Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Letter to Alexander on His 5th Birthday

Dear Alexander,

You are five years old today. I've been feeling nostalgic all day, remembering the day you came into this world and into our lives five years ago. The months leading up to your birth were a somewhat tumultuous time for our family; we had to say goodbye to my mom, your grandmama Vicki, when she died of cancer about four months before you were born. I was so sad. But then you were suddenly here, and the sadness was swallowed up in love. Your precious newborn life opened my heart to love and laugh and find joy in ways that I didn't expect. You were God's very present help to me in time of trouble, Alexander James. I will always thank God for you, my precious son. Of all four kids in this family,  you were the very best baby. You brought us more joy that first year of your life than we could have imagined.

And now in a blink, you are five years old. For about the last year, your Dad and I have been working hard to understand what makes you tick, what motivates you, what you love,what you dislike and why. You are beautifully complex, like a 10,000 piece puzzle where all the pieces are frustratingly similar but only fit together one certain way.  God knows the incredible picture that will someday come into view when all these pieces are put together in just the way He has planned. At 5 years old, we are just beginning to get glimpses of the amazing person God has created you to be. Maybe we're just now seeing a 100-piece section of one corner of the 10,000-piece picture. But Alexander, I sure love what I'm seeing in that corner.

I see a boy with a beautiful soul where God is already at work. Last night as I was tucking you into bed, you told me that you do believe in God. You wanted to make sure I knew. I know you do, Alexander. I see God at work in your heart and I see the seeds of faith that He is already planting. I can hardly wait to see how those seeds grow as you become a man who follows God with your whole heart.

I see a boy with a deep curiosity and an expansive intellect. You taught yourself to read before you turned four years old. You absorb information at an incredible rate- your Dad and I are often surprised by things you have heard and processed and understand; you connect dots that we would not expect you to be able to connect.

I see a boy who sometimes struggles hard against life. It makes me sad to see your frustration when things don't line up just the way you think they should. I sometimes hate it that the things that don't bother other people bother you deeply and make life harder for you. It's difficult to watch you struggle with smaller life skills that seem to come easier to other children. But I try to remember that as you struggle between your idea of what life should be like and what it actually is, that the struggle is making you stronger, and that someday you will find your stride in this world. You will find your way. I will be there cheering you on when you do!

I see a boy with an incredibly bright future stretching out in front of him. You told me yesterday that when you grow up, you want to be a "geography doctor." You explained that profession as someone who fixes peoples bodies and body systems and who spends the rest of his time looking at maps. Your description made me grin from ear to ear. You managed to create a perfect profession to meld together your two current obsessions: geography and the human body.

But most of all, when I look at you, Alexander, I see my son. The one I will love forever, no matter what. I'm so very thankful that God chose me to be your mom. He has great things in store for you, and I'm waiting in great anticipation as  piece after piece of that beautifully complex puzzle snaps into place to reveal the big picture that is the life God has created for you. The sky's the limit, Space Commander. I can hardly wait to see your story unfold.

I love you,