Eight years ago, just 24 hours before your birth, I didn’t even have your crib put together. You didn’t even have a room. It was still your Daddy’s office. I knew about you, but I wasn’t thinking I’d get to meet you for another three or four weeks. Then, I didn’t realize you’d fill my days with surprises and keep me guessing daily. When we got the call that you were on your way, we dropped everything~ even Julia, into the care of a friend.
Eight years ago, I was a nervous wreck getting to be a helper during your birth. Then, I didn’t realize getting to be an integral part of your entry into this world would truly be the most awesome event I have ever experienced. Eight years ago, I had no words at 1:45 in the morning. Nothing~nothing~ prepares a person for that. God’s ways often leave us speechless. And I was. Then, I had no idea how many times God would use you to leave me without words.
Eight years ago, we anticipated a baby boy and as your Daddy likes to say, “You were just a little peanut.” Your 5lb 5oz little self stole my heart in an instant and then, I had no way of knowing you’d do that at least twice a week.
Eight years ago, we only had a girl and we’d only had her for twenty one months. From the beginning, I found you different, even in the way you settled in my arms. Then, I had no idea you’d want to be in them even more than she did.
You’ve been stomping out your own path since those first seconds I saw you, needing a little special attention even before I could cut the cord. You’ve hit milestones in your own sweet time, being sure not to conform to what any of us expected. These may have been the only times in your life you weren’t in a hurry. Even though you’ve stuck close to your sister all these years, you’ve always had strong opinions about what the two of you would do. You make up your own instructions to Lego creations, you find people that no one is talking with, you make up your own music and you’ve even been known to question the math solution manual. That trail you blaze can be a blessing or it can create parenting challenges. You keep us on our toes~ or maybe on our knees.
|It’s a store- in motion- with lots of things to sell.|
That path your cutting narrowed considerably this year on January 16th when you put your trust in Christ Jesus. I’ll always remember the struggle of the afternoon and the way you thought it through with paper and pencil. Your words about a “bandit” was fitting and convicting. Without Christ, we are all bandits. That day, you became a follower of Jesus and our brother in Christ. Now, the four of us are “working out our salvation” together. We are all learning together that narrow path we all chose leads to the glorious freedom of wide open spaces where the “boundaries have fallen for [us] in pleasant places”.
Besides your making the most significant decision in your life, the other thing I will remember about this year is how you’ve moved towards your Daddy. He must be one of your first thoughts when you wake up because you ask, quite often, “Is Daddy still here?” Your desire to be with him and to identify with him has grown, as it should. Almost more than anything else, it thrills me to see the two of you together and enjoying each other. The more time you spend with your Daddy, the better off you will be. I promise.
This is also the year your bed got a bit more crowded. Your love for all the furry animals with you grew exponentially. You’ve always preferred to have things in the bed with you but this year is a marker for sure. I still don’t know how you sleep in that tiny space.
You are growing up. I found you asleep on Julia’s window seat the other night and I couldn’t help but notice how long you’ve become~ your feet, your frame, your fingers. It’s all happened faster than I tried to prepare myself for. You’ve matured as a student this year, grasping concepts quicker than last year and able to work diligently for longer periods of time. You have matured as a teammate and player, following your coaches and Daddy’s suggestions on how to improve your skills. Your piano skills are increasing and even though reading music isn’t your most favorite thing to do, you can do it. You “ear play” a whole concert of songs now and I love to hear you note by note figuring them out. I have a feeling that one day you will fill this house with wonderful music.
Your little tongue hasn’t slowed down a bit. You keep me grinning, sometimes outwardly and sometimes to myself. I cannot keep record of all your “Brighton-isms”, but here is a collection for when I had the brain power to remember and write them down somewhere. The words you put together speak volumes of your unique personality.
On Sonic drinks left in the car-- “Mom!! My coke doesn’t taste bad! God is SO good to me.”
On memories- “You mean the birthday I smushed cake in my face? The one I got Brighton bear? The one I just sat in that high chair?”
On word forms - “amazed-er”
On money- “Spend it.”
|Meet Happy Jack|
On grades- “I’ve made even worser grades than that.”
On hard physical labor- “I was just getting a snack for me and my friend and we were going to talk.”
On notes from teachers- “She doesn’t really mean that, “You’re the best”. Her kids and grandkids are the best to her.”
On school- “Julia, it’s not the list that is helping our school year go better, it’s us. We were BAD last year.”
On body parts- “You know, Mom, knees are really useful things.”
On home-- “I love this place.”
On Frosted Mini Wheats in snack drawer--“Oh, I love these! These are WONDERFUL!!”
On excitement- “My legs are just trembling. I look down and they are not moving. They just have excitement inside of them!!"
On me- “I love seeing your face.”, “You’re just a teddy bear.” and “Mom, I loved you even before I met you.”
On any given day- “What are we going to do that’s fun today?”
On talking to God-- “Never tell God He is a loser. He doesn’t like that.”
On chocolate- “I’m a big fan.”
On adoption- “God put me in her tummy but He knew I’d be your kid.”
On making CD’s- “Can you fire me a CD with Star Wars music?”
On my cooking- “Mom, you get all the instructions on food right!”
On life span- “We don’t live long, do we? It’s good to live to 70 and some people get to keep going.”
On racing- “I wasn’t racing. I was just running.”
On Indian saris- “I bet it was made in China.”
On Jeff- “Where’s Daddy?”, “What time will Daddy be home?”
On vomiting- ““Mom, I am thankful for all the things you have ever done for me. This is a very serious time.”
On having a stuffy nose- “I woke up with this at 5am and now it’s 9:13pm. Still the same.”
On the Great Depression- “Mom, remind me what fell again? You know, crashed on top of all those people?”
On crying- “Look, Dad I’m happy and I’m not crying. I just about started to cry but I gave up on it.”
And that is just a few..... As I have said before, when you are awake, there is no shifting of my brain into neutral.
There is one sentence you spoke to me this year that I cannot forget~ for your sake or for mine. Who puts these thoughts into your mind? When do you think about such things?
With arms around me, “I can’t be strong, brave, or courageous without the love of my Momma.”
Something had happened with the boys playing in the cul de sac and we were talking about bravery and courage at my desk. I reminded you of how many times in your life you’d face situations that would require bravery from you and how, only with the Spirit’s help, would you ever be able to deliver. And that is when you said it. I know my role is changing with you. Eight years ago, my role was simple. Then, I had no idea how much it would change and how it will continue to change drastically over the coming years. I don’t like change, even normal change, right change, healthy change but I promise not to forget what you said and I will do my part, joyfully and wholeheartedly.
Eight years ago. I loved you then, I love you now.
Goodbye Seven! Hello Eight!