Friday, January 31, 2014

Dear Sullivan (17 Months)

My Dear, Sweet Sullivan,

Here I sit at this computer, having just put you down for a nap.  "Night, Night," as we have begun to call it to help you understand the concept.  And I hear you "talking" up there.  You are most likely playing with the three, no, I think it's four as of today, stuffed animals in your crib.  And my heart is smiling.

It's been a while since I've written you but it's more because we are busy doing life together not at all because there is a lack of anything in my heart that I want to pour out to you.  Trust me, sweet boy, on that one.

Today I just want to tell you what a blast I had at the play museum with you.  I love watching you run and discover and watch other little kids.  The world is still so new and so fresh and so exciting to you.  I love that.

Here are a few things I'd like to tell you:

1) You are going to be a big brother!  I know you don't grasp that yet.  But you touch my belly and I say "baby".  You are a little obsessed these days with belly buttons so I find myself saying, "baby," a lot.  I think you will be an awesome big brother.  You already have this sweet, happy (most of the time) disposition.  This kid will be incredibly blessed to have you looking out for him/her (we find out this week if it will be a boy or girl!).

2)  You already have a tender heart towards animals.  Especially dogs.  You love dogs.  All dogs.  Even the dogs who aren't particularly fond of you.  You kiss Cole about 1,000 times a day.  You get that from me.  As you grow and you desire to shoot a deer, that will be from your father, but your love of all things cute and furry is from me.  And I think you think Cole is your older brother.  Sometimes you two act like siblings.  You roughhouse.  You try to hit him.  And I've caught you a few times biting him.  When I scold you, you lean over and kiss him.  Is that your way of saying you're sorry?

3)  Today I witnessed your first experience with a bratty kid.  I know there have probably been ones before this.  But this one I saw.  This little girl was being a brat.  She wouldn't let you play with anything at the play museum in the area where she was.  She ripped a paintbrush out of your hand.  It didn't phase you.  When she then tried to take the plastic pipe away you wound up like you were going to hit her (and you probably were).  I yelled your name and you put down the pipe. Then, just like you do with the dog, you leaned in to kiss her.

She ran to her mom and told her three times how, "That little boy," hit her on the head.  Oh, you know the mama bear in me started to wake.  I kept my cool and a sweet grandmother who witnessed everything piped up and said she was a witness that it did not happen.  The mom dismissed everything and I just rolled my eyes.

Someday, Sullivan, you'll be old enough to know when kids are being mean.  Hear this, I have prayed since you were just months old that God would work in you and through you and that you would be the type of kid who loves people well, even the hard to love ones.  I pray that Jesus' voice would be louder than any other voice you hear.  Because Jesus' voice is always one of love. I pray that you would stand firm in who Jesus says you are because there will be many mean kids throughout your life.  There will be many things that will want to define you or label you.  Never let those voices define you.  You are so much more.

You are my sweet, strong, brave, capable, thoughtful, compassionate, joy-filled, full of life kid.  You keep your eyes on Jesus and your feet following Him.  And should you ever feel alone, unloved or a little lost, Dad and I are here to remind you just where you've been, who you are and Whose you are.

With all of my heart,
Your Mama

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Babies Ruin So Much

I read a blog the other day entitled, "Babies Ruin Bodies," and it moved me.  It could be the pregnancy hormones but I wept.  It was just beautiful.  You can read it here.  And tonight as I couldn't sleep because of horrible sinus pain I found myself doing dishes, listening to worship music, praying for a dear friend and thinking about how babies ruin so much more than our bodies.

Babies ruin plans.  It's true.  And by babies I also mean toddlers.  Just this weekend I made plans to take Sully to Explore & More Children's Museum.  It was the only thing I planned.  I was looking forward to it.  Then he got sick.  Yucky sick.  More than just a runny nose sick.  Plan ruined.

Then there was the time Ryan and I had finally made plans to have a date night.  And the kid got sick.  Like 104 fever sick.  Plans ruined.  Yes, babies ruin plans.

They also ruin neatly organized cupboards.  I am not gifted organizationally.  More organized than some but definitely wouldn't win any awards, so when I organize something, take the time and really do it, it feels good and I feel proud.  Like the time I organized my tupperware cupboard.  It was beautiful.  Neatly stacked in piles by shape and size.  Lids stacked in a basket.

My toddler clearly had no regard or appreciation for my work.  Can you believe it?  Within minutes it was destroyed and he was happy.

Babies ruin sleep.  This is a well known fact.  Whether you nurse or bottle feed, whether you sleep train or don't.  Babies ruin sleep.  Then they become toddlers and mine sleeps pretty well.  But every once in a while he has an off night.  And it's funny how one off night can throw off days.  Days.  Babies ruin sleep.

They also ruin good, solid conversation.  Have you ever had a conversation with a mom with her baby/toddler in tow?  Before I had kids I would walk away feeling like I had ADD.  Now that I'm a mom I realize what an amazing thing it is that mom's can talk at all while their kids are around.  We mama's adapt!  Babies ruin uninterrupted conversation.  Babies ruin coffee dates.

Babies also ruin Christmas trees, neatly placed mangers under the tree, boxes of tissues left within reach and any sort of toy that has multiple pieces.

And then you have a moment like I had with my Sully the other day.  When I was rocking him before a nap, he pulled his little head off my shoulder, looked me straight in the eye, leaned in and kissed my cheek.  He smiled, kissed my other cheek, then pulled his little body up with all his might and he kissed my forehead and then my nose. He put his head back on my shoulder and I melted.

Puddle on the ground, people.  Yes, babies ruin lots of things.  But when you have one you start to wonder what your purpose was before that little person was in your life.  You start to realize you'll take slobbery kisses from a toddler over an organized drawer or cupboard any day.  Sometimes those moments are few and far between and sometimes they happen one after another and I know that I feel incredibly blessed and incredibly humble.

God entrusted this little life to me.  To me.  And one day when these babies of ours are grown there will be time for beautiful, neatly stacked tupperware and perfectly decorated Christmas trees and mangers that have all the people and animals they are supposed to.

So, if you have a little one, take a moment today to know that this is a season.  Enjoy it.  Let's shift our perspective from seeing what has been ruined to seeing the gift before us- a little life to love, to mold, to nurture and to encourage.