Tonight’s blog will be brief. Today he arrived. Our little big man. Our first foster babe. He is perfect in all the ways that matter. He is loved by God, created in His image, destined to use his life to do good things. I cannot and will not share the reasons for his arrival into our home, what I can say is he is already well loved. He came to us with a note from his mama. She expressed her gratitude to us and her prayers for our family as her family works on the things they need to work on. This was such an unexpected gift to me. He also came with notes for us to read to him. Notes that would split your heart in two. It is so very easy to judge but sometimes people do their best, and it’s not nearly good enough, and they need some help. Please pray for us, for her and for our little big man.
Recently, while asking my children what they wanted to be when they grew up I got the following responses. Abigail twirled and then replied, “A ballerina!” Christopher put his hands on his hips and shouted, “A firefighter!” and Benjamin raised a finger to his mouth in deep thought and said “Hmmmm, a bicycle.”
When do we stop believing we can do or be anything?
I love that nothing limits them at this point. That same freedom makes them complete hazards to themselves but it also makes them absolutely beautiful. Their responses to common questions are the purest example. What do you want for your birthday? A paddy cake. What do you say when you ask for something (hoping to hear please)? I want something! What would you like for dinner? Ice cream and Nutrigrain Bars. No worries about judgement or consequences. No concern for societal convention.
We tell our children two very different things as they grow up. When they are little we tell them, “You can be anything you want to be if you put your mind to it” and then when they are getting ready to go to college we tell them, “That’s sweet that you want to be a Philosophy major but how exactly do you expect to pay your rent.”
We can’t live this pure unadulterated freedom as adults but what if we all dreamed a little more and worried a little less? Like so many other things in life, I think it’s probably a balance…..but for what it’s worth I think he would make the best bicycyle ever.
When Andrew and I got married we paid for one of those fancy videographers to come and video our big day. A few months later we curled up on the couch in newlywed bliss to watch it for the first time. Aside from getting a good laugh when we caught my maid of honor checking her watch repeatedly during our ceremony and when I sobbed extra hard during the “for richer for poorer” portion of my vows, we thought the whole thing was just so perfect.
We plan these fantastic parties to begin marriages but the beautiful mess that ensues after those vows are said is where the real magic is. As we celebrate seven years together today, I look back on all that has happened since that day, I cry and I laugh and I roll my eyes and shake my head and I thank God for all the blessings and the hardships. In these short years we have endured a layoff, adopted puppies, moved halfway across the country, produced three beautiful children, lost loved ones, bought our first home, changed careers, celebrated weddings, faced a major medical diagnosis, reconnected with family, laughed, cried and grown up.
We joked last night that we hope that our next seven years are not as eventful as our last, but I have to say as I think about it tonight I hope they are. I love our beautiful mess. I love the loss and I love the gifts we have received. I laugh at the plans we have made and how God has always had a much more interesting plan in mind for us. When I think about the things that have been hard, like being away from family, I can’t help but think about the family we have found here. When I think about those we have lost, I can’t help but be thankful for all the memories we shared with them. Has it been easy? Absolutely not, but it has been totally worth it.
So cheers to the finder of my lost keys, the cream in my coffee, the calm to my crazy, my love, my baby daddy. I love you, my sweet husband. Here’s to many more years of this beautiful mess.