Saturday, August 24, 2013

Happy (belated) Birthday, Eliana!

*I'm a few days late on writing this post. Just been one of those weeks... I'll blame it on school starting or something.*

I feel like I always start your birthday posts with some sentimental ramble about how quickly time is flying and how big you are getting.

This year is no different. You're my ground-breaker, and with that, I get a wee bit nostalgic.

Nine years. Nine years of active parenting. Halfway to adulthood. Sometimes, I just can't believe it. But then I look at you and how beautiful you are becoming and how quickly you're maturing and I have to admit that it's happening whether I like it or not.

I asked you (on your actual birthday) if you'd do me a favor and take the next nine years a bit more slowly than you have the last. You just gave me your grown-up grin and said, "But Mom, I'm not in control of the time."

You do enjoy taking things very literally in life and pointing out any contradictions in our language. Unless, of course, you are in one of your delightful yet rare silly times. You still love many of the things that you have always loved... art and animals and random facts. You're a fabulous big sister, especially looking out for the smaller children... how you light up when you see Jeremiah!

I've watched you this year step out of your comfort zone to love and spend time with a sibling who you sometimes have difficulty loving.  And I am so thankful for this in your heart.

I feel like we are on the cusp of some of life's great changes for you, Sweet Girl, and I sometimes feel inadequate and unready.  That's when I turn and remember the good and loving God who is orchestrating these events and preparing us for this path, and I'm so thankful for His patience and grace. We'll get through, Sweet Girl. His mercies are new every morning.

Keep looking to Him, Eliana. He knows your heart better than I do, better than you do yourself. And He's good and trustworthy. Keep looking to Him.

And have a very, very happy tenth year!! We love you!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

'Lijah, 'Lijah, 'Lijah

You are three years old. Well, at least you will be as of 11:59pm.  Even then, you had to keep us guessing...

Of all my kids, you are the one that leaves a big cloudy question mark in my head when I dream about all the things you might do with your future. Mostly, this question mark just drives me to pray that you use your cunning for good and not evil.

At this point, I'm the mother of five boys, but you make it feel as if I'm the mother of eight. I always say that you are four boys wrapped into one.

You are the first of my children to put a hole in your birthday cake before I got a chance to frost it. You are the first of my children to be returned to me by a neighbor. You're the first to fall into a pool unexpectedly. You are the first of my children to carry a full box of Bisquick up the stairs to me, with a steak knife in hand (and a few complimentary holes stabbed in the top. I guess you really wanted those pancakes!). You are the first to learn how to light my gas stove. You are the first to discover where I hide the lighter for the candles, and put the two together. You are the first to figure out how to rescue treats from the top of the fridge. And of this morning, you are the first to both find the hidden (up-high) paint and use it to paint my carpet, half of a stuffed dog, and my right big toe bright green.

Actually, you're not only the first of my children to do any of these things, you are my only child to do these things (as of yet, at least!) And all before turning three! Dare I wonder what next year's tally might look like?

You are responsible for 95% of my (of course non-existent!) white hairs, and yet oh, how you have me wrapped around your chubby little fingers. You are smart, quick, and quiet but also sweet, cheerful and exuberant in your love. I think you love to sing more than any other child your age that I know. Your blue-green eyes twinkle and you make my heart sing.

With all the mischief that comes with you, I am so, so thankful that God gave you to us, as our son. And I pray that as this next year grows you even more, that you will know His love and enthusiastically love Him more than all the things into which you pour your joy.

We love you, Son. Happy, happy birthday.