Did you know that I have been writing you letters since the very early days of my pregnancy with you? Lots and lots of letters written in those days to a baby whose gender I did not know, to little ears I couldn't wait to whisper in and kiss, to eyes that I hoped would be blue, like your daddy's.
After you were born, I wrote you letters. Letters as I watched you sleep in your bassinet next to my bed, letters as you crossed milestones, letters on each of your birthdays--six so far. Letters as you became a big brother and a preschooler and a kindergartner and a first grader. Many letters.
But this is the first letter that I know you really understand. Someday, I will give you all of the letters. But I can sum them up in this: I loved you before you were born. I loved you the moment the midwife placed you in my arms, your eyes open wide and soaking up the whole wide world with your wise, serious glance. And I have grown to love you more and more each day, each month, each year.
I am so very proud of the boy you have become. I feel like turning seven is a very big milestone, sweet boy! When I tucked you in tonight, I felt as I was putting to bed a little boy and would be kissing a young man in the morning.
You are wise and bright and mature. You are fun and funny. You are athletic and handsome. You are a loving big brother, adored by your baby sister and cherished by your little brother. You are a sensitive soul, much like your mama. You feel things so deeply and are so empathetic. I love that about you. You have Jesus in your heart, which makes me most proud of all.
It is an honor for me to be your mom. I am so glad that we met that bleary-eyed early morning in November seven years ago. I am thankful beyond belief that you are my boy. I wish you everything wonderful in life, most importantly that you would grow up to be a man after God's heart. You are on your way.
Happy, Happy Birthday, Little Man.
I love you more than you can every know!
***photo credits-last three shots from gruman photography
See, if you look closely, those are our perfect plans....blowing in the breeze, tossed in the air. God keeps in mind our deepest hopes, but sometimes our grand plans are only minutiae compared to that which he has in store for our lives...
Ahh, the best laid plans are those most wholly turned on their heads, right?
Our family made a move from our first home to a better school district, hoping to enroll our kids (Little Man being the first) in a terrific charter school, emphasizing a classical education. We sold, we moved, we entered the lottery to get in and prayed and waited. Prayed for a clear sign that God's will would be reflected in the lot we were given. And it was #7 on the wait list. Which seemed....murky. Not super low on the list (like #200), but not "in like Flynn" so to speak.
So we waited some more. And wondered. And considered alternatives. We knew that we would prefer Little Man to be in a classical style academy. But now what? After much thought and prayer, that cutie pie and I felt that we were going to home educate if Little Man didn't get in. Which seemed IN-SANE.
I mean, come on. Homeschooling? Even though my most favorite roommate (who is, now, by the way a brilliant physician and beautiful and lovely and gracious and fantastic) was homeschooled, could we really do that? Would my children be as brilliant and adorable as she? And, really, could I handle it?
After lots of prayer and some real angst on my part, we decided that this crazy homeschooling would be the plan. And then, Little Man got into this school. And it seemed perfect. He looked so stinking cute in the uniform and the building was brand new and his teacher was a real-life version of a Disney princess. I envisioned the upcoming years with all three of my dreamy children (2 boys and a girl! So cute!) in uniforms, the boys with sweater vests and my baby girl in a plaid jumper with peter pan collared shirt. It would be perfect. I could go to the gym and lose the mummy-tummy and have coffee and cook amazing meals. I could almost taste the plan becoming reality.
Look, it's Little Man! On his first day of Kindergarten at the school I was CERTAIN he would matriculate into and graduate FROM in 12 years.
And then, it changed. In the end, our school wasn't a good fit for our family. We wanted more for our kids' education. And I missed Little Man like crazy. Crazy. Even on his half days.
So, here we are. A year later and we bit the bullet. We prayed and planned and prayed some more. And we're doing it.
Homeschooling our kids.
See? It's true. Homeschooling. In the flesh. Well, in the jpeg form of flesh.
If I ran into my 22 year old self and told myself, "Girl. Get this. You're going to be thirty-one with three kids. Stretch Marks? Oh yeah, you'll have them. And guess what else? You'll have books up to your eyeballs and math manipulatives and a platinum membership at the public library. You're a homeschooling mom, missy." I'm pretty sure that 22 year old me would run. Screaming. For. The. Hills.
And, truth be told, I wouldn't blame her. I still sometimes have that reaction. But I know that this scenario works for this little family.
This scenario, this little classical academy we are running with an emphasis on our faith is something that was SO NOT in the plans. But the best laid plans are really the worst laid plans when compared with those our Father in heaven has for our lives.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you......." God had a plan for our family. It wasn't our plan, but it was the best plan. And I'm so glad we're in on it! Later on in that verse He says, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
So, here we are! Home schooling and loving it. Not every moment, but the overall. I think I am learning the most in all of this. It is a blessing. And we are excited for the journey to continue, excited for the future that awaits when we are faithful to his plans.