Sunday, March 17, 2013

To my son, on your 3rd birthday...

My dear little Levi;

I struggle even putting words to page as tears fill my eyes. It’s a special day today. It’s hard to believe that you are already three years old. It’s hard to believe because I feel like I’ve known you my whole life. Your short time here on this earth has defined so much about me that I don’t remember what it was like without you. Your little life has defined for me the true meaning of fear, the true nature of love, the true feeling of being broken, the true essence of faith. You are a treasure and a blessing to me, your mommy, and your big sister.

There was a time this past year when, in the dim light of the morning on the way to work, I was pleading with God to continue to protect you. You see, at that same time you were strapped in your car seat with your mom heading to Indianapolis for a checkup. No matter how many times we take you for these visits, no matter how well you do, how much you’ve grown since the last visit, how many times we hear the ‘all clear’ update from the doctor, these days fill me with dread. Utter, bottomless, consuming dread. Mornings like this one will always find me pleading with God. During this trip, with tears in my eyes, I was trying to explain to God how much I love you, a feeble attempt to use words to describe the permanent residence you hold in my heart and daily thoughts. In my attempts to paint a picture for God, I told him that I’d do anything for you. I clenched my teeth and told him I would die for you. Then, in the following silent moment of withdrawn breath, God whispered to me, “I ALREADY DID.” Remember this, my son. Remember that your daddy will fight anything that opposes you, any threat that rises, any menace you might face. Your daddy would die for you. But you are protected by someone greater than me, someone who already has. Keep your eyes on this One, as He will not let you down, He will never change, He will be the one who has my back while we both keep close watch over you. He’s the one who can save you, not me.

I love you. Thank you for your personality, for your crooked grin, your quick laugh. Thank you for making swords out of sticks, for throwing rocks, for splashing in puddles. Thank you for singing songs, wrestling on the floor, and whispering your nighttime prayers. Thank you for playing cars with me, for watching cartoons with me, for eating breakfast with me before anyone else is up. I hope you have a great birthday; just please be patient with me if my hugs are a little tighter today and my eyes well up from time to time. Happy birthday.