"To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard, think quietly,
talk gently, act frankly;
to listen to stars and birds,
to babes and sages, with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
await occasions, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony."
- William Henry Channing
Last week, my oldest baby turned 10 and my youngest baby turned 2.
When we first told Olivia, last spring, that the little boy we were adopting had a birthday the day after hers, she was concerned. She didn't necessarily want to share her special day.
Olivia out for her birthday lunch with mom
But now that Christopher is here, she loves it. She loves sharing her birthday with him because she absolutely adores him.
Christopher with his new birthday vacuum
In fact, she asked if we could celebrate his birthday a day early, on her actual birthday. So she could share with him. She wanted to see him open his gifts on her birthday. That would be a present to her.
And that says so much to me about siblings and large families. What might seem like a negative on the outside, is actually a positive once you are in it. Things aren't divided up into smaller and smaller pieces, but multiplied beyond logic. Like loaves of bread and fishes, perhaps.
The idea went over so well that we decided to ask my sister's daughter, Lucy, to celebrate her birthday with them this past weekend. Lucy, who is 3, has a birthday just a few days before Olivia and Christopher. So we had one big party for three kids.
It was so fun.
Lucy and Olivia
And, let me tell you, no one felt like they were getting less. It was just more. More grandparents to hold them.