These last few weeks I've been wrestling with the fragility of life. The same day that we were celebrating Gavin's 4th year of life, these amazing parents were losing their baby (www.remembermaddie.com). The Spohrs have been on my mind a lot lately. Their beautiful baby girl was healthy and happy on Sunday, and then gone on Tuesday. It is scary. I want to hold my babies all night long. I want to do whatever is in my power to make sure that they all outlive me. But, it is not up to me.
Thinking about Maddie so much has really caused me to think about God. It is easy to believe that heaven is there and that God is waiting for us when we are not being faced with death. Or more importantly, when we are not losing a child to death. I know that this life is temporary for all of us. I believe with all my heart that God has a better place for us...that his son has died to make that place available to us. I know in my heart that as much as I love my kids, my beautiful babies, my love fails in comparison to the God that created them. And so, I am forced to remember that the God that loves me, the Jesus that died for me, loves the children that leave this world seemingly too soon.
So, my heart is with the Spohrs, even though I only know them through the blog world. And even as I cry now writing this and my heart aches for Maddie's parents who are forced to find a way in this life without her, I can also see her in my heart. She is with the One who created her, the one who loves her more than Mike and Heather could. I hope to meet Maddie someday. In the meantime, I know that she is lighting up heaven with that beautiful smile of hers.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I still remember meeting you for the first time...when they put you right up on my stomach. You settled in, took deep breaths, and grabbed onto my finger. We stayed like that for awhile.
You had a really bad case of acid reflux when you were a baby. It took 4 months and a trip to the Feeding Disorder Clinic at Emmanuel Children's Hospital to finally diagnose you. Basically, it hurt every time you would eat, so you would only eat about an ounce and then start screaming and writhing around. Within about 1/2 hour, you'd be hungry again and we'd start the process all over again. My heart was breaking for you everyday...I didn't want you to hurt and I couldn't make it better. They put you on Zantac at 4 months which lessened the problem, but didn't cure it and then when you started sitting up at 6 months, it miraculously fixed itself. Your personality did a complete turnaround.
You were such a happy baby after that. You loved to watch your brother play around you and desperately wanted to join in. Caedon pretty much ignored you for the first few months of your life, but once you started sitting up and laughing, he suddenly took in interest in you. He would bring you toys to play with and get right in your face and smile at you. You would laugh and laugh at him.
When you were about 2 1/2 years old, you developed a stubborn streak. You had been pretty even tempered up to that point, but all of the sudden, you wanted everything to be your way. You are like that to this day. You will argue with us until we finally back down and then, only once you have "won" the argument, you'll look at us and say, "Actually, I think you were right." Even though you are the younger brother, you hold your own with Caedon. You are best friends and love to be around each other. In fact, when one of you is gone, the other one isn't quite sure what to do with themselves. Even though you love to be with each other all the time, you still fight A LOT. It can be pretty draining on Mommy and Daddy, but I'm still so happy that you two are so close in age and so tight with each other. You will always have an advocate and friend to confide in.
You are such an amazing big brother to Aislynn. The two of you have a special bond. You take the extra time to get down on her level and play with her and make faces for her. She just adores you and gets sad when you leave the room. It was challenging for you to adjust to having a new baby in the house since you had been the baby for 3 years, but overall, I think you've done a great job of welcoming your little sister into your life.
You like to talk all the time. Sometimes, you get to talking so fast that your mouth can't keep up with your thoughts and you start stuttering. You always want a response to everything you tell us and if we don't respond immediately, you'll get upset and start yelling, "I SAID ....." You preface almost every message that you give me with "Mommy, I need to tell you somefin." It's awfully cute.
I can't believe that it has been 4 years. I feel like you've been a part of me forever. Gavin, I need to tell you somefin: I love you more than I ever would have imagined. You are my special brown eyed boy who can melt my heart with a single look. Happy Birthday Big Boy!!
Friday, April 3, 2009
After Gavin got put in time out for tormenting his brother, I went down to the basement to get the dry laundry. When I came back up, Caedon met me at the top of the stairs with this information:
"Mommy, don't worry. I had a long conversation with Gavin just now. I told him that he shouldn't throw fits because then kids will think he's a baby. I told him to remember this conversation for a long time. Then I told him he could come out of his time out now that we had this important conversation. So, now I know how to have important conversations and I can talk to Gavin every time he's in time out so that he knows what is right or wrong."
I replied, "Whose job is that? To talk to Gavin?"
Caedon very quickly responded, "Well, Yours, BUT I'm a big kid now and big kids can have important conversations to keep little kids knowing about what's right and wrong. You need my help, now that I'm a big kid."
I didn't have it in me to argue and didn't see Gavin anywhere, so I went into check on him in his room. He immediately looked at me and said, "Caedon said I could come out, but I decided to wait for you."
"Good choice, Gavin."
Thursday, April 2, 2009
(Eating your Birthday Cookie with Frosting)
I can't believe that it was a year ago that I met you for the first time. You came into the world quickly once the doctor told me that the cord was wrapped around your neck and your heartrate was dropping. I pushed, breathed, pushed, breathed, pushed, breathed without taking the usual break in between contractions. After about 10 of these pushes in a row, you came into the world! You were so tiny...the tiniest of all 3 of my preemie babies.
I could already tell that you were different than your brothers. Your cries were not nearly as loud or as frequent. You were wide awake, but calm and serene for the first 8 hours of your life. Then you slept most of the night.
You've kept that same disposition for this first year of your life. You seem perfectly content to be along for the ride. As long as you're included, you're happy. Sure, you have opinions and you let us know them, but usually you are pretty happy and mild tempered.
I was terrified to have a third child. I thought that I couldn't possibly handle another person demanding so much of my attention and energy. Thank God that He knew better than me. My life would never have been complete without you in it. You are a gift from God that I desperately needed.
Sometimes it is scary to think about you growing up into a woman...this is even harder for your daddy. I can tell when he looks at you that he would literally eat burning hot nails if it meant keeping you from any pain or heartache. Ultimately, we will have to trust the One who gave you to us. My prayer for you is that your heart will always be captivated first and foremost by the God that created you. May you always know your beauty in the eyes of your Father.
We love you Sweet Girl. And we are so glad that you are part of our family!