The Evolution of “Us” (A love letter to Kel)

This week I’m writing about marriage, mine mostly because that’s the only one I’ve been in.  I’m still working on the details, so for now I’m just writing a love letter to my stud muffin, the bacon to my BLT, the brown eyed okie boy who took my life by storm, The Kel.  

a goodbye, nose-smooshing, airport kiss.

Wow babe, six years eh?  Six feels like such an odd number, it’s not tiny and it’s not a multiple of five, it’s just… six.

Six years ago my uncle walked me down the aisle and we cried, you more than me.  We slow danced to a song about a broken road, not because it was popular but because it was just right for us.

We had no idea then how many winding roads we would take together and how soon we would fall apart, side by side.  In a way we both know that this is a getting up place for us, that for the first time since our cross country move, Noelle’s birth, My Mom’s Funeral and Caedmon’s arrival we have our bearings, maybe, probably.

And yes, we know that it could all change tomorrow…

We’re learning to laugh again, you and I, and we’re daily giving each other handfuls of grace, even on days when the sink is broken and the AC has gone out. We’re learning to look across the table and see each other as perfect in the moment, even in paint stained shorts and frizzy hair and always it seems, with bags under our eyes.

We had no idea what a marathon parenting would be, we dreamed it would happen in soft, hazy blips, but the constant march has been a steep learning curve.

So we’re perfecting