Tuesday, February 26, 2019

 Jay turns 14

Dear Jay,

There you are above, a freshly turned teenager one year ago, and then an image from just a couple of months ago.

The changes that have taken place between those images are staggering to me.  I know you'll roll your eyes at that. ;) You're you and likely don't see it, but wow does life seem to speed up between 13 and 14!  I feel like I am getting to know you all over again.  The fully established teen-age you.  So, just be patient with me and I promise I'll keep striving to be patient with you.  K?

Like, I need to give you space, and I know that.  But maybe sometimes I'm still living in the past a bit and have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that we may be past the stage where going to the movies with your mom might be the most fun thing in the world? I'll try not to be too mad about the fact that I literally got in to marvel movies just for you and now that I actually am counting down the days till the next one, you don't really want to go with me.

Not mad

not mad

not mad.   ;)

I'm sure you feel like all I do is repeat stuff to you - like "take out the trash"

and "do your homework, and do your homework" and a million other repetitious reminders.....

Please, please know that this comes from complete love.  Of course this sounds stupid to your 14 year old brain.  But read this in a few years and maybe maybe it will make a tiny bit of sense....

I want to give you good tools because watching you use your mind (which I think is just brilliant) with these tools is a complete joy to me.  Because I want you to excel in the things your heart is set on and will be set on! Because I want you to know the joy of having responsibilities done and getting ahead! Because you are so much more capable than you know!

We love you, Jay!  You are incredibly important to this family.  I see days when you do not believe this and I would yell it for all to hear, if I didn't know that would be horribly embarrassing to you. ;)

I love your sense of adventure and lack of fear! I love your humor.  I love your straight forward faith. Your rejection of drama and conflict is admirable.

Parts of me wish I could actually remove all drama from your life. Wish I could make school easier.  Wish I could always see that bright smile, and never that downcast discouragement.

But I also know, that if I step back and let you feel, hurt, get uncomfortable, and learn - it WILL better you.  I know our God lives in you.  I know He is working actively in your life! I know he will carry you through, buddy.  As I step back, he will carry you.

As we begin this next year together let's try to keep loving each other well.  Wether that means stepping back, advocating for you, stepping in, hanging out, listening to music, picking guitar songs,  laughing together.  Maybe a few movies? Maybe? ;) I'm in it.

I pray that someday you'll perhaps see all of the behind the scenes stuff - the things I do regularly that are completely fueled by love - and KNOW that you know your worth and how treasured you are.

This year you have shown a lot of strength.
There was the teeth thing (shudder),
figuring out this whole 8th grade keeping up with school stuff (we're going to get this bud..),
Jazz band,
youth group,
A lot of new and learning and plenty of hard.

Remembering 14 years ago today - I worked harder than I had ever worked in my life to bring you into the world.  And that struggle started our slow and steady relationship.  You're one of my best buddies, Jay.  I pray for you daily, and love you fiercely.

Happy 14!


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

 Caleb turns 16

To our dear K,

The memories of 16 years ago are now pretty comfortable.  Like a favorite page in an old hymnal or a song that comes on the radio which you know all the lyrics to.

Our New Years Eve in the hospital.  

The hope and questions.

And your imminent birth.  That we all hoped and prayed would be delayed.....

But your tiny fighting body was one of the sweetest things I've ever seen in my life and somehow I knew we would be ok.

Even through the fog of fear, and a little shock, we reached for hope and acceptance.

Like a slideshow in my mind I see your 1.5 lb body in that plastic enclosure.  I hear the alarms and beeps and ticks.  It's all there, in that space of memory that is still fresh but somehow doesn't seem real.

16 years is for sure a blessing we couldn't have fathomed back then.

Your innocence is a gift - and we all know I don't mean innocence like sweet purity.  The Hutchison stubborn and McCallum temper morphed quite strong in you and we see those things daily.
No doubt there.
But the innocence of childhood that envelops your teenage form.
The things that stay with you much longer than they do with others.
Yes, I can see it as a gift as each year passes.
My little boy.
Maybe there is a Never Land and maybe we will cuddle and sing Veggie Tales for all of my days.
There are much much worse things.

