Dear Eldest Son,
You and Daddy are away this weekend. I promised you that while you are gone, I would work on a blog just for you.
When I think of writing a blog to you, I wonder how I can summarize all that you mean to me and these past eight years we have shared as mother and son. I don’t know if I am skilled enough for the challenge, but I know that all you care about is knowing how much you are loved and how special we see you as. So, here it goes…
Precious Son, you have changed my life unequivocally. A little over eight years ago, you redefined me by adding a new synonym to my list: that of “Mom,” “Mommy,” or “Mother.” Before becoming a mom, I could only dream and imagine what it would be like to be a mother. I always loved babies so I anticipated having one of my own. I also had always enjoyed and worked well with children so I had dreams of having that same close relationship with my children.
Then, you came. No dream could compare to the reality of holding my very own child for the first time in my arms. I imagined crying when I would see you for the first time. (I cry when I watch other new moms hold their babies for the first time.) Your Daddy cried when he saw you for the first time. Me? I didn’t cry. I didn’t cry at your Daddy’s and my wedding either — even though our wedding and your birth and the births of your siblings were my most precious earthly moments. I think my emotions ran too deep to even express themselves in tears. I think I was simply too overwhelmed and overjoyed. The tears would come later…
Tears or no tears, I was amazed, overwhelmed, in awe! There I held within my arms my very own baby, my very own flesh and blood! You were so perfect, so beautiful! Your Daddy and I just wanted to hold you and hold you. We didn’t want you out of our sight for even a few minutes.
Within a few weeks, you were smiling and laughing. That made it even more special! You and I developed a very close bond. I could tell that there was a special connection that you sensed too. I remember dancing with you in the kitchen while special music was playing (a lullaby with your name in it) and looking into your eyes and seeing this look of recognition, this look of contentment and joy in your eyes. You knew you were loved. I remember feeling so completely in love with you and thinking that I couldn’t imagine being happier.
The months passed, and you grew. We played together, read together, cuddled together, and just simply adored being together. Life as a mother was simply amazing! I don’t remember you being unpleasant or me feeling remotely annoyed at you.
Life has a way of “shaking things up a bit,” and it did with the birth of your brother. At first, you didn’t think you liked him much. You liked him a little, except when Mommy had to feed him and you wanted Mommy’s attention. Then, there was a lot of frustration and tears on both of our parts. I didn’t know how to nurse your brother and keep you happy at the same time. That was a difficult time for both of us. Thankfully, it passed — especially once your brother started to crawl. Once he started to crawl, you saw him as a play-mate. You loved racing him around the dining room table (you would crawl with him). We fit into a groove then, and I once again felt that life was absolutely wonderful and ideal. I loved having two sons, and you guys mostly loved each other too.
At a young age, we began to see your personality emerge. As a newborn, you were demanding. I remember how you would get so angry when you were hungry that you couldn’t nurse at first. I would have to calm you down, and then you could nurse. Your personality seemed to mellow though, and you became a very pleasant and happy baby.
Those who knew you as a toddler would describe you as very personable, lively, and with natural leadership skills. You were thought of as athletic also. At two, you could kick the soccer ball quite well. You were very confident as a little guy. In the nursery, you could send everyone into fits of laughter by the funny things you would do. You knew how to entertain. You were also very conscious of what people thought of you — even as just a 12 1/2-month-old. I remember how I had you dressed in this adorable outfit for Christmas (bow-tie and golfer hat with dress shirt and pants). Two teen boys sat behind us and were laughing at you; they thought you were cute and funny. You thought they were making fun of you so you glared at them and then slid down in the pew so they couldn’t see you.
You talked well but then regressed when your brother came. Finally at 2 1/2 years of age, your vocabulary really took off. All of a sudden, you were talking 5 and 6-word sentences.
You were also very tall and still are. You have been in the 96th percentile in height for several years now. The doctors predict you’ll be at least 6+ feet tall once you are an adult.
You are now the big brother of two brothers and one sister. Daddy and Mommy have more demands on our time, but we still try to make time for each of you and to let you know how special you are to us.
You love to draw, write stories, play outside, read books or to be read too. You love to build with Legos, play make-believe games, play Wii, watch movies, be chased, play sword-fight, build things, and play soccer. You are an active boy, but you can also be calm when you are doing a quieter activity. You understand spiritual matters and can converse on deep subjects. You do your best in school and get good grades. You try to please your teachers and care about what others think of you. You can be tough but also sensitive. You dislike change but like adventures. You love scary rides but still love to be hugged.
These eight years haven’t been easy for you or us. It’s hard learning to obey and to do what is right. It’s hard learning to be selfless and patient. When you live in a larger family, our true natures come out more. That can be good as it can cause those rough edges to hopefully be worn off sooner than they would be otherwise. It does create more challenges within the home environment though.
Your Daddy and I aren’t perfect, and we have let you down at times. We thank you for your patience in working with us as we learn how to become better parents and as we learn to grow in our obedience to God and in doing what is right. You see, Will, life is all about learning and growing. It’s all about learning that the best way is in obeying God. It’s also seeing that God loves each of us individually. He loves you personally and intimately. He desires for you to have only the very best. He wants you to experience the fullest measure of life, liberty, and love — found only in and through Him.
W1, we are so thankful that you made a profession of faith! Your Daddy and I continue to pray for you to grow as a Child of God.
W1, if the one thing you learn (now that you are saved) is how much God loves you and you love Him in return, your Daddy and I are completely at peace and content. We don’t need to worry about anything else. Those two things will sustain you and preserve you through anything. So, Will, that is what we pray for you — that you would know God and His love for you and that you would love him intimately in return.
W1, there are so many challenges in this life. So much suffering! I wish I could protect you from it all. From my Mommy stand-point, I would choose a peaceable, pleasant, prosperous life for you. I also recognize that an easy life can often produce an “easy” faith. In other words, our faith grows, our character develops when we do have to suffer some difficulties. Challenges work our “spiritual muscles.” I know how much you love the story of Eric Liddell. He was quite an amazing runner, but it was his faith that “ran” even better.
Precious Son of my heart, can I remind you that you win, when you choose to do the right thing and to do it well. You are in a race — the race of life. Any race that has a valuable reward at the end requires dedication, sacrifice, focus, perseverance, endurance. No one wins a race by sitting on the side-lines. No one wins a race by watching the other runners. No one wins a race by giving up as soon as they break into a sweat. No one wins a race by dropping out when their muscles begin to tire. No one wins a race by living a life of comfort and ease. No one wins a race by quitting when they lose their first practice.
W1, I have heard of a simple but profound speech by Winston Churchill. He said, “Never give up. Never give up. Never give up! Never give up! NEVER GIVE UP!” Son, life is going to be challenging. You’ll produce tears and sweat by the buckets in this life. You will feel your physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental muscles strain and cry out for relief. You will feel yourself falling, and you won’t want to get back up. Others will mock or criticize you. You will be tempted to believe the lies that you are a failure and not special. The truth is you are — not just because you are my son (and that makes you very special) — because you are God’s child and He has incredibly special plans for your life.
Precious Son, lift that head of yours, throw back those shoulders, open those beautiful eyes of yours and see what God has planned for you. Breathe the life God has given to you. Take hold of His plan for your life, and run, Son! Run well. When you fall, get up again. When you fall again, get up again. Son, don’t give up! Never give up! Never give up! NEVER GIVE UP! You have a legacy, a heritage that no one can take from you. So, run your race, Son. Run it well, and in the end, you will hear, “Well done thou, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord!”