This morning your mom has left us all alone to fend for ourselves. She’s drinking her morning coffee with a friend who wants to discuss how we’ve handled all the transitions over the years. Transitions that you seem to enjoy, perhaps even thrive off of. I appreciate that about you my little one. Anyway, I got to wake you up this morning all by myself. This moment has become the highlight in my days. Your sleepy/droopy eyes, your beautiful smile when you see me, the way you stand up in the crib while looking over the railing, and yes even that weird stench you leave each morning, reminds me of how great it is to be your father.
Someday I imagine that I’ll speak to you about mornings like these and how precious these times are. Hopefully, I can do it in front of your friends, or in front of the first boy you date (at age 30 like we discussed, right?). I do wonder though if you’ll remember these things. Will you remember the big smile I got on my face? Will you remember the way I danced into your room each morning so I could hear you laugh? Will you remember the song, “This is the day that the Lord has made,” that your mom and I sing as you wake? Will you remember fighting us while trying to change your diaper? I don’t know if you’ll remember these things, probably not, but I know I’ll never forget them.
I can’t imagine forgetting these moments with you. Hannah, sadly, the reality is that so many families have broken relationships with their kids. So much pain. I wonder if they once had these moments. Did they forget them? Did they stop caring to create these moments? What happened along the way? I think the reason is probably a bit different for each of these families, but somewhere from diapers to undies something happened. A great father of 4, and a friend of mine, once told me that a big part of parenting is capturing your kid’s heart. I feel like it comes naturally right now, but I know this won’t always be the case. I know that more and more it will take intentional efforts on both of our parts, throughout all life’s transitions, to create new moments to remember fondly. I hope I never stop doing so.
Every year we hit this point in the year and people start talking about what to give up for Lent and decisions are made to hit the reset in areas of our life where we need some refocus on Christ. This year I decided, somewhat on a whim and by Katie’s example, to give up facebook for lent. I’ll be honest, it was more about ridding my brain of extra noise fueled by pointless information about other people’s lives than anything spiritual.
At the root of it though, I want to continually be exchanging things in my life for better things. More peace, more wisdom, deeper contentment. But sometimes the choices I make or the things I engage in get in the way of what I know I am really after. To me, the practice of Lent feels like an invitation to seek quiet and peace amidst the choas of life.
That being said, I want to unengage some of my daily habits for this short season, in hopes that I can use that space for more reading, more conversations, some writing and an earlier bedtime! It has only been one day so far and I already realize how much I click open facebook or a blog when I want to distract myself. I had to delete some apps off my phone for accountability and I’m really glad I did because I reached for that thing so many times today!
This time of year is very meaningful to me because of some miracles that took place in the life of my family and God’s work of forgiveness in my own life over the past two years. Now that I have my own little family and am in a new role at home, I am trying to figure out what all of it means. This fall was all about finding a new normal and I’m not quite sure what the theme of this spring is yet. Something that Ryan and I have been talking about a lot lately is how to help me find my place while he is in school for something we are pursuing together. It is a new gig for us to have me in more of a supporting role since the first six years of our marriage were us doing our own thing to a large degree. We aren’t quite sure yet how to do it and that’s ok, even though it can be frustrating.
It seems easy as a stay at home mom to do a lot of comparing, wondering how others are doing things and in ways, focusing all of your energy on your kids. I get that and I want to care for Hannah well. But I also want to fight to pursue what God has for not only Ryan, but me in this season. I guess that is part of what the next forty days are for me as well. Any time that I normally would have spent online can now be poured into processing some of the things I feel passionate about. That’s where you will find me, processing, one nap time at a time.Read More
Or should I call you Hannasaurus Rex? That is our most recent nickname for you among other favorites such as Hannah Banana, Banana Girl, Bugsy and the retired, yet still endearing Scooter. We do the same thing with Toby boy (aka, Bubbsy and so on) so rest assured, it is a family thing. The reason for referring to you as a dinosaur? If you could hear yourself when you are trying to get our attention or your way, you would understand.
Oh Hannah. This month has been a game changer for your mama. I don’t know that I have the words sometimes to express how I feel. This month more than I ever I want to remember how you were as a little baby because I fear that little person is growing faster than my heart can keep up with. Is it possible that you were a newborn, curled up in a ball with bird-like limbs and movements? This month that bird grew her own little wings and spread them wider and wider by the day. You my dear seem fearless and determined to me. And as your mother who is not always fearless but is pretty determined, I see some of me when I look at little you. And it kind of freaks me out. Case and point:
You are finding your voice, finding your way and learning how to interact with the world. Sometimes that means you are fiercely indepedent and other times, you simply need to know that I am near. I understand. The frustration I think we both felt at times this month really made me reflect on how much I believe who you are is up to me. What I am being reminded of as a mother is that I am only here to help you develop and channel those things. In no way am I in control of them. A rough lesson for someone who loves control and I am surprised it has taken me nine whole months to learn this lesson. But who am I kidding? You were known from the beginning (Psalm 139) and I’m choosing to trust that all of things you are expressing and learning right now are a part of the person you are meant to be.
I am learning just as much as you are right now so we are in this together. God is starting to show me pieces of you and in the process, pieces of me are being revealed that I am working through too. When I feel overwhelmed, we pack up and go out for a cup of coffee. Or just a cup for you right now. My point is that sometimes you just need a different vantage point on a situation and when we go on dates, I can see this time for what it really is. A short season to learn from, laugh and soak up. Wasn’t I just lamenting that I can’t remember my tiny little bird? To coffee, conversations and being where we are.
all my love,
*find other letters to Hannah here
As you may have noticed, I have taken a little break from writing over here for the past week. Some space so to speak.
It wasn’t a concious decision but that space has been more than full of life as we have had several events this week, multiple late nights and throw plain old life in there and you have a recipe for needing a little break. I mean, we have been out of town five of the first six weekends of the year.
I am happy to report that I will be HOME this weekend. For that I am thankful. That’s all for tonight. Back to enjoying some space with a bowl of chocolate ice cream and a good book. Go.Read More
Ever feel like you have a monkey on your back? A project to do? A honey-do list that won’t end?
She knows how you feel. Maybe your monkey is wearing a hat too. Everything seems a little easier when you think of it that way.
Happy Friday to you & wishes that those monkeys wouldn’t bug you this weekend.