Thursday, May 5, 2016

Paradoxically So

Embracing the bewildered reality that even though my five children have the same father, their personalities are distinctively unique. I had to make daily, mental adjustments reminding myself, that they were still individuals. Take my youngest two daughters J-Middle and Rissy-Roo, who are approximately 18 months apart. It was a very common scene to see the older toddler J-Middle, always cuddle Rissy-Roo, like a mother koala. In spite of the awkwardness of their sizes, she was very protective, pulling her younger sister around as if she were hauling an oversized luggage through the airport. Rissy-Roo soaked up the extra coddling and attention she was receiving and was oblivious to the fact that her older sister was actually struggling to carry her around.

I’m not sure when they started to separate into their own little worlds but I’m sure it had a lot to do when Rissy-Roo began walking and talking more than J-Middle.  J-Middle was and still is the quieter of the brood. As most middle siblings were, she was more observant and very hesitant before making any decisions. Of course, Rissy-Roo was the more flamboyant one, more lackadaisical in her decision-making
process and she was talking in full sentences by the time she was one year old. Rissy-Roo talked non stop most times and for J-Middle that was too much talking for anyone person having to bear all that babbling, as J-Middle expressed to me once she became older. J-Middle was one of the least expressionistic, persons I have ever known, watching a lunar eclipse would provide more excitement. Her personality amazes me as her quiet demeanor challenges the noisy presence of her siblings.  Once, while we were stilling living in our 700 foot square home, that I dubbed our version of “The House the Three Pigs Built”, She came into my bedroom, the entrances to each of the three rooms were parallel to each and within a brief moment it was possible to walk from the bedroom through the small living room and into the kitchen. “Mom, can I cook some pancakes?” J-Middle, said in her very quiet and steady voice. “Sure, just as long as your older brother is helping you.” Was my confident reply. She turned and walked from my room back through the short living room, and into the kitchen and moments later returned just as quietly as she left.  “Mom…” again with the same quiet and steady voice “… the stove is on fire.”  I don’t know if I was in more shock that the stove was on fire or the fact that my child told me without a terabyte of alarm in her voice. Leaping from the bedside, dashing into the kitchen with turbo speed , I didn’t remember touching the floor of our small living room. As I entered the kitchen, just as J-Middle had expressed, there was indeed a six-foot tongue of flame emerging from the left eye of the stove, licking the white ceiling, leaving sooted slobber behind. My oldest son was standing to the right side of the stove, eyes white with horror; I reached for the fire extinguisher, which was stored underneath the kitchen sink, and quickly smothered the flames on the stove. Meanwhile, J-Middle, stood in the doorway of the kitchen…emotionless as always.  Rissy-Roo on the other hand, was always to be heard long before she was seen.  Many times when I would take her to the grocery store, she would ask for everything on the shelf… “ Can I have that, what about this, oh, mommy I want of those too!”  It was difficult to concentrate on the best deals when she was constantly chatting in my ear. J-Middle, on the other hand, would walk through the complete store in silence, just observing. 

Many times early in the wee hours of the morning, while deep in my sleep I would feel the gentle touch of a chubby little hand, tapping my arm “Mommy, feed me, feed me…Mommy, Mommy, feed me!” Rissy-Roo was no more than a year old when she developed the habit of waking me long before my alarm would go off. Who taught this child to talk? And why didn’t they give her an on and off button?  She was also known for the emotional dramatic scenes when a simple yes or no would have worked.  Her father found it difficult to even begin to discipline her because she would turn the waterworks on so hard and quickly you would have thought Niagara Falls was relocated to our home, leaving him feeling too guilty to administer the necessary punishment.  Once, I discovered Rissy-Roo sobbing, horribly as she
sat in the middle of the floor, frightened and distraught, I picked her up to find out what had caused her such distressed… she held out her little finger where the finger nail had torn, not down to the quick, but torn off. Really? Was all of that really necessary? Well, to her it was. As they two grew older their personalities became more distinct especially when both of them in the same room. We eventually moved from “The House the Three Pigs Built”, due to very obvious dangers that I will not discuss at this time. We moved into our first spacious apartment in Florida.  Our apartment was located on the southeast side Interstate 95, whereas I worked on the cat-a-corner on the west side of the same interstate.  The driving time was about ten minutes with traffic and lights.  Even though the distance was no more than about 3 miles apart, I could see the treetops from the location of where I lived, from the third-floor window of my place of employment. 

