Friday, August 26, 2011

Written Monday, in Preparation for Surgery

I’m having surgery tomorrow. I’m getting my tubes tied. I wonder where that phrase came from – did they actually tie the tubes at one point? Tomorrow I’m going to be cauterized, not tied.

Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t want any more children, I don’t. Not at all. Honestly. If you told me that I was going to have another child, I would cry. Ugly cry. For a long time. That being said, it feels weird to know that tomorrow I won’t be able to have any more children.

This will also be my first time having surgery of any kind. I know this is a common procedure, but it still makes me a little nervous. What if something happened? What would I want my children to know? What have I left unsaid?

I hope my children know that I love them. I hope they have seen that I’m not perfect, but that I’ve done my very best to love them and to accept them unconditionally. I hope they know how much they have taught me about unconditional acceptance. Specifically I want to tell them:

Chloe, that day when I was horrible to you and then apologized and you asked me if I was trying my best… You said that you loved me no matter what and that it was enough that I was trying. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to tell you how much that moment means to me. I’ve always been hard on you and I know you’ve questioned whether or not I love you as much as the other kids. I hope I’ve shown you since then that I adore you and I’m so proud to have you as my daughter. You make me look good because you are just such a naturally wonderful person. You make is seem like I’m a good mother simply by being you. The person you are is beautiful, Ooie. You are caring, responsible, thoughtful and incredibly creative. I am very excited about what you’re going to become. I dream of the Godly woman you will be, of all the people you will touch with your incredible spirit, and of the difference you will make in the world. I love sharing our passion for design, color, art and music with you. I just love doing life with you.

All my kids make me so proud. The Trace Adkins song "You’re Gonna Miss This" breaks my heart every time I hear it. The song is about appreciating every moment of the life we’re given because of how quickly they are gone. It also fills me with guilt because I know how many moments, hours, and days I have let slip by me because if being stressed, tired, selfish or for whatever reason. I have no excuse for all the times I’ve snapped at you, growled at you, expected you to be perfect, or ignored an opportunity to spend time with you. And while I deeply regret all these times, I can’t get them back. So, I pray that you’ll be understanding and accept me for the fallible, selfish human that I am. I definitely need grace – I hope that I have taught you to be quick to offer grace to others and I pray that you’ll forgive me for my abundant number of sins.

Nathan, you have always so desperately loved your daddy and I am so thankful for that. At the same time, you’ve definitely shown me that you have a soft spot in your heart for your mom. Well Buggy, I have a soft spot for you too. You are too much like me and for that, I’m sorry. I know that I’ve shared my anxiety and my worrier tendencies with you. I hate knowing that my little angel, my baby boy, is stressing and worrying about things that are much too deep and too big for him. I love that you care baby, and I don’t want you to stop caring by any means. What I wish for you is that you will learn to “look at the birds”. Remember when we talked about that? If not, ask Pastor Greg at church – he’ll tell you all about it. God cares for the birds – they don’t worry. How much more will he care for us?? You are an incredibly smart, funny, wonderful little boy and you are quickly growing up into a young man. I pray that you will treat all women with the respect that you are learning to show me; open their doors, carry things for them, remember “ladies first” and compliment them all the time. You are a blessing my little man and I love you abundantly. Even though it always scared me to think about it, I am proud to have raised a son who loves his country and who is willing to fight for it. Know that I am always proud of you, proud of who you are and who you will become. You have been created with a purpose and with many gifts. I love your spirit Buggy.

Each of you was created a Masterpiece. Just like the song that I sing to you – you are created exactly how you are supposed to be. God has a plan for your lives and He wants to use you to bless the world and to teach people about Him. You were created with your special talents and abilities specifically for this purpose. Don’t ever feel bad about the person you are – there is a reason for your personality, for your uniqueness --- and I wouldn’t have it any other way!! God did create you. And He does love you. You all know that. Don’t let anything that happens in your life convince you otherwise. There will be pain in your life – we are not guaranteed a life without pain. You know that, you’ve already experienced it. Just remember that through the painful times, there is a reason – God is growing you, He is using difficult circumstances to create character in your life. Think about it, that’s the way we learn – through uncomfortable situations and also through discipline. The Bible says that God disciplines those he loves. The same goes with your dad and I. We discipline you because we love you. It is because we want you to grow up to be healthy, responsible adults. And to keep you from greater pain that may come from certain behaviors. There are some days I believe that if I were somehow in charge and could change things, I would do everything in my power to keep you from ever experiencing pain. It is horrible for me to watch you go through any kind of pain – physical or emotional. But I have to remind myself that sometimes, it is for the greater good. That doesn’t always make it any easier.

I remember, for example, watching Boogie struggle with friendship issues with another girl and I know she got her feelings hurt but I didn’t step in because I wanted her to learn how to navigate that situation on her own. Boogie, it breaks my heart to see you hurt and to hear you cry. I just want to wrap you in my arms and protect you from every sort of pain. But I can’t. and honestly, you don’t want me to. I feel grateful that you have two older siblings who will look out for you as you grow up. Keep them close to you, make them your best friends… you are very blessed to have them.

I love how deeply you love your siblings. I love watching you hug and snug with them and I also love how you want to spend time with them. I know there have been problems with finding a way to split Chloe down the middle so that you and Nathan both have someone to play with, but I love that you all want to play together.

Jillian, you are my firecracker. You are passionate about life and about music. I love how you seem to be filled with music, even at the grocery store – you can’t help but twirl and spin. You are so beautiful and so strong – you are a leader, baby. Be sure to lead others in the right way and to use your leadership to benefit others, not to hurt them. You have the potential to be a huge force in life – whatever you choose to do, whether you really do become a rock star or if you decide to do something else. I know that you will be successful, if for no other reason than you don’t take no for an answer.  You are so smart, so very smart and such a joy to be around. You are my little angel and I love you. I can’t wait to see how you grow and learn – how you change and how God leads you to become a powerful woman. Remember though, being powerful sometimes doesn’t mean being loud or pushy. Sometimes there is great strength in silence and in being a servant to others. You are going to change the world baby, whether it’s the whole world or your corner or it – you are going to be a force to be reckoned with. I can’t wait to see what you can accomplish.

I know a large part of your lives growing up will be helping the family with Wyatt. And I’m thankful for that. I love how our family works together and helps carry the load of everyday life. Wyatt was definitely unexpected, but definitely a blessing.

Wyatt, my littlest angel, I can’t begin to tell you how much I love you. You don’t have any tangible experience with me loving you because you are so little. For that, I’m sorry, but please believe me when I say that I adore you. I love your little faces, your expressions and especially your smiles. Your smiles bring tears to my eyes. When you talk, your favorite sound is Ma. I tell myself that’s because you’re trying to talk to me and tell me that you love me too… I know, Mom can be delusional at times, but its only because I love you. I have no idea what God has planned for your life but I know what you’ve accomplished already – you’ve brought joy to my life and to our family and you have reminded us how God uses unexpected circumstances to bless us – even when we don’t understand them. You were not an accident – you were created by God to be a part of our family and I am so thankful for you. I love you, Beenut and I’ve loved you since before you were born. I’m thankful for you, not because you had to stay in the hospital necessarily because I hated seeing you in that bubble, but because you brought your dad and I close together again and because God used the situation of you being in the NICU to grow some of my confidence and assertiveness. I have come closer to being who I would like to be because of you, so thank you my little one.

Each of my children have so incredibly blessed my life… I just want them to know how much they are loved.

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