Tuesday, November 19, 2013

B’s 10th birthday letter

Dear B,

While most people were fast asleep in the first few hours of October 24th, 2003, we were up cuddling with you.  Amazed.  Thrilled.  Relieved.  And completely in love with you, the “little peanut” as Daddy likes to call you.  Weighing in at a mere 5 pounds and 5 ounces, you looked lost against his broad chest held in his big arms.  He likes to tell you that you cried and cried when he held you that first time and that you quieted when he handed you to me but that’s not completely true.  You found your place in his arms pretty quickly and settled right in.  You surprised us that day, coming early, setting a pattern for the next ten years.

Birthday letters are for memories and life building words.  I think you will find the similarities in yourself over the years as you read them sequentially one day.  I am fascinated that even in those first few hours and first few months, I can look back now and say, that’s part of who God made you to be.  Some of your quirks will be your greatest strengths.  Some of the things we discipline you for now will be what makes you successful in what God calls you to do.  Some of your greatest qualities could cause you heartache.  {And that will be hard on this momma.}  And one day, just maybe, some of your least desirable foods will be be your favorite and you will realize that I am a very good cook. ; )  Moving on.

God went to a heap of trouble to get you to us.  I think about that often and have on repeat in my mind that God prepared me ALL MY LIFE to be Julia’s and your momma.  I was born to be your momma and you were born to be a Sanders’ boy.  And in this family of four, God will direct and train you for His life purposes for you.  Most every day, I feel inadequate and even confused.  And that can be a good thing but not a fun thing.  Up until about 5 years ago, I had your number and ever since then, it’s been one long lesson in dependency on the Lord.  That’s the good thing.  But He’s got all your numbers and I am just His conduit.

We’ve known it since you could talk but you delight in people.  Almost any person but you migrate to older people and possibly lonely people.  It warms my heart to see you in action and how other faces brighten as you interact with them and PURSUE them.  In our last two neighborhoods, you have kept us up on what was going on with the neighbors.  They know about your games, your school work and, of course, your birthdays!  We weren’t even at Clover for a year but you befriended our single neighbor and for you, it was perfect, because she couldn’t drive so she was ALWAYS at home to answer your faithful knock on the door or tap on the side window.  It didn’t hurt that she had a basketball goal AND that she would watch you shoot baskets AND that she would cheer for you.  I am not sure that she will ever have as fine a neighbor as you were to her.  And Mr. Adolf, “the nicest man I’ve ever met” as you call him .....   I won’t forget how he served our whole street by bringing the paper to our porches every morning.  You got into his heart too.  This will serve you well, B.  Love people.  Put the relationship over the to-do’s or the hurts and misunderstanding.  Love them as yourself.  And the next time you ask if we can go say hi to Ms. Vicki, I’ll say yes.

Let’s see.... you shared a room with your sister all year which whether you will admit it or not, YOU LOVED IT.  You loved never falling asleep alone and waking up knowing someone else was just an arm’s reach away.

You made new friends at your new school-- and learned the ropes of doing school for someone other than me.

You ice skated for the first time and proved your sense of balance to be just like your cousin, RJ’s....... not there. ; )

You played your second season of kid pitch baseball in the spring.

And you took yourself VERY seriously.

You got into old comic books and baseball cards of all generations.

You and Julia began staying home alone for short periods of time.

You were part of a core group to start Watermark’s children’s ministry-- wearing your On Your Mark t-shirt loud and proud.

You got your very own kitten.  Your dream come true-- a real live “stuffed animal” for your bed.

You spent gobs of time with your Daddy.  He began taking you to early morning breakfasts on Tuesday and you will NEVER let him forget it. {You begged the Senior Citizens to let you play Bingo... they relented... you won.  They weren’t happy.}

Thanks to this guy, you got to try golf for the very first time.

You made us laugh.  A lot.

You warmed my heart….. a few times.

You danced at your cousin’s wedding.

You built your first card house.  You learned from the best.  I am sure the mustache helped.

You began reading for Wii minutes.  You’ve never read so much in your 10 year life.

You enjoyed being a part of Thursday Boys.

You played your first year of tackle football.  You invited our neighbor friend and she cheered for you unashamedly for the entire stadium to hear.  We all had fun with that.  It didn’t hurt that your team made it to the championship and you got to play at Cowboy Stadium.

You are persistent, clever, tender-hearted, fun-loving, intense, competitive, handsome, forgiving, relentless, encouraging, inquisitive, bright, complicated and my favorite little boy on the planet.

Oh-- and you got a haircut.

We moved twice which was very hard on you, my let’s-never-change-anything-ever-not-even-just-a-little-bit child.  I’m very proud of you.  You made it through but not without rough patches.  Change does a number on {and me too} so together, maybe we weren’t such a great pair, but you did it. And it feels more like home every day you make a memory here.  You’ll be fine.  We’ve got lots of living to do in this home.  God willing.

