Can I Take the Car Dad?

In a recent conversation with friends, I reminisced about the challenges and joys of what my life looked like as many as 9 years ago...actually what it looked like at many or any point 14-4 years ago! Children are most definitely and without question a gift from God, but that doesn't mean that every day parenting them is blissful.  Quite the contrary actually.  If you remove the normal worry that you're parenting the right way--or at least in such a way that you're not screwing your kids up completely, and the making sure you're providing a safe environment physically, spiritually and emotionally, you've still got the most exhausting part--the"why are you: crying, fighting, eating that, cutting that, pooping there, not sleeping, throwing that, hiding now, talking back,  drawing on get the picture" moments!  And when you multiply that by more than one, it just gets down right hard sometimes.

 I wish I would have kept a more accurate account of those memory probably doesn't paint the picture as difficult as it really was.  Don't read into that at all!  I would NEVER go back and undo anything.  Every bit of those days served as stepping stones and learning curves.  I've been asked if Willa is a good baby.  Well, I think so.  She cries and coos and smiles and doesn't sleep through the night.  Likely just the same as the other seven, but I'm different...hopefully I'm wiser and more experienced; and our family dynamics are different too.  No way did Jakob go to 9 football games in his first month of life, but Willa has!
 Our lives have changed much, even in the last couple of years.  Just the other day, while I was holding Willa and just staring at her, I heard, "Dad, can I take your car?"  Holy cow!  Now, Jakob has been driving for a couple of months and it is still kind of surreal to see him pulling away from the house in his truck, but somehow his question to his dad caught me off guard.

I was stunned for a moment with the idea that someone in the house could actually be old enough to ask that question!  Then I looked around and marveled at the other seven bodies around me that aren't so little anymore! Willa has even changed so much!!

 How am I supposed to get anything done when I get to just hold and stare at this all day???

Willa might be the luckiest little girl ever!  Every single one of her siblings want to hold her all the time!  Even the older boys get home and scoop her up for at least a few minutes of snuggling.  I thought for sure it would wear off by now, but I'm so glad it hasn't.  They even call dibs on who gets to change her diaper...ok...not ALL of them--but most!

 Willa was baptized in the same ensemble as the other seven siblings.  Underneath is the knitted onsie that Tim was baptized in.  When Jakob was baptized in the colder fall season, we needed something a little warmer, so each of the kids has had both their dad's baptismal garment plus the extra layer.

Jakob and Emily are Willa's godparents...Jakob, having given this wonderful woman and former teacher of his a hard time while a student (and still) was all deserving of her witty suggestion, "Come here and take a picture with me god husband."  The mortified expression on his face was priceless!  LOL

Monsignor joined us for lunch following the baptism, all decked out in his Royals attire, ready to cheer them on in the world series later in the day!

I'm sure it won't be long before Willa is asking, "Dad, can I take your car?"  By then he will probably respond, "Ehh??"  And parenting will seem like it has gotten easier...right??