Recently my wife looked at our youngest, who will soon be a big sister. "She won't be the baby anymore." She said with a frown.It was at that moment I realized how differently my wife and I will be impacted by the coming of our fifth child. It isn't that I am hardened and unfeeling about the loss of time. I see this growth and change too. The time flies by and we desperately hope that we can cling on to these sweet moments while we are able to hold our children in our arms. The truth is that the sands of time will erode the vividity of much of life today - whether we like to admit it or not. Despite this, I cherish this transition our fourth child is about to embark on.
I have gone through this transition three times before. The first time was a little different because I didn't know what to expect having a second child and our first was already 4 years old. Because of my ignorance I missed it completely. I didn't even fumble. I just flat out blew it. How could I miss it, you ask? Having a baby is an obvious and wonderful thing! How could I not see that coming? Because that isn't 'it.' What I was oblivious to was that time when mom's focus shifts drastically and suddenly to the new baby leaving the previous child reeling a bit. Despite gifts for baby, all the "you're about to be a big sibling" books that money can buy, and all your other best efforts the next to youngest child's life immediately changes.
This is my opportunity to be there for the last baby. Because I can give her what she needs now. She needs love and support during this time of adjustment. She will naturally be looking for the comfort she has always found with mom. In those times when mom is not able to give attention where it once was focused I will be open and ready to give her the care she needs. It is not fair or right to toss her into the deep end of toddler-hood! More importantly, now is the time to deepen that bond with my fourth that mom was building from the time God began to knit her together in her mother's womb.