Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dear Lulah {year 3}

Dear Lulah,

Last month, on the 18th, we celebrated 3 years with you.  This last month my mind and heart have been full of thoughts about you at 3 and wondering if it is even possible to put who you are and what you mean to us into words.

Lulah, without a doubt, you make life better.

Trying to describe you just makes me smile.  You are simply so full of life that it all spills out on to everything you do.  When you laugh, you laugh loud.  When you love, it is fierce and intense yet so achingly soft and affectionate.  You are a story teller and a performer.  You are a quiet place, lost in thought and stillness.  You delight in helping and serving.  When you are upset, it's with a passion that could change the world.

You are my wild and free child.  You let every ounce of life and emotion move and roll through you, sometimes all within the first hour of the day.  You are not persuaded by expectation or approval, yet you are often aware and in tune with the emotions of those around you.  You just know how to be and feel the moment you are in. 

There are certainly times where my energy is drained from the teaching and the correcting and just the sheer presence of so much emotion.  But baby girl, it's beautiful.  I see so much of me in you.  You hold me to the kind of mother I want to be.  You keep me at the feet of Jesus in the best way possible.  You keep me parenting from the heart.  There is constant learning and stretching and forgiving and loving and laughing, so much laughter.  You give me a new perspective on life every day.  I am just so unbelievably thankful you are mine.

My prayer is simply that I never allow myself to get in the way of you being the you God created.    

You are a treasure.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Dear Ida {month 4}

Dear Ida Ruth,

Four months here and you continue to make it near impossible for me to live out of any other place then pure gratitude and contentment.  Some how you continue to get sweeter and some how I keep falling even more in love with you.  We all do.  With your constant wet slobbery chin and chest, your wide open gummy smiles, your wild cat sounding laughs and squeals, your bashful grin when you meet someone's gaze, your frequently increasing need to be chattering and spitting and blowing bubbles during your waking hours and with all your 18 pounds of squish typically resting on my hip.  You are such a delightful and peaceful baby.

So Ida, there is this certain space.  And it's my favorite.  It's a place I have occupied with all my babies, but with each one it's become more sacred, more treasured.

There's not a whole lot in my bedroom, but there's a lot that I love.  A vanity that was my grandmother's, where lots of hair gets braided.  Resting on a shelf above a long, short dresser is a wooden sign I painted for your Papa that says, 'We were together, I forget the rest'.  Next to the sign sits a pitcher filled with dried Eucalyptus leaves I can still smell as I walk by.  On top of a tall, narrow dresser, there's a jewelry box your Papa gave me our very first Christmas together.  Next to that dresser is a rocking chair that was my other grandmother's and it sits facing the corner of the room next to my side of the bed, a bed with a beautiful headboard built by your Papa.  Then there's a small wooden cradle tucked in the corner.  No matter how infrequently you use it, it remains my favorite thing in the room. 

At least once during the day, instead of nursing on the couch, sun room, back porch, or wherever else the beautiful chaos is going on, we slip into our room and close the door.  I lay you in the middle of the bed and curl up next to you resting on my side.  You usually giggle and roll onto your side facing me, full of anticipation because you know what's about to happen.

As you nurse, I sometimes close my eyes and rest.  Thankful for either your sisters peacefully and contently playing or for your Papa who sometimes works from home.

Other times I simply take it all in...

The perfect fit of your little body curled into mine, the silky softness of the inside of your hand, the satisfied noises you make as you fill your belly with milk.  I take in the peace of this room left simple and full of love and meaning.  The way it fills with filtered sun light because of the covered porch off the side of the room that holds the windows.  A large double window, framed with white linen.   Through that window I see the umbrella of branches of a 30 year old cherry blossom tree, the swings it holds, the mud kitchen where your sisters spend the majority of their days, and I can see the turquoise fence of our garden just starting to be filled with new green for the summer.  It's a bonus gift when I hear your Papa on the porch listening to music or your sisters giggling and swinging under their tree or creating forts in the azalea bushes.

Ida, your Papa and I have dreams and ideas for our growing family.  And it might not always include this room or this view.  So I'm going to keep soaking all of this in and sing thanks for every ounce of these days.   For all my dreamer ways, one saying I've come to hold dear and true is that the grass is greener where you water it.  So those plans, goals, and dreams for the future, those are fine and they are fun.  But it's these stolen moments with you that remind me that I have no complaints, it's the gentle shower watering the green of these days.  I treasure this time, in this room, with walls that just so happen to be painted a color named, 'tranquility'.