers perspective and helped to keep them more family oriented.
Mike wanted to come home and spend time with Luke and teach him about baseball and basketball. Mike is Luke's godfather, too, so they have a special bond. Seeing how excited Luke is to see his older brothers when they walk through the door makes them feel special and important. When they hear his squeaky voice say, "Run, Jon, run," and see him take off through the house as fast as he can giggling with anticipation of his brother following him. (And the ecstatic squeals when Jon chases after him are adorable!). Or when Luke "tries" to play hide-and-seek by ducking behind a chair and calling out to the closest sibling, "I'm hiding!" They miss spending time with them when they are busy with sports and work.
With Kate's arrival, it has become an even bigger factor in the life decisions they are making, especially for Andrew.(Andrew is Kate's godfather.) Since Andrew is in his junior year there has been a lot of talking about what colleges he wants to apply to. He doesn't want to be so far away that he can't come home fairly easily on a weekend to spend time with his family, particularly Kate and Luke. He doesn't want them to grow up not knowing him.
I think that in a time of life when the focus is all on themselves, having little ones around helps to keep them a little more grounded and selfless. I think it helps me get through these turbulent teen years better. When they are "acting like teenagers" and driving me crazy and I feel like I have failed as a mother, they turn around and snuggle with Kate and marvel at her toothless grins or get down on the floor and play with Luke, and I see their gentleness and love and I realize that there is a depth to their emotions that is deeper than what they often show on the surface. I catch a glimpse of the fathers they will be someday, and that warms my heart.
And just think of the knowledge they will bring into marriage....who doesn't want a husband who knows how to change diapers!?!