Thursday, December 29, 2011
Yesterday, Eli and I were all alone playing grocery store when I said "I'm getting hungry" Eli stood up, raised his hand, jumped up and down and yelled "ME FOUR!!!" I thought it was kind of funny and very cute but couldn't figure out why he said "me four" but just went on to make lunch.
The four of us (Brian was at work) sat down to eat lunch and when we were finished cleaning up I said "I think I'd like a cookie" to which Jake said "me, too" Luke said "me, three" and (you guessed it) Eli yelled "ME, FOUR!!" I realized then why he had said "me, four" even when it was just the two of us.
At first I was sad about it. I repeatedly looked for opportunities throughout the day to get him to say it again, each time hoping I'd hear him say "me, too" instead of him saying what I heard as "me, last and least important". Each and every time he said "me, four" and each and every time I felt a little bit worse about it.
I kept thinking about all the things that my sweet little Eli (who isn't even two years old) doesn't get to do. I even started listing them off in my head. He has to sit and watch while the big boys do karate. He isn't old enough to play soccer or baseball. He can't take Spanish or piano lessons. He doesn't get to have friends spend the night or go over to play with other friends without mommy. He has to go to bed first. He has to use a potty seat insert when he sits on the potty. He doesn't get to play big boy games... The list of all Eli misses out on (for now) could go on and on and on.
I thought, "man life kind of sucks when you are the baby in the family". I worried that he didn't understand how important he was to our family, if he knew that our family would be totally incomplete without him and how much love and joy he gives each one of us every day. I worried about the time he doesn't get alone with me and how he has to be toted with us to and from school and activities and how he has to color by himself while we do homework time every night.
I was feeling pretty bad about it all when I heard him in the other room... "uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve..." he paused and Jake piped up "diez" and then the continued counting "once, doce, trese..." I smiled and thought "I guess he does get to take Spanish" the other two boys couldn't count to 15 in Spanish at 22 months old because they didn't have big brothers that were in Spanish class. After that I started thinking about things differently.
While Jake plays the guitar or piano, Eli sings. He sings so well and so many songs because he hears us sing them. He can kick a soccer ball hard and knows exactly what the goal of the game is. He will put his own baseball on the tee and hit it off with his bat all by himself and then run the bases and yell "Yay! Homerun!". He has two big brothers who ask him if he wants a piggy-back ride multiple times a day. He always has a lap to sit in. There is always someone who will read or look at a book with him. All he has to do is look at his brothers a certain way and they will drop everything to play Little People or Imaginext with him. His brothers almost always ask him what HE wants to watch when it's TV time and 95% of the time they let him watch what he suggests without argument (which is not always the case when Jacob and Luke are trying to decide between the two of them).
I realized that the list of wonderful things that comes along with being the third of three boys is just as long and probably longer than the list of not so good things.
Now when I think about it I see a sweet little boy who is blessed to have a big family and who blesses us even more! If Eli heard someone say "I sure do love having a big family!" I'm certain he would respond with a huge smile and yell "Me, four!!"