So, at 10, there is much I could say, but here is what I am feeling is most important right now.  Stick with your Daddy.  Follow his lead.  His heart towards you is tender and his vision for your relationship is strong and clear.  His heart is the Lord’s and his relationship with Him is genuine.  He listens to Lord and, in turn, leads you to do the same.  Watch your Dad be a man.  A man who follows Christ.  A man who is a gentleman.  Watch how he treats me and tuck that away.  I promise it will come in handy one day.  But here’s maybe the most important.  Daddy LOVES you and just like in those wee hours of October 24th, 2003, you squirmed and cried in his arms, you finally settled and rested in his embrace.  You felt safe and I believe you felt loved.  Settle now.  Rest now in your daddy’s love.  LIVE your life out of that love.  It’s the same with your Heavenly Father.  Daddy is just the tangible practice of living this way.  LIVE your life rooted and grounded in God’s love.  Believe it.  Know it.  Live your life out of it.

I love you, Big B.  I love that I can say you are my favorite boy in the whole world.  Remember when I tell you..... if they lined up little boys all around the equator, I’d look and look and look until I found YOU.  No other little boy will do.  Don’t you forget it.

Goodbye 9!  Hello 10!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Two Weeks in October

If anybody is checking in today, I am so grateful.  I still feel I have raw neurons firing every 2 seconds on new trains of thought because this list after moving 21 years of stuff seems to fit around the equator and I’m not sure where to start.  So here I am sitting and writing when I need to be miraculously creating some order in my kids’ rooms.  There are stories to be told and I don’t want to forget them.  Today I may just have to make a picture outline…

So Brighton turned 10 and I haven’t written a birthday letter yet but I will.  I need to sit and think about that boy--- and dream a little for him.  Another day.

So like crazy people Jeff and I took 12 little boys to tour the Texas Rangers Ballpark.  We borrowed a passenger van from Young Life {they use Tarrant NET’s trailer from time to time…} and headed to Arlington.  It was the most rambunctious ride I have ever been on.

In the bullpen

In the dugout

Press conference room

Joe was the perfect tour guide for these guys.

Brighton’s football team came in second this year in their league, but get this.  They played for the championship at Cowboy Stadium.  ?!?!??!?!?!?!  I remember reading that on the information sheet when we signed up and didn’t give it ONE. MORE. THOUGHT.  Crazy.  What a fun night for all of these guys.

Jeff was landscaping at the new house but he got there just in time for kick off.  Brighton has heard Jeff say Psalm 91 was the verse he used to pray before his Furman games.  He wanted me to write that on his eye black.   ; )  And in case you are wondering.. this is his nervous smile.  {The lighting at the stadium took 10 years off my face!  Not seeing the crow’s feet!  Or the Christmas wreaths.  I think I’d like to go back there….}

Sunday night we had a little porch party to cut the caramel cake and let him blow out candles.  I learned at about the 4th birthday, little guys don’t enjoy homemade cakes so we always cut it with friends.  And to make it more special, my parents were in town to help us celebrate and get ready to move.

I was just THRILLED to have gotten a cake made!!  And I am THRILLED about this 10 year old.

And this is why I had a “porch party”.

These were the only boxes that I really enjoyed packing.  I’ll have even more fun unpacking.

Our movers showed up tired--- and let me know that.  They also made unnecessary comments about “all the stuff” and basically said they weren’t up for it.  Jeff was at the new house so I put on my big girl pants and gave them a real good talking to.  My 75 plus year old neighbor, Adolph, stood by my side and cheered me on.  

Under Julia’s trundle-- we all just stood back and stared in disbelief.  See that typed letter on the left?  That’s a great mommy-moment.  So I thought. 
 Isn’t cleanliness a virtue?  Maybe that’s the one book in our home she hasn’t read.

After all the whining the professionals did on Friday, we went back to The Sanders’ Way.  We rented a U-Haul.  Then it got really fun.  That is the most sarcastic statement I’ve ever made.  I thought about running away that day but I thought better of it since china, photos and books hadn’t been loaded yet.  My hubby gets the standing O though.  He pushed and pushed until it was done.  I’m not sure how.

Bye bye, Clover Lane.  You were cute and cozy until you started looking like a storage facility.

Hello, Chaos Peach Willow Lane!  Yes, that is driftwood in the foreground.  Possibly the most random thing that was never packed.  Possibly. 

Didn’t realize the quality was this bad but this picture goes in the history books.  I NEVER thought the thing would be empty.  NE-VER.

One down for the count.  Tuckered, for sure.

Two down.

Jubilation every time a box was opened.  We should have stuck back some for Christmas!

And thanks to all of our friends who blessed us with all sorts of things- help unpacking, running my kids around, Starbucks, multiple dinners, schooling my children and cheering us on from a distance!!  You can’t imagine how much it means to us.  Thank you!