When 10 Became 11

Dear Sidney,

Eleven years ago today, in a still, quiet operating room, I heard the cry of a babies’ first breathe. In that moment, the sound of your voice became the song of my heart.

The years since that day have flown bye.




I am so incredibly proud of the person you are becoming!

You are everything good and perfect in this world.


You are strong.


You are passionate.


You are loving.


You are dedicated.


You work hard.



And you have a deep, abiding faith.


God has written the most glorious chapters for you these last ten years and he will offer another equally marvelous one in this your eleventh year.

I will be here to help you navigate the course ahead. I won’t always have the right answers (or the answers you want to hear), but I will try to live up to the title of  Sid’s Momma.

Thanks for bearing with me this last year as we have adjusted to some new-found freedom you so richly deserve. Promise me we can keep up our late night chats? I have found so much joy in those moments of cuddling and conversation.


Before your Momma starts the uncontrollable sobbing that you know is bound to happen on your birthday, let me end this letter with one more thought-

Always, always remember that you are loved beyond belief by your family and your God. We think you are one amazing person.


your one and only Momma

PS- I put a lot of thought into picking this year’s song for you. It had to be this one….








She found it in the hallway desk upstairs and wandered into my bathroom inquiring what it was.

The juice was gone. I told her the old iPod Touch in its  bright pink case needed energy.

She bugged me until I plugged it in.

Hours later she asked if it was charged .

Friends over, kids running around, lunches for monday to be made; I had a million excuses not to bother with it right then. Yet there I sat with her on the couch, one ear bud in her’s and one in mine and we watched the screen light up.

Heather and Ellie’s playlist

She giggled over the sight of her own name and in that split second I prayed I could hold it together.

The playlist made by a husband for his wife on the day she was to give birth to their third baby girl.

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That baby girl, now almost five, wanting to understand it; to listen to the songs with her momma and talk about what each one meant and how they were “written just for her”.

So we sat.

Van Morrison’s Into The Mystic


Brendan James’ Brand New Day


Pink’s Glitter in the Air


On and on it played winding one to the next,

thirty pieces of history in all.

And as we listened to the last notes, the final strains of the love story sung

there were no tears,

no heartache,

just peace over all that was and now is.






Summer’s end

I wish there had been more days of playing in the dirt.

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More chances to run through the sprinkler.


A few more nights spent running barefoot outside.

When the soles of your feet, at evenings end, turned the bathtub water black.


Our lazy days of summer are behind us.


It’s back to a world dictated by meetings, homework, practices.

Summer’s end always leaves me aching for more.

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This is family.

It is messy.

It is complicated.

It is authentic.

There are trying days.

There are moments of anger.

Mom and Dad no longer have the benefit of rolling over in bed, calling it a night and sorting it out when cooler heads prevail the next morning. The grace they give to one another now is not dictated by martial bonds but rather by the parental strings that tie them together for eternity.

It isn’t always easy.

It will never be perfect.

But it is family regardless.