Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy birthday

Well baby boy,
It's your third birthday. I find myself restless right now. I should be asleep, I should be dreaming sweet dreams and storing up on my sleep in case your brother and sister wake up before my alarm goes off. Your brother especially. But instead, I'm awake and thinking about you.

Your birthday snuck up on me this year, baby boy. I was laying in bed, thinking about tomorrow (which is now today) and thinking about all that would be going on, when it suddenly hit me. Your birthday. It was like all the air rushed out of my lungs for a second. How could I forget your birthday? What kind of mother am I?

And then I took comfort in what your grandma Joy says-- Life is for the living. I have been living, my son. But just because I'm living, moving forward, healing, it doesn't mean that you are not in my heart, that my heart doesn't sing to you with every beat that is within it.

Pastor Rich had his grandson dedicated a few weeks ago. Oh Henry, it was a wonderful affair! All the family gathered around to dedicate a child to God, to promise to raise him in a way that honors God. Afterward, your daddy and I talked about you, about how you were in our thoughts and in our hearts. I went and got out your pictures, baby boy. I pulled out your hand and feet prints and marvelled at the perfection of them. And even though I cried, even though my arms felt empty, even though my very being ached for you, I still had to praise the Father.

You see, I don't have to worry about you, dear child. I ache for you, but I don't worry about you.

For some reason, baby boy, whenever I think about you, I think about Grandpa too--- must be because you are his namesake. I was sitting the other day, and realized that I was sitting in my thinking position, exactly the same way that Gpa used to sit during the last days of his life. Elbows on knees, fists under chin, staring into space. I had to smile and shake myself a little.

One of the things that keeps me from losing it completely is the thought that you are there with Gpa. I have to believe that. I can't not believe it. I know some people think that religion is a crutch. If so, I'm leaning on my faith so hard right now. I've got to think that you and Gpa are in heaven together. I've got to believe that you welcomed your Great Great Gma this summer with open arms, as I know Gpa did. I've got to believe that you're praising the Father and giving him glory for eternity. So I'll hold on to that thought. I'll hold onto Jesus, til I see you again....

Wow, I feel so rambly tonight. But I can't seem to let go.

I look at your big brother and am amazed by the depth of love I have for him. I listen to him talk, watch him play games, and am just generally amazed by the child that he is. My heart almost breaks when I stop to consider how much I love him. And your sister--- oh baby boy. She is a trip. She's sweetly stubborn, beautiful, loves the spotlight, and is everything I could ask for in a daughter. My heart almost breaks when I stop to consider how much I love her. And you, punkin--- I picture you as a three year old--- I think you would have been my child with curly hair, with reddish hair, and greenish eyes--- your brother and sister take after your daddy so strongly in those attributes. I can see your smile in my head--- so sweet, so quick. And I can see your face as you pout, with big tears rolling down your beautiful cheeks. My heart almost breaks when I stop to consider how much I love you. I know that I'll never know what you would have REALLY looked like, what your personality would have REALLY been, but I'm content with that. Somehow, I feel like I do know, that God has given me the images I need in order to find peace.

Baby Boy. My child. Have a happy birthday. I will kiss your sister and brother many many times today--- after all, life is for the living, and I will make sure that they never doubt how much they are loved.