Tall trees

Matthew is an arborist by trade.

He warned me once about the fate of some neighborhood trees. He spoke of how they would fall.

A new house in our community had been built; tall pines cut down to make room for it.

Where there had once been a rich forest only a few remained.

Matthew told me of how the trees that had grown accustomed to the shelter provided by others would now be left vulnerable.

No sooner had the first major storm passed than one of the remaining pines found itself on the brand new roof.

I think of Matthew’s words often.

The analogy fitting.

As we stand two years into building our family, I am reminded of how we predicted the rains and the winds, but underestimated the forest that surrounded us.

They can’t stop the storm, but they bear the brunt of it’s beating.

During a week when the forecast is particularly brutal, I find myself filled with gratitude for the gifts of those who stand beside us. May we one day be their forest.

Thirteen

January 12, 2020

 

Dear Audrey Hope,

It was just last month when I realized you had made that transition from girl to young woman. We were waiting for you to perform at your recital. I caught you in your chair taking deep breathes. I assumed your were nervous. When I asked you got a silly smile on your face and told me you were doing the breathing exercises your teacher had taught you. Then you walked up front, played your guitar and belted out your song. Your confidence in your craft was impressive, but more than that it was your independence. You had this. Why would I doubt?

So today beautiful girl you turn thirteen and I can’t but help remember the baby you were. Your Papi said you looked like a cabbage patch doll and with the round face and big blue eyes you really did.

You’ve been a gift from the moment your graced our world. You have always been easygoing.

You roll with the punches and you teach your rigid Momma to do the same.

Your world is big and your heart is even bigger.

Thank you for loving all of us so effortlessly.

The way you reach out to cuddle and care even when we are at our prickliest, is pretty special.

This year will hold great things for you, I just know it.

Keep in mind I am along for the ride. There will be more date nights, conversations about good books and dance parties in the kitchen.

I love you baby girl.

I am so proud to be your Momma.

Happy 13!

Love,

Momma

PS- In appreciation for both the words and the talent behind the guitar, it had to be Cat Stevens for this year’s birthday song.

 

Pause

It was one of those work days.

The kind that leaves you depleted physically and mentally.

The second to last turn made, less than five minutes before the end of one portion of the day and home to the next, but there I sat. The school bus and its flashing lights standing in the way of home.

Quickly calculating alternative routes and realizing none, I stewed.

This would set me back. Ten minutes now lost when I could be multitasking-prepping meals, answering work emails, trying hard to maintain eye contact with little girls sharing stories.

It was then that he appeared, the little boy, lunchbox in hand, backpack slung over the shoulders, bounding off the bus and up the drive.

He was home.

A few seconds later another stop, two little girls hopping off, running up the grassy slope.

The front door to the farmhouse opens. A little sister dances out. I didn’t need the car windows down to hear the squeals, the delight as playmates returned home.

Similar scenes repeated several more times.

Watching and waiting, my frustration whittling away to nothing.

I hadn’t realized the working women needed a pause, a moment to transition to Momma.

Someone else had and now the moments sitting behind the bus were preparing me for the moments yet to come.

Car in garage, ignition turned off, I was ready for home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday letter #1

Dear Sydney,

You are 11!

This year has been a joy. I’ve enjoyed every second, learning about who you are, what makes you tick.

The learning isn’t over. We get to spend the rest of our lives figuring each other out.

What I have discovered is that you are one hardworking, young woman.

Your dedication to schoolwork is incredible.

You have boundless energy. How do you manage to spend hours jumping on the trampoline after school and never get tired?

You’re motivated to try new things and you have a bit of wanderlust. I can’t wait to share that with you. There are places I want you to see and places I want us to discover as a family.

I love how you always offer to do Zoey’s hair in the morning,

the way you appreciate order,

how you put up with my stories,

and your newfound love of Kevin Henkes books.

But mostly I just love having this front row seat, watching you grow.

Thanks for hanging out with me this year, for putting up with me through all the transitions of the last 12 months and for making your daddy who he is today. No doubt Syd, you as the first-born played a special part in making him the man he is.

I love you so much.

I look forward to your new year.

Happiest of birthday’s beautiful girl.

Love,

Heather

P.S. of course you get your own birthday song. I promise I’m not going anywhere. Just hold on, this is home.

 

 

 

 

 

Raise them up

I’ve been their tour guide for the first piece of the journey.

My job to try to point out the potholes as they toddled.

They are now beginning the walk away.

I’m not going anywhere, at least I have no plans to, but the road ahead feels much more pilgrimage then it does all-inclusive guided tour.

Their own trails to blaze, their own words to write.

Adventures to be had with and without me.

The desire for this year is that they know themselves in a way I didn’t.

And that they and their new companions on this journey are led by the gentle promptings of God.

Happy 2018. Happy trails.