december birthday boy

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My sweet Noah man

You are everything kind, tenderhearted, sweet, and brave.  You have a quiet strength, and it’s a good thing with all these sisters around to take care of.  I love the way you love others and care for others, seeing and noticing especially those on the fringes.  It’s a sensitivity I hope you hold onto in this abrasive world.  You love trucks and cars and its all you asked for for your birthday, besides green hand knit socks and a sweater.  (You are so sweet to your momma, loving the things I make for you and wearing them happily, treasuring them.  I don’t know how long that will last so I’m enjoying it while I can!)  You love pouring over books with beautiful illustrations so we bought for you the Nature Anatomy book, and you have been carrying it around with you outside, identifying all sorts of treasures in our yard.  Your birthday was spent first with pancakes, then opening presents with daddy before he had to go to work.  We planned to go the fire station but it was pouring rain and mommy made the rash decision to do a “quick” stop to the walk-in bone and joint clinic to check on phoebe’s foot (which she injured jumping off the stage at church barefoot).  That took far longer than anticipated and we had no time for the fire station and no where to park in all the rain, so we opted for hot cocoa and movie at home instead.  It’s just like you, to sacrifice your plans for others, but we will make it up to you and visit the fire station soon!  I think you still had a fun and happy day.  I love you so much my one and only little man, now six years old and so tall and grown.  It is a joy to see you growing especially in your reading and art skills, as well as in your faith.  You are so quick to remind me that you love me very much but “not as much as I love God.”  May He always have first place in your heart.  I’m so very proud of you.

Love,
mom

six

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There were no gifts under the tree that year.  We didn’t really even notice, which is a wonder for me, a gift lover.  Our hearts were caught up in anticipating a baby.  I was as any first time mom would be: nervous, anxious, excited, filled with wonder and worry and dread and joy all at once.  It lent a whole new meaning to the Christmas story, to the Advent season, to the waiting for the coming of the promised One.

And then you came, so quickly, taking us all by surprise.  I called the midwife at 6am on that December 23 morning, she said to take my time coming in, but I felt an urgency to get to the hospital.  By the time we left the house for the 45 minute drive to the hospital, I was desperate to get there, contractions coming in wave after wave without a break between.  We got there, checked in, chatted with the midwife for a few moments, and suddenly I was in transition.  Within an hour or so of arriving at the hospital, you were born.  In about three pushes, they laid you on my belly and I just remember your dark quiet stare.  We didn’t have time to think about medicating, we didn’t have time to call family before suddenly there you were.  The midwife sat down heavy in the rocking chair at the foot of my bed and said, “Wow.  Now that’s how it’s done.  You need to give classes to all these other ladies on the LND floor.”  I felt proud, but the reality was, it wasn’t really because of anything I did.  My labor with Noah was far longer and far more difficult with complications to boot.  Its crazy how little of it is up to us, anyway.  “Birth plans” and such–an illusion of control.

From day one until this day, six years later, it’s never been in my control.  What a year we’ve had, you and I.  In a way different than the other children, I feel like we grow up together–you, the firstborn, and I.  You, the one who throws challenges at us that we are hardly practiced for, and we learn as we walk through them with you.

You amaze me as you grow.  I can’t believe we are one-third of our way through our parenting journey with you.  Only twelve more years until you’ll be free and ready to take off on your own little wings.  I hate the thought!  I can’t believe its gone already and I’ll never have it back, all those precious baby years with you, so tiny and so new.  Yet each year with you is so much fun, as you grow and change and become more and more your own little person.

I love everything about you.  I want you to know, you are so very special, my phoebe girl.  God has mighty plans for you.  He’s already working in you and through you.  He has entrusted hardships to you at a young age, and He will be faithful to see you through.  He will be faithful to carry you all the way.  He may not remove the thorn, sweet one, even though we so wish He would.  But He will bring great good from it, so much good that you will one day marvel with great joy and say, “The Lord is good to all,
    and his mercy is over all that he has made…The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and kind in all his works.”  (Psalm 145:9,17)  ALL of it.  All.  We won’t understand a fraction of it, but we have this promise in black and white–He is good to all, He is righteous in all that He chooses to allow or cause.

You are still one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received in my life, you are such a treasure.  Through you God keeps teaching me that I’m not in control here–He is.  I’m so so proud of you, all your hard work, your willingness to try things that are scary and difficult for you, your quick turn to repentance when you’ve done wrong, your courage and bravery and general usual state of HAPPY.  I just love you so.  I treasured our day together today, playing together, snuggling, just keeping it simple, thanking God for the gift of life.

I love you so

Mommy