Belonging Day 8: Celebrate The Ones Who Belong to You

And I must go. (2)

Poor Lou. She’s got the roughest spot in the fam.

  • Marin’s the firstborn child and family boss.
  • Judah is the firstborn son and family peacemaker.
  • Hudson is the baby with lots of charm and personality and he gets doted on.

And Lucia, she’s #3 out of 4.

A lot of time she feels like she doesn’t belong. As evidenced by some whining and plenty of sentences beginning with “Well, I don’t get to…,” not realizing that the other kids didn’t get to do whatever she’s feeling left out about at her age either.

She is also usually quite concerned that people aren’t taking the rest of the cereal or the last brownie. She’s got to advocate for herself because she’s got the bum birth order problem.

I feel for her. She definitely didn’t get the one on one time that Marin or Judah got. And having the third baby kind of rocked my world, so her mommy wasn’t quite as fun and nice as when she just had two kids.

But she is loved and belongs here as much as anyone else and I want her to know it, just like each one of my kids. It seems like one of the greatest challenges of having a bigger family is that I struggle with being able to love each individual well. So last night, going to bed guilty for sticking her in front of the iPad during Hudson’s morning nap yet again, I decided tomorrow had to be different, at least for one day. Don’t you get sick of the nightly mommy guilt? Ugh.

It wouldn’t have to be complicated, but I needed to celebrate her in ways she understands–her love languages of quality time, physical touch…and make-up and food (she must be a southern girl at heart).

So this morning, we did it: we had an impromptu tea party. We piled on the blush, donned some of my scarves, pulled some snacks out of the pantry, made some chai tea and sat down at the kids’ table.

It was good to stop. It was good to ignore the pile of dishes. I pushed writing until later. I decided leftovers was an excellent plan for dinner.

And instead, I looked into her eyes and listened to every wee word she wanted to say.  We took selfies with the camera balanced on the garbage can. We ate animal crackers and fruit leather.

All because she needs to know she belongs. She’s my girl. She’s a special enough reason to celebrate out-of-the-blue on a Thursday morning.

There wasn’t even a hint of whining. Just declarations of what she was going to be when she grew up: a vet, a mom and an astronaut. So she could go to space and fight the bad guys, because she doesn’t like bad guys.

That feisty little soul, I bet she could fight the bad guys.

It’s amazing how little people blossom when they’re celebrated and listened to. And I bet I’ll go to bed with a lighter heart tonight, knowing my girl knows she belongs.


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  1. LOVE these photos and the encouragement to help each of our kiddos feel like they belong! Love you, dear friend and I miss you!

  2. So glad YOU DID THIS! Maybe it could be a monthly event, or bi-weekly…just you and her. Hugs and kisses to you all.

  3. Dianne Huebbner says:

    This is my favortie writng so far. Good for you, for letting the dishes wait and whatever else needed to be done. Lucia is such a doll and love her soooo much!!! So proud of you, as a mom!!!! Keep up the good work.


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