As is my annual tradition, I am writing your birthday letter. Yes, your birthday was three weeks ago. And what a three weeks it has been for you.
I think perhaps my busyness and inability to string three sentences together on your actual birthday was divinely appointed, because NOW - well, now I think the sentences will flow more coherently. This birthday letter was meant to be written today. It's not late.
It's time right now to talk to you about how brave you are and how wonderful these six years have been.
Someday you will look back on the week you turned six and all of these memories will come back to you. Turning six was fun and festive. You love everything about birthdays, so taking cupcakes to your kindergarten class, having "birthday punch" at awana, and going to Build-a-Bear with Grandma were all reasons for that huge grin you wore daily.
And then the next week happened.
Your first broken bone. You don't do things half way and everything is done with gusto and enthusiasm. So, obviously you would not break a bone delicately, right?
It's that call no parent wants to get from the school. Your daddy got it and he lovingly cared for you through the ER visit and the re-setting of your two arm bones. You may or may not remember all of this.... but rest assured you impressed all who came in contact with you. You took it all in stride. Quietly and pensively, but never breaking down.
I have often heard it said that a parent would take a child's pain onto themselves if possible. Sometimes it has been said in a cliche form. Of course I know it is a truth. My heart-ties to your brothers have already shown me there's no question about it. Anyone who has nurtured in a motherly way - whether it is through mentoring, fostering, adoption, or giving birth, knows this instinctively. We would take the pain.
This morning I held your body and cradled your little head as you woke up from your second round of anesthesia after your second round of setting those uncooperative arm bones. And as you whimpered and squirmed, tried not to cry, and told me that your arm hurt and you just wanted to go home I would have broken every bone in my body to heal yours.
Dear Malachi, there are a million things I could write in your sixth birthday letter. I could write about your stubborn will, your perfect giggle, your ability to get adoring attention everywhere you go, your already impressive work ethic, your endless chatting, your crazy bully-ish streak, your deep questions, and even your sparkling eyes - but I just have to pause here and write this one thing.
When I held you this morning all I could wrap my mind around was that God loves you more than I love you. And that thought was nearly unfathomable to me. But that feeling - the thought that I would break all my bones and break my body for your healing was enough to keep what God has already done for your precious little self, and mine, in the forefront of my mind.
He created you for some incredible things. By His wounds you have been healed. Don't ever forget that littlest man. You bring so much joy to this family. We are celebrating you and hurting with you, taking care of you, and praying that physical healing of that arm happens so very soon.
And mostly - We are so beyond thrilled to see evidence of God himself working in your young life. There's no greater joy.
Happy six, dear one.