So, my boy.  Sweet 16.
It won't be like pop culture or friends or the neighbor down the road.
It's more of an acknowledgment once again that the giver of life chose to grant our request that snowy night in January of 2003.
As your brother's life faded and you began the roller coaster of fading and rallying - he granted you both life.
Eternal life for Joshua and life with us for you.  We are blessed.  

My heart treasures these things just like Mary in Scripture.

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Lk 2:19

In my 37 years I have seen a few miracles, but this one - YOU - touched me nearer and was so interwoven with my life that I can't help but consider it sacred.

Happy 16 dear boy.  We love you.

Forever treasuring these things in my heart,


Sunday, December 23, 2018

 Noe turns 12

Dear Noah Benjamin,

I am so honored to be your mom. Really, I am.  I love your thirst for knowledge, especially biblical knowledge.  All the things I have settled for "well, we may not ever know the answer to that one..." are met with "Why not? I'm going to find out."  By you.

That both humbles and pleases me.  Humbled because I'm the mom and you're the kid . . . I'm supposed to know all the stuff, right?  but I'm pleased that you are more persistent and tenacious than me.  I am pleased by your insatiable quest for knowledge;  how much you love to learn.

This has been quite a year, huh buddy?  High highs and low lows.  Unbridled joy -unexpected lavish blessings, and bitter disappointments.  I have walked through these with you and you have no idea how much my heart bursts and breaks as yours does.  Because you are a part of me and I'll never be able to completely separate myself from you.  The way a mama is entwined with those she gives life to - it is marvelous and excruciating.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I will continue to watch you mature and be able to filter all of these big feelings.  These big feels of yours are processed in you so much like I process as well.  You're kind of my mini. I have already seen a great deal of maturity as you have experienced so much in the last few months.

The loss of hopes and expectations in what you were anticipating for your entrance into the youth group.

Competing once again on a world level for destination Imagination in engineering and shocking everyone by taking 8th place. I know few moments in your young life matched with that one.  Watching those final results live from the back seat in our van.  And I was right there, next to you - feeling every bit as anxious as the seconds counted down...

And then saying goodbye to your time in DI - and oh the emotions.  Your tears tugged at everything inside of me, but I know that I know that your daddy and I need to listen to God for direction for our family, and this was one of those times.  We know So.very.much. lies ahead of you.  Middle school, a brand new school, teachers, friends, building - everything! New opportunities.  You are going to soar in whatever you do.  We have zero doubts of that.

I can not adequately express how much I love you and how much I thank God that he placed you in our family.  That he thought us worthy to parent you. To nurture you, love you, and guide you.  And that we would learn from YOU and be loved by YOU (You do a good job of this).

You so gently were born into my hands.  You were peaceful and cuddly and soft.  And while much has changed from that day 12 years ago, so much is still the same.  Our Noah.  Our sweet boy.   I'm so filled with anticipation to see where God leads as you begin your 13th year!

Love, Mom

Monday, October 15, 2018

 Malachi turns 9

Dear Malachi,

As you stand at the starting line of your tenth year I want to just pause and say a few things to you.

You have brought so much joy (and chaos and energy and noise) to our family. You are such a gift to us.

I see so much good in you and I want you to know that.  I spend a lot of my time "in training" with you right now, I know.  I know it may feel like I am getting after you all the time.  But kiddo - let me tell you why.  You are gold.  You are incredible treasure. And so I can not - I will not - let that gold be tarnished by will and way and strength of flesh.  I would never chase after something I didn't care about.

Thank you for working so hard at the things that are important to you.  Thank you for caring for those who others may see as inferior.  Thank you for not even batting an eye.  The way you love people even shows me a thing or two (and a child will lead them...).

Thank you for giving your all in your school work - I know 3rd is a big jump! Keep going.  Keep reading.  Keep asking for help when you need it.  You've got a great village.  

You are loved.  You are precious.  I'm so privileged to be walking along side of you, guiding you, and listening to all of your ideas, hopes, and dreams.  

Don't ever forget that you are forever, first and foremost God's boy.  That in and of itself will get you through every challenge that presents itself as you continue your trips around the sun.