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.  

Monday, February 26, 2018

 Jay is a teenager

Dear Jacob,

I just read the letter I wrote to you on your twelfth birthday and it referenced a time in the future when you would be taller than me.
 Whelp.  Here we are.

You've grown a lot this year - in so many ways!

And here we are.  You are a teenager.  It neither matters if I am ready for it or if I know even what to do with it.  You are 13.

We love you so much and as I feel this tug toward you and push against you I hope and pray I will always make the best choice in the moment.

I love getting to know you at each stage.  And it does feel that way.  You are still our Jay, but growing with your own interests, convictions, and thoughts.  I like it.  I like you.

I know our relationship is far from perfect. Far.  From me *always* being cold and you *always* being hot  - and down the line of all of our differences - we certainly don't see eye to eye on everything.  But I know we remain buddies through all of that.

I hope you know how much I care.  That my constant badgering about homework and Bible reading and taking out the trash (Insert eye roll) - ALL of it comes form this place in me that cares so much for you and wants success for you.  Not just success in you education and taking responsibility - although important.  It's a far deeper passion in my heart that my kids seek Jesus.  Every day.  Every opportunity, dear Jay - seek Jesus.

Thank you for putting up with a total newb when it comes to this teen thing.  I'm login to figure this out.  Eventually.  Like, maybe when you're 20 or something.

I love you Jay. I pray for you daily.