I worked in a call center, we required to remain in our seats at all times except of course for bathroom breaks and lunch, my back was towards the windows, oblivious to any activity outside of each phone call.  Each phone activity was paramount because commissions were paid based upon the amount of money collected during each call, so it was important to finish each call efficiently before going to the next. While in the middle of one of my calls, my supervisor came to me and said I had an emergency at home. I ended the call as soon as possible and went to answer the phone. It was Rissy-Roo, her voice elevated from fear, and crying. “Mom, the trees are falling! It's lightening I’m scared, I think it’s a tornado!” Looking out the window, southward towards our home, I could see the black rain clouds, thunder, and lighting over the area. It wasn’t raining, nor thundering currently at my location, I wasn’t sure if we would soon be hit or if it would blow over.  Trying to think of the best thing to do, I knew I couldn’t drive into what could be potentially bad weather either. Quickly I provided her with instructions for her and her siblings go to the downstairs apartment, where our friendly neighbor and his wife would know actions to take. By the time my shift was over, so was the storm. I hurried home to my children. I knocked on my downstairs neighbors door, expecting to express my gratitude for an untimely babysitting request. Instead, we were both surprised because my children were not there! I quickly scaled the steps to our second-floor apartment and as I opened the door, I saw my two oldest daughters watching TV in the living room, Rissy-Roo apparently in her bedroom lying down. Confused, I asked, “Why didn’t you go downstairs during the storm?” J-Middle, in her quiet and steady voice….”Mom, there was no tornado, you know Rissy-Roo she is scared of everything!”  Raising my five children was the greatest experiences of my life. If I had the opportunity to do it again, I would with great joy. I learned just as much about life from each one of them as they learned from me, it's just paradoxically so!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Five, Five! How many is Five?

Five, five how many is five?

Five fingers and toes,

The Torah Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy

Madam Toastmaster, fellow toastmasters and honored guest

How many is five?

My parents met while they were in the USAF, and my father was eventually stationed in Indiana where my siblings and I were raised. I am the second to the oldest of six children, yet I am still my fathers’ baby daughter. One day I over heard my mother, “I’m not having any more children after this one is born!” Recognizing that odds were against me, boys 4, girls 1, I quickly made a finally plea, “ Can I please have a sister? Finally, the day came, my father came excitedly rushing through the house…..”It’s a boy!”

“No, no not another brother, God didn’t you hear me?”

I eventually excepted my fate 5 boys to 1 girl.

My parents encouraged me to go to college get an education, so I went to college and mastered in partying, with a minor in how not to finish your class. I was convinced that neither of my parents knew what they were talking about after all, they could not make another baby girl, so I decided to follow in their footsteps and enter the USAF.

It was while I proudly serving my country 0n the beautiful island for Japanese Honeymooners, that I met and the “babies daddy” He was one of five ah, he must be the one! We were wed on the isle of Guam, sun shining, palm trees everywhere and an ocean in the background. Heaven must be like this! Three kids and two states later, we moved back in Indiana. “No more kids” he said. I told him that I understood, however I wanted to consult with the master planner. “ God, statics say that average American family consist of 2.5 children. I believe that we have filled that quota and besides the daddy isn’t to excited about having any more, is it all right to shut down the baby factor now?” His answer was “I will not give you more than you can responsible handle” Relieved, that I have received approval from on high, we relaxed too much because number four was on the way. I believe she ran under the radar scope because surely God would have seen her coming. When we brought her home he father shouted “Yeah, no more kids!” and I heard God clearly say…”No, there is one more.” By now I was sure I had God figured out he likes the number five, my children where born on the 10th,20th, 15 and the 10th surely the last one would be born on the 20th!

Aaron was born on August 22, 94 and my mother’s best friend cried with pity and she went before God…”Why, Why did you give this poor woman five children!” God quietly and confidently told her to “Leave me alone, she is raising five prayer warriors!”

Somewhere along the line I decided to go back to college to finish what my parents told me to do from the beginning. It during this time that the babies daddy confidently that “I can leave because I know God will take care of you and the children.?”

As I walked across the stage to receive my bachelors degree in Business Management I also walked in and out of the divorce court. One house and five children, later we moved to Florida.

Upon realizing I have five children, People say to me all the time how do you handle them, I confidently tell them one day at a time and I also let them know that God has reassured me that since I can only handle three with confidence, he will handle all of the rest m for me.

How many is five? Five is the number for a basketball team, five is the number for the five fold ministry, five is the number of brothers I have and I am the proud single mom of five.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Just five

I always wanted to create a web page, blog, my spot all about being a mother of five children. There are web sites for mothers of twins, mothers of quadruplets, only child, oldest son, youngest son even mothers of larger family's. Although, I have not discovered one yet, specifically for the mother of five. I do apologize if you do not fit into this category, because this time, this is in celebration of having five children, no more, no less, for we are wonderfully blessed and full of grace.