Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Early Autumn

I promised you a blog because I had so many words about Autumn. I have so many words, and not enough umph to get in front of the computer to write them down. But I think she deserves this, I want her to be able to look back one day and see how she changed my life for all the good ways. I am eternally indebted to this child for how much more of a person and a parent she has made me.

Many of you do know, many don't, Autumn was not a necessarily "planned" pregnancy. We knew we wanted a second child, it's just that every time the conversation came up, we kept pushing the date further and further back. I'll give you some insight as to why: Karis. I won't talk much about her, because this is A's post, but she was not an "easy" child. I know most children aren't saints, but even as a very young toddler many people who came in contact with her would put her smack dab in the middle of the "strong-willed child" category. Sweet? Sugary.  Tender-hearted? absolutely. Go-with-the-flow? Never. I couldn't imagine trying to raise another human while dealing with the tantrums, the transitions, the not-sleeping-through-the-night (I'm talking about K there, not baby Autumn). Pregnancy was just not going to happen until K was potty-trained and could tie her shoes. Right. Needless to say, without going into further detail, whether or not Tim and I did or did not take preventative measures to have a baby, we got pregnant!

And I cried, a lot more than I probably should have!

Overwhelmed? Yes. Scared? You betcha! We needed a bigger house, with not a bigger budget. We were still adjusting to moving to Peachtree City. Tim had just moved to a new facility, and moved to another one while I was pregnant. To say life was calm would be a lie.  I was having to think about all the parenting that would need to happen while pregnant, while with an infant. We were entering into terrible two's way before K turned two. But even as I was pregnant, A was having me dig in my heals in my life and in my faith. Trusting God to find a new house for us, putting faith in the Lord when Tim moved to a facility in Atlanta, asking for daily Grace when all I wanted to do was lay on the couch because I felt half a second from puking, and so I did, lay on the couch all day, it felt like.

God used Autumn to help me find the Grace to fully accept all of those circumstances and many more. Some people judged me, and I won't go into that, but I've felt the very cold eyes of judgement, but it helped me to feel the very warm embrace of God's love in Grace. So it all worked out. But all of that was from Autumn.

Somehow when Autumn was born, I grew up. Somehow her birth feels like a turning point in my life. I stopped caring what other people thought about my parenting. I stopped trying to explain my whole life away about why I make the choices I do. I stopped letting people run over me. Doing things the way they would because they didn't like the way I did things. I put my child on the schedule I wanted her to have, and I never looked back. I breast-fed my child until I couldn't, and I never looked back. I told the doctor he needed to recheck her ears for an earache, he did, she had one, and I never looked back. All of these are tiny examples of me, standing up for me. And while I know that Karis was a learning experience, it was Autumn who catapulted me into a different realm of  "I'm the parent, I do it this way, you don't like it, go away." I guess what I'm saying is that Autumn helped me draw boundaries around our family like never before. And the feeling is a feeling of indebtedness like I stated before. I'm so grateful that she was the person to bring out a new kind of confidence.

I could go on about Autumn, about how smart she is. About how BIG she is. About how she's two years behind her sister, but it only feel like one because of all the ways she tries to keep up with her. I could go on about her temper, and how she chucks things when she's mad. How she picks out books and sits in my lap and asks me to read her. When she puckers her lips to kiss she sticks her tongue out too. How she constantly asks for her daddy, and I LOVE it. How she loves animals (maybe even more than her sister!). How she insists on going bare-foot all the time. But I'm crying just writing those sentences. I can't believe I've gotten to have her for two years already!!

So grateful to God for knowing we needed Autumn and giving her to us much sooner than we planned! His ways are always higher...