Archive for August, 2012

A Big Boy

Dear Owen,

I had planned to potty train you NEXT summer, but you had other plans because you started using the potty fairly reliably last week. You are getting good at it… when you put your mind to something, you make it happen! You are such a big boy!

Love you,

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A Buddy is Born

Dear Hayden, Owen and Bennett,

Each of you has a “buddy” born to a dear friend of mine shortly after your birth. Hayden, your buddy Elijah came 6 months after you were born. Owen, your buddy Josiah was born 5 months to the day after you. These are the only other births (except for your cousin Oliver) that I’ve featured on the blog, because we have too many wonderful kids being born around us to cover them all, and these are the closest in proximity, date-wise. Bennett, Elizabeth found out she was pregnant just six weeks after Dad and I learned you were on your way, and I was ecstatic! You, too, would have a born-just-after-you buddy.

I don’t even know where to begin telling you about your buddy Jacob, Bennett, except to say that I’m writing this blog entry to all three of you because Jacob’s existence has taught me things that I want all of you to know.

Jacob ended up not being your born-just-after-you buddy, Bennett, because he made his entrance early – He came in the middle of May! When a baby is born this early, the Mom and Dad have a really long path they have to travel, because the delivery is complicated and the baby has to stay in the hospital for quite a while. I’ve walked closely with Elizabeth through this time. I’ve learned a lot. Here’s just a short list.

  1. Every amazingly fun and joyful time Elizabeth and I have ever shared served as a foundation upon which we could walk together through this incredibly difficult season in her life. I think this is true for all deep spirited friends. I pray fervently that you will have these deep spirited friends.
  2. None of us gets through this life unscathed. You will get your fair share of moments that you think you won’t survive. I’m already asking God to bless you with amazing people who will be right beside you telling you that you will survive.
  3. There is no substitute for believing life is good. My most favorite thing about Elizabeth is that she sees the positive, miraculous aspect of everything. This has carried her thought this incredibly difficult time with so much grace.
  4. Presence is life’s truest gift. There are a lot of things that happen in life for which there are no words. Sometimes, there’s nothing you can say or do that will take even a fraction of another’s burden. But there’s something you can do. You can be there. You can be present. Sometimes that’s all you can do, and usually, it’s enough.
  5. My life is better in every way because I’m married to your dad. He made it possible for me to be with Elizabeth for 3 full days at the hospital when she needed me before Jacob was born, and he’s made it possible for me to visit Jacob with Elizabeth many times… truthfully, he made my presence during this time in her life possible. He knows it would have broken my heart not to have been there, and so he made arrangements and changed plans so I could be where I needed to be. When I married your dad, I had no idea where this life would take us, but I can tell you, I’m so blessed to be here with him.
  6. Every single person who ends up on this planet is a complete miracle. Every. Single. One. Including you.
  7. When the going gets tough, people show up. It’s amazing how as we develop relationships with people, what we’re really creating is a net. We don’t know it at the time… we’re just getting to know people, and then doing life with them. But, when you hit a bump in the road, those connections weave together and form a net. And the net catches you, and carries you through. The net shows up with dinner. The net watches your kids for you. The net drives you places and sits with you at the hospital. The net prays and prays and prays for you.
  8. Sometimes all you can do is pray. And when you feel like that, that’s what you should do. Because it really, really matters to the people for whom you are praying.
  9. Where I end, God reigns. This is especially true in parenthood. There are places I can’t go with you, I pray that God will be close beside you when you go to those places. I am limited in a million ways, and I pray that God, in all of His limitlessness will be present for you in all of those ways.

There is a song that has been on my mind a lot lately – It’s called “Prayers for This Child” and I love it because it sums up something I’ve thought about extensively. Here are some of the lyrics:

I do not know how I am to pray for this child
as a mother I don’t want my baby denied
but in the waiting in the waiting
I learned

every instinct in me wants to shield him from pain
take the arrows of misery, heartache and blame
but in the sorrow in the sorrow
I learned to hold on

I only have two eyes – be all seeing
I only have two hands – be everywhere
I do not know enough – to be all knowing
I give this baby up into your care

I do not know how to pray for this child
I want to guard her from everything wicked and wild
but in the trial in the trial
I learned to hold on
And in the trial, in the trial
I learned to hold on to the heart of God

I know that even If I prayed for you to have a seamless life with no troubles… it would not come to be. So, instead I pray that every challenging thing that happens to you teaches you something, draws you nearer to God and that you will come out the other side a stronger version of yourself.

With that, I’d like to introduce you, Bennett, to your born-just-before-you buddy, Jacob. You might recognize his outfit — it’s one of your newborn ones that you just outgrew! By the way, he’s a fighter. I wouldn’t mess with him if I were you.

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Love you,

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One Month Old

Dear Bennett,

Today, you are one month old. You have grown so much already — you are a BIG boy!! You’re such a cutie and very quiet so far… unless you are hungry — and then we hear about it! You have a little smile that crosses your face every once in a while… can’t wait to catch it on camera.

Love you,

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