A letter to my son
How I love this face! I don’t think it would be exaggerating to say it is one of the things I live for. Lately, I have been seeing much more of this scrunchy, silly smile. And I couldn’t love it more. The past couple weeks you have really come into your own and developed quite a bit. You are much better at communicating what you are thinking or wanting, you are playing more-especially with your sissy, and you are just a happier version of yourself. I think you being able to do more “big kid” things has made a difference for you. It has really made a difference for me too. Not that you didn’t bring me joy before, because you definitely did, but I find so much joy in interacting with you now that you have a desire and ability to interact more effectively. You are also much more affectionate. When you first learned to walk, you had no time for slowing down, much less stopping to cuddle or kiss. Now you actually ask me to read you books and will give me “mwas” without me even asking! The other day, when I was feeling a bit tired and dizzy you sat in bed with me for about 15-20 minutes. You love to look at the old pictures of Daddy and me on the wall and you love to pull back the blinds and peek out the window. But you kept plopping your head down with your face right next to mine. You would give me your sweet, scrunchy face and say “mwwwaaa Mommy!” and then put your face pushed directly up against mine and smother me with drool and love. It really could not have gotten any better for me. I tearfully thanked God for this rare moment of cuddle time with just me and my sweet boy.
While those moments are incredibly wonderful and are increasing in frequency, they are not the norm for your days. You are almost always on the move. I sometimes jokingly call Daddy into the room to see you sitting down with a toy, but usually by the time he gets there you are up and moving again. I love watching you learn and discover and explore. You are so proud of yourself when you accomplish something new and you are firing off new words everyday. It also warms my heart to see you and Hayleigh laughing and playing together like best buddies.
You had your fifteen month appointment this week and I just can’t believe you are already that old! Where has the time gone…no but really? We have always called you “a little man”, even Hayleigh will call you a “silly man” or a “messy man” or things like that. To be honest though, I still see you very much as the little baby brother, my sweet baby boy. Sometimes I have to look into the future a bit and remind myself that, as our goofy nicknames suggest, I really am raising a man. That is very much uncharted territory for me, and honestly a little scary. Having grown up in a house full of girls, as overwhelming as that may be to some, that all makes sense to me. Raising a girl in this culture is pretty terrifying as well, but it is a familiar terrifying. I say, half jokingly, that I don’t know how to raise a boy. The approach I have taken thus far is not looking at you as “a boy” but as you. I am raising you. And you just so happen to be a boy…and a pretty great one.
That being said, I have desires for you that are different from your sister. I pray that you would be a man of courage- that the source of your courage would be the security and significance you find in Christ alone. My hope is that you would be so rooted in your identity in Christ that your relationship with Him would empower you to be a man who fights for what is right in whatever arena God puts you in- whether that being bold and outspoken when the situation calls for it or leading by a humble example in other situations. I pray that you have the courage to be who God made you to be while always striving to also be who God calls you to be. There will be countless situations throughout your life where your understanding of who you are and who God is, along with courage, will help you to act in ways that honor and reflect God. I long for you to be a man of courage- a man who is willing to fight for Truth when others are debating it, a man who chooses virtue and integrity over selfish, dishonest, immoral choices, a man who fights for his purity in a culture that is anything but, a man who leads his family with Godly love and faithfulness. I know this sounds like a lot to desire of you and I also know it will not be easy. Courage is not foolish, wreckless abandon. It is not the absence of fear. Courage is acting in the face of fear to do what you know is right, even when, especially when, it is difficult.
I look at the life of Daniel. He is a wonderful portrait of courage. It is my prayer that in the midst of persecution, temptation and fear you have the courage to make God-honoring choices. Surely you will face lion’s dens of your own and if you stand up for what is right I have no doubt that God will honor your choices. David Jeremiah dissects Daniel’s courage in his book “Hopeful Parenting”, which Daddy and I read before Hayleigh was born. He says that Daniel was uncompromising, demonstrated conviction, maintained courtesy, exhibited unflagging confidence, and maintained consistency. This is a high calling but Daddy and I will be here every step of the way to help you. I want you to know that in everything, no matter how trivial or monumental, Daddy and I want to talk to you; we want to be a help to you.
You are a wonderful boy. You are only fifteen months old and I can already see that God has great plans for you. I see your independence, your determination to try and accomplish new tasks. I see your affectionate side and your desire to learn from those around you. Sometimes you are content with wandering around, trying things all on your own, and sometimes all you want is one of us to read a book to you or play with you. The dichotomy between both sides of your little personality are interesting to me. You are a mix of independence and co-dependence, of stubbornly being busy and persistently soliciting affection. Either way, you do your best to let us know exactly what you want at any given time. You are insistent and persistent. Traits which I can see God using as a leader who brings about change. I don’t entirely understand what is going on in your head yet, but I am sure the more you learn to talk and express yourself you are going to wow us by what you are thinking and how you interpret the world. I can’t wait. Well, in some ways I can. I am really enjoying this stage of life with you right now. I love to see your excitement at learning new things. You love to show us the parts of the body that you know or entertain us with your lion roar, dog bark or monkey call. Lately our house has been ringing with your laughter, usually brought on by your big sister. I love that. Your giggle is perhaps one of the most contagious things I have ever encountered. I love seeing you happy. I love watching you be you, and I love learning more about who “you” is. As you grow into yourself more, I have no doubt that it will be clear to everyone around you that God is going to use you in great ways-big and small, to further His Kingdom. It is my prayer that Daddy and I equip you to be the man of courage that you need to be to glorify God in this world today. I love you so much my sweet boy! I am so blessed and proud to be your mommy!