This little crew of mine... four different personalities and characters... shaping, moulding, revealing a little bit more with every passing month... I love these photos, because behind the physical changes I see in the photographs - the growing in height, the 'thinning out', the maturing features - are the inside changes... the ones hidden behind the outer facade. The glimpses of the young people they will one day become.
Our eldest, approaching six... showing glimpses of the young woman she will one day be - caring, generous, driven, focused, a natural organiser with a quietly confident temperament. She is adored by her younger siblings... she is the instigator of games, the leader of the gang. She loves nothing more that to write and write and write... I'm sure she'll have a novel in her one day. She is a questioner, an explorer, a heart on sleeve muller-over-er. And she loves with an open and freeing affection. Our Ava girl.
Then there's our Heidi; feisty and fun with a sensitive soul. Her eyes tell a million stories, and her facial expressions a million more. Our creative one - forever sketching and drawing, colouring and creating... her older sister even copies her artwork! She's a strong soul with so much affection... our get-up and go girly girl... its all princesses and fairy dolls one minute, and outdoor adventures with her baby brother the next. She is the play-buddy of both her siblings. Imaginative, sparky and sociable - full of energy, enthusiasm and honesty. Our almost four-year-old.
Then our little man - our little joker. So serious until that cheeky grin breaks out. He loves nothing more than making his sisters laugh, and will often be the cause of the comedy. He is our cuddly one... always wanting to be independently roaming, but with one eye back to check Mama or Papa are still around. He's our climber, adventurer, musician - he can't help dancing whenever there's a tune on and he's a chatterbox. It's amazing how much you can talk when you only have 15 or so words...
And then there is our littlest... our kicker, wriggler extraordinaire. So much more active than I remember any of our others being. And showing a strength and determination to stay put on the inside even when an early exit was threatened. This little one we will get to know this year, and I can't wait to meet him/her in a couple of months...
And then there's us. Me and him. Our role to mould and shape, to train and teach these little people together. Such a responsibility... such an honour and challenge all rolled up into one. Most days I feel ill-equipped and inadequate when I really stop and think about it. But I'm grateful to be sidekick to this guy. He leads our family so well.
Mostly though, I'm grateful that my mothering success or failure is not the deciding factor for the outcome for these young ones we've been entrusted with... that's God's role. And I'm grateful every day to be teaching and training, shaping and moulding, listening and sharing under Him.
Me and Mine in February.