Happy 11th Birthday, Preston|A Letter
Re: Family; Faith
We celebrated a week ago, so today hasn’t seemed like a big deal. In fact, I’m writing this from the parking lot of the dentist’s office. You, in true toddler fashion, literally tried to run the other way when you got out of the car. I’m sorry, bud. This isn’t exactly a party.
I had a whole other post ready to publish today. Instead, I thought we’d talk a little bit about you. While I’ve not introduced you to this newsletter or my blogs, one day I hope you’ll read these words and understand just how much you are loved. It wouldn’t mean as much to you now anyway. Let’s be honest, all you care about is the $20 Fortnite card I gave you this morning!
I debated on making this a newsletter story. Typically, this is something I would post to my blog. (The issue I planned to publish today was on phobias and it’s pretty funny, so check back next week!) I decided to put it here because, well, I just want to.
From the moment you were born, you’ve been a blessing to our family. Your mom had a pretty rough time (physically) getting you here (maybe one day she’ll share her story with you guys). Seeing your purply, slimy, wrinkled, face made the intense pain worthwhile. She had a long road to recovery, (years of surgeries), which meant I got to step in and help raise you. I had no idea how much that opportunity would mean to me until about a year later.
Before you came along, Scott (my ex) and I looked into adopting another baby. We hit road blocks at every turn. I had developed a strong desire to have another child. To say I was frustrated and disappointed is a grave understatement. I questioned God daily. Yes, I questioned God. No, that does not make me a ‘bad Christian.’
When you were about a year old, my marriage ended and I moved back home. Your mom, nanny, and papa had a pretty solid system in place but, let’s just say, they were thankful for the extra set of hands! You were a handful. Some things haven’t changed. 😉 Helping care for you was an answer to my prayers. Watching you grow each day filled me with so much joy (& gave me a much needed respite from my personal storm). I knew then why God didn’t open the door for us to adopt again - He knew Scott would leave and I would get to love you.
You hear us talk often about how crazy our family is. How non-traditional we are. I know it’s not ideal. I know that if you could choose, you’d choose the (beach) house with a mom, dad, and a dog. Or maybe you’d rather have that bunny you’ve been asking for?
You didn’t sign up for these circumstances. Part of me is tempted to apologize, but the more dominant part of me wants to point out the (many) blessings in disguise. So many. You live in the house with four adults who think you hung the moon. Who celebrate you on more than just March 28th. We thank God every single day for your life.
You are kindhearted. You’re the one holding the door for the couple behind us at Stax on Friday morning. The one helping John Elliott (your 95 yr old BFF) up the steps and into church on Sunday mornings. You’re the one saving the frogs from the pool skimmer + freeing them in the creek down the road because they “don’t deserve to die.”
You’re talented. You work hard and excel at everything you do. We love watching you play baseball (even when you strike out) and skim board across the beach in your wetsuit.
You’re creative. Seriously the most creative person I’ve ever met. I’m not just saying that because I’m biased. I’m also biased. We’ve loved watching you dress in different costumes and morph into whatever character you’ve seen that day on television.
You’re loyal. Probably my favorite thing about you is how fiercely you protect your family and friends. I pity the fool who tries to take me out on a date one day (assuming someone will try and take me out on a date one day 😆). If I even mention the opposite sex, you immediately switch into beast mode. Endless questions and obnoxious eye rolls. I can’t get mad. You love your people so hard. I love watching how well you love Jackson. He looks up to his Bubby + imitates your every move.
I better finish this up. You’ll be done with the dentist soon. At least I hope you’ll be done soon. You’ve been in there a while. If I had to guess, you’re telling jokes and making sure everyone knows it’s your birthday!
Never change. Never forget that God loves you MOST. You are one of a kind and the world is a better place because you’re in it. I love you with my whole heart.