Saturday, November 7, 2015

To My Almost One Year Old

O-Bo, there is no way on earth you are about to be one year old. This past year has flown by in a blur. But it has been so much fun - I guess since you are my third baby I have learned a little better the art of just enjoying the moments. And I sure have enjoyed your moments, Buddy...

Every time I change your clothes I have to wait a minute before putting your clean clothes on, because you love to rub your belly. You enjoy pulling silverware out of the dishwasher and flinging it on the ground.You put everything in your mouth, but you usually give yourself away by waiting on me to look at you, grinning, and then crawling away as fast as you can. You can be a little dramatic. When you get upset (i.e., when I put you down without your permission), you yell and bang your head on the floor. I'm really sorry, but it makes me laugh. I know that's not your goal.

For the most part though, you are still happy and easy-going. You love to dance by shaking your head from side to side. You love balls more than anything on earth. I've never seen anything like it. You will just throw a ball and chase it, throw it and chase it, forever. When we went to Claire's tennis practice for the first time this fall, you went absolutely nuts because of all the green tennis balls bouncing everywhere.

You are starting to walk. You can take a few steps unassisted and you are definitely getting more motivated. Especially when it involves getting to the nearest ball. Your favorite word to say is "daddy"; you say it all day long and sometimes it comes out as "daddy-oooo", which always makes me laugh. Your sisters were gone this afternoon and I have never heard you jabber so much in all your life. I guess you were enjoying the rare opportunity to get a word in edgewise.

Speaking of your sisters, you are a good sport when it comes to being in this crazy family. You get loved on, trampled over, tackled, picked up, thrown around, and you just kind of roll with it. Even though "daddy" is your favorite word, you are definitely a mama's boy right now. Your daddy says that if you have a ball and your mommy, then you are happy.

I love to hold you and rock you at night, even though you still don't consistently sleep through the night. (About that...You're killing me, Smalls.) Over the past few months, as I have seized the joy of cuddling with you in the rocking chair, these words have been forming in my heart and I have begun to sing them as you drift off to sleep...

There's an endless repetition to my days
It can be easy to forget
That the weight of glory's forming in my veins
And the kingdom doesn't look like you'd expect

So I, I will hold you
While I have the time and you are small
And I'll sing over you
Words I pray will sing into your soul
Because one thing matters
And a million things don't
And I'll fight for the one

The Lord is using you, son, to teach me what matters. And I pray that He will use me to teach you what matters. I love everything about you, Owen, and I can't wait to watch you become more of the person our Creator is making you to be.

You add so much joy to our family, Owen. Happy birthday, my fun, sweet boy!

Friday, November 6, 2015

To My Almost 6 Year Old

Oh Little. Just yesterday you were born and now you are nearly up to my shoulder, and I'm not okay with that. But here you are, on the eve of your sixth birthday, and here are some things that I love about you right now.

You are the most logical child I have ever met. I'm amazed every day at the way your mind works. Math is easy for you because it's so black and white. The other day during your math lesson I thought the word problems might be a little difficult for you, but when I read them aloud I wasn't prepared for you to shoot back the answer without even blinking an eye. No manipulatives to count, no drawing it out on paper - just your little calculator mind. You continue to ask a bazillion questions every day about almost everything. You don't always believe what your daddy and I say if you can't understand it for yourself. This can be good and bad, Little. You can't always reason out everything in the faith. There are some things too great for us to understand. This is going to be especially hard for you, I'm afraid. But I also think that once you are convinced of the truth, nothing will be able to stop you. How I pray for that day.

I think we could call you Judge Claire because fairness is so important to you. Things must be equal, all the time. You watch portion sizes of food between your sister and yourself like a hawk. You always remember who got to go first or choose a show last time or whatever else. Rules are your lifeline. These things can also be good or bad. You can be a leader and walk with integrity and fight for justice, but remember grace, Little. Grace for others and grace for yourself.

You are the best big sister. You are truly such a great help to me. You meet needs for Owen and AK without even waiting to be asked. You have a maternal spirit, and a sensitive and compassionate heart. You are also generous and always try to think of things to give away or make for others.

You love art - drawing and coloring mostly - and you are getting really good at it. You love to watch this online art show called "Art for Kids Hub" and copy the pictures. You continue to come up with the neatest creations out of "trash". You made a pillow for AK's dolls out of a piece of felt you found lying around, and I never know what invention I will find when I leave an empty cardboard box on the floor.

You are doing so great on your bike! One thing that you and I share is a fear of trying new things. You nearly always fight against the challenge at first and refuse to try for a little while...but once you take that first step toward whatever it is, you are so dedicated and you practice and practice until you have mastered it.

You basically never get tired. I've never seen anything like it. No matter how much or little sleep you get, you are like the energizer bunny and you just don't stop. If we didn't make you go to bed at night I don't think you ever would. You come out of your room at least 10 times every night before you fall asleep. You like to listen to radio programs like Adventures in Odyssey or Your Story Hour when you go to bed, and then you always have to have music playing to go to sleep.

The other night you were having a hard time going to sleep. You had been in bed for nearly two hours when I headed down the hallway to go to bed myself, and I heard you muttering as you tried to get your music to play. I went into your room and lay down in your bed. You curled up next to me and within just a couple of minutes your breathing got more even and I just soaked in your sweetness. I shifted and you opened your eyes. "I'm almost asleep," you whispered. "Don't tell me when you leave." "I'm not leaving yet, baby," I whispered back. "I won't leave until you're ready."

And I won't, baby. But the way these years are going by so quickly, I'm afraid that you might leave before I am ready.

Happy birthday, my sweet, bright, beautiful girl!