Friday, May 4, 2012

For Caden at 9 months old

Sweet Caden,

Today, you are 9 months old. Well, technically, yesterday was your 9-month-birthday. And I fully intended to write this for you yesterday, but time got away from me. That's been happening to me a lot lately. For example, the fact that your sister is closer to four than two and that you are closer to being a year old than you are to the day you were born.

A day, by the way, that remains etched painfully and beautifully into my heart. Somewhere in the last few months, however, I've turned a corner from feeling like it happened just yesterday. Now it all feels like a distant dream. Like maybe it never really happened, maybe you never really had your chest cut open and your heart mended. The scar on your chest is fading every day, and as glad as I am for that, I'm also a little sad. I dont want either of us to ever forget where our journey together as a family has taken us. The way your heart was healed by God and surgeons. That our hearts were stretched and our lives were torn and mended by your journey too. I know our capacity for joy and pain has been enlarged, and that your scar and your first few terrifying weeks of life will remain a part of our hearts and story forever.

Now you're a nearly-normal nine month old boy. You're desperate to get into everything, but not yet able to crawl. Almost. You just can't QUITE get the hang of getting up on your hands and knees all at once. It's ok, I have a feeling I'm going to be IN-FOR-IT when you do get mobile, so I'm enjoying your immobility while I can. Because you are certainly my little fighter. Something I will be forever grateful for, but I'll tell you what buddy: those nurses weren't kidding when they told us we were going to have our hands full with you someday! As surely as you fought your way through those scary first 3 weeks of your life, you fight against sleeping and eating with just as much passion and strength. After epic forty-five minute battles to get you to fall asleep, you reward me with a fifteen minute cat-nap two or three times a day. I keep reminding myself that one day, sweet Caden, I wont be able to get you out of bed for school in the mornings. But then I have to remind myself that there's no need to rush ahead to those days, because you're already growing faster than I can keep up with.
You've started wrinkling your nose when you smile. And that habit, my boy, comes straight from your momma. And as much as I fear seeing myself in Jayci, wanting to protect her from hurt and ridicule, I delight in seeing pieces of me in you. You are the bravest boy I know, and I am proud and humbled to know you have been entrusted to me. So you just keep wrinkling that little nose, and I will grin happily (and probably wrinkle my nose too) each time I see it, knowing that you and I were created for one another.
Although you're still refusing to eat these days (we see a specialist next week), you've caught on to a few other tricks. Every time you hear music you start bouncing up and down and clapping delightedly. It's adorable. Seriously, squish-you-tight-and-giggle-with-glee adorable. And the way you laugh at your sister? Also adorable. She loves your fiercely. You are her first request upon waking up, and she never stops wanting to "hold you." Much to your chagrin, of course, since it limits your rolling mobility and, as I mentioned, you desperately want to get into absolutely everything.

You delight the neighborhood kiddos every day, they crack up at your wrinkly nose grin, clapping, and easy-to-produce-laughs. You have special smiles and babbles that I swear you reserve just for Zack and the other kiddos. We cant even let them hold you in church because you get entirely too loud and disrupt the entire thing with your cuteness (and no sir, I'm not biased in the least).  I cant wait to see all the ways you are going to teach the kiddos about grace, about our God who heals, and about expecting miracles.

You teach me so much every day my little stinker. I love to cuddle you, to lay down with you in exhaustion when I cant get you into your crib, to rock with you in the quiet stillness of the morning, while the rest of the neighborhood finally sleeps. I think and I pray, remembering how far we've come. And I dream about all the places we're going to go. I think of how you still have surgeries and obstacles ahead, and don't doubt for a minute that you are going to leap over them with room to spare. I know you will be hurt, your chest will be cut open again, your feelings with be wounded, you might get made fun of. Physically and emotionally, I cannot and will not shield you from that hurt. As desperately as I might want to, you have been the one who taught me that hurt produces beauty. That sometimes our deepest wounds heal us most fully. That pain and joy are inextricable from one another.  That shadows point us to the light.

Just as I entrusted you to God while you had your first surgery 9 months ago, I will entrust you to Him today. You are His, my sweet boy, far more fully than you will ever be mine. And I am resting today in His faithful goodness. In His promises of hope. In His love and tender mercies. In His grace. I will trust, as my friend Kathryn reminded me this morning, that He will be enough for YOU my sweet boy. No matter what you face, no matter your pain or hurt, He will be with you, with us, every step of the way.

I love you more than these feeble words could ever express. Thank you for being my sweet miracle, my reminder of God's grace, and a constant source of joy in all of our lives.

Love you,



  1. He is precious. I am so thankful for the time you have been given with him : )

  2. What a beautiful post. The pictures are amazing, he just gets more beautiful every day. Praying for a full nights sleep for you and for him!

  3. He really is the most beautiful baby! - Not to mention cute!!

  4. Beautifully written! And that wrinkle nose picture is way too cute.....

  5. That was absolutely precious...and so is he! Love that wrinkly-nosed little miracle boy!! :)

  6. Becca you are so wonderful, and have such a precious little family. I love reading your updates(when I can) and hearing about how awesome you all are doing in times of good, and even the bad. Your words have brought me to tears many times. I awe at your braveness in times of such fear. You are such a sweet momma, I'm glad to be following your story. :-) From Taci in WA

  7. Look how much his little face has changed in his clapping pix. So sweet!

  8. Love this! He is adorable, such fun pics! God is amazing. He is looking so much like his big sister! :)

  9. Happy 9 months to a beautiful sweet boy!


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