Friday, September 23, 2016

Kiddo, Will You Pray for Me?


To be fair, mothers, I don’t think this is entirely our fault, this tendency to think we are the Ultimate Need Meeters for our families and children. Our job starts out this way.

As an expectant mother, my tiny child really is 100% dependent on me, and I am 100% required for his or her survival. The weight of it is on me, and there is nobody that can pick that job up for me, even for one minute, to give me a break.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Peter's six!


To Peter, on your sixth birthday-

Wow. What a year you’ve been through!  Last year at this time, our lives were still full of walks to the pond, and visits to the cows, and mornings with the Vandercars.  Last year at this time, I was sending you off to kindergarten, three days a week. I thought that was going to be our big adjustment!  And then God sent us a call, and before we knew it, we were packing up the house, taking you out of school at White Creek, and moving to the city!  A new school, new friends, new routines, new everything- that had to be so much for your five-year-old self to process!  

I remember you sobbed the hardest on that rainy day when we pulled away from the only home you had ever known.  You are an Indiana baby, a country boy!  We shared quite a few tears and snuggles along the way.  Like you, I was sad for many things we left behind, but it has been a joy to watch the ways God has provided for us.

In Eastpointe, I got to see you meet a whole new group of kindergarteners. You grew to love Mrs. Schilling, and Addison Skurda quickly became your new best friend.  You learned to rock every-day kindergarten, and before I knew it you were reading and even taking AR tests!  In the winter you played Pee Wee basketball, and I got to be your coach!   You even weigh slightly more than Eldon- something that causes you great joy and him great annoyance. You gloat, “I’m half a thing bigger to you Eldon!” and try get him to weigh himself daily so you can compare. He “hates the scale” and refuses to get on it now!  

In the spring we bought a boat.  You and I were both pretty unsettled by the size of the waves on the big lake. While the other kids hooted and hollered and cheered, you and I would be snuggling in the back, hoping we wouldn’t die, saying a prayer or two or ten.  Every time we went out on the boat and didn’t die, we became a tiny bit more confident, and by the end of the summer you and I were not only cheering on the big waves, but tubing behind the boat, and loving it!  And you amaze us with your super-napping powers- you can nap on the boat through the roughest seas!

Your birthday weekend will be full of family: Uncle Quinn and Aunt Sara are staying with us, Flannery in utero. Grammy and Bump brought the camper and your cousin Izzy and Lorraine’s friend Kathryn. You were so happy to get a  whoopie cusion and a Snack-eeze (star wars), tons of candy, and a Paw Patrol backpack. You are wearing it to first grade, where you are rockin’ the academics, and being chased by the girls at recess.  

The night before your birthday I snuggled you close and said, “Goodbye five, I will miss you.”
“I won’t miss five,” you said, and I was not surprised.
“I will, but I am excited to see you six.”
Goodnight, five, and welcome, six!  
We love you Peter!

Friday, September 2, 2016

goodnight, five.

Tonight, I said goodnight to five for the last time.
Tomorrow, my youngest boy turns six.

Goodnight, five, and goodbye five.
I curled up next to his pajama’d body and said a nice, long, goodnight and goodbye.

Goodnight, five,and goodbye to the days of
packing a blankie and buddy for rest time at school,
and learning to tie shoes.

Goodbye to the magical moment of I-can-read;
that miracle of letters on a page making sounds that magically form a familiar word!

Goodbye to the days of first backpack and first lunchbox and first play date with a school friend.

I rubbed his back and said goodbye to five, slowly, gently.
And the goodbye-fives turned into goodbye-everything-little as I thought about our preschool days and baby days.

Goodbye bringing babies home from hospitals,
and tiny new outfits, and milk-snuggles.
Goodbye teethers and days of dumping out toys and chewing on everything.

Goodbye strollers and baby-on-the-hip;
Goodbye afternoon naps with a baby plastered to my side;
Goodbye days spent in a blur of exhaustion and goodbye just trying to keep everybody alive.

Suddenly he whispered, “are you asleep mama?” and turned over to face me. “No, honey,” I said, “not yet.”

I’m too busy saying goodbyes.

Goodbye five, and less-than-five.
God help me embrace six, and more-than-six, too.  
I hid my tears and held him close.
He turned over again and let out a little fart.

He pulled his minion blanket up over his shoulder, made sure my arm was around his waist, and sighed.  He resigned to sleep, passing gently into the next stage of his life, fearless, and at peace.

Goodnight, five.


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