I have three children – still getting used to that. Of course I love them all so dearly but I love them differently. Each child is an individual, different from one another, interpreting and interacting with the world uniquely.

Baron is creative. Sensitive and tender. A raised voice causes him to crumble, a gentle touch is worth its weight in gold to my little artist. Give him paper, glue, and a scissors and he has entered his own world of make believe and imagination. Some sort of costume is always a part of his attire. Sitting next to me on the couch right now he is adorned in a cape complete with a skull and crossbones across the back. One day he might wake up and insist that we call him Pirate Captain Baron. The next day he is the Lone Ranger. Everyday he is my sweet boy, stopping everything to give his sister a snuggle and randomly interjecting an “I love you mom.” I melt.


To love Baron is to spend one-on-one time with him. He longs for my undivided attention, not wanting to share that time with anyone. Chocolate is also the way to this boy’s heart.

Roman is active. He never. stops. moving. He is a tornado, destroying nearly everything that gets in his way. Then suddenly he’ll stop, grab his blanket, and demand a snuggle. Ever joyful and excited, he never ceases to make me smile. He is independent and determined. When a 24 piece puzzle wasn’t enough, I graduated him to 60 piece, then 100 and now we’re working on 200. He is determined, disciplined and doesn’t understand no.

To love Roman is to wrestle with him. To throw him up into the air and tackle him to the ground. When the match is over, grab his blanket and snuggle up on the couch – he loves that.

Sister baby Ivy is the princess of the house. All activity stops when Ivy is awake. Her brothers dote on her, offering up toys and kisses. She takes it all in and returns the favor with an unending supply of smiles. She doesn’t want to miss out on anything even if it means giving up sleep.

To love Ivy is to give her attention. Snuggle her, hold her, kiss her and look deep into her chocolate-brown eyes. None of which is hard to do.


During this Valentine season I am reminded to love each one of my children as the individual they are. To listen to their needs, stop fretting over the laundry that needs folding, or dreaming of the book I’d rather be reading, or thinking about all the things I need to accomplish once they are in bed and I finally get a quiet moment. My job is to love them and to do so effectively which is to know them and speak love to them the way they will best hear it. My job is to also seek their forgiveness when I have failed to love them in the way I should – this happens often.


For a special time together Baron and I made some “stained glass hearts”. On a clean sheet of waxed paper we scattered crayon shavings evenly around (we used a pencil sharpener to create the shavings). Place another sheet of waxed paper on top and two pieces on craft paper to sandwich the wax paper and crayon shavings. On low heat, iron the pages until the shavings melt and blend into one another. Let cool for a couple minutes then cut into hearts.


We taped ours onto thread and hung them in the window to allow the sunlight to pour through them. You can also use them as a base to write out sweet messages using a black Sharpie.

As we sharpened, ironed, cut and hung his face was beaming and his heart was full. He felt loved.

The more I choose to effectively love my children as individuals the deeper my love and understanding for who they are grows. I fall deeper in love with them – if that’s even possible.

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22 Responses to “little ones”

  1. unsightly

    What a beautiful ode to your children, and a universal reminder to all parents of the importance of love and affection in a child’s life.

  2. Prerna@IndianSimmer

    Just completed reading this post for the third time and now I’m missing my li’l one who’s sleeping just in the next room! Its unbelievable how a single giggle or just a casual hug from them change so much! That’s just such a beautiful post. Thanks for the smile!

  3. Amanda B

    I used to LOVE making wax paper/crayon designs. Even in college. Thanks for the reminder of this fun craft!

  4. MG Atwood

    Oh my. Now I have a greater understanding why I’m drawn to Roman. If we were only closer, he and I would koombieyah along. 🙂 Baron and Ty could put on wonderful productions from Ty’s costume cupboard..I think it’s time for a visit. Such a sweet post Ashely, and thank you for the inspiration. I read this to Ty as we were coming home from basketball, and we just had to try it. He loved it, but thought the micro-planer was more his speed vs the pencil sharpener. Now hoping I got it clean enough that we don’t eat wax next time I use it. LOL

  5. Rachelle Louise

    Ashley, this was such a beautiful post. My heart melted reading you explain the different traits of your children and the ways you like to love on them. Such a sweet post and so meaningful. If I ever have children, I hope I’ll stop and love them intentionally like this! Thanks for sharing such a personal part of your life! : )

  6. joey

    What a lovely post! And so true…I have only one child but this is a good reminder to love her in a way that suits her individuality and specialness. And to remember to do the same with any future children 🙂 So beautifully and wisely written.

    Love this simple crafts activity you did with your Roman…the perfect Valentines!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Joey – Thanks for taking the time to leave such a wonderful comment. It is so encouraging. Loving my little ones for who they are as individuals is something I strive to do – not always successfully of course. It’s so fun to have multiple children and to see how different their personalities are. And from such a young age you can already see who they are. Always exciting.

  7. Lauren (PB&G)

    Beautiful! I LOVED doing this when I was younger. My best friend and I would sit on her bed and sharpen crayons for hours just to have shavings to iron between paper.

  8. Rachel

    I LOVE this post! Your kiddies will love reading this when they get older!

    I’m wondering if you put the shavings on a canvas and the wax paper on top and melted them onto the canvas if it would come out just as cool – thoughts?? If encouraged I could be persuaded to try it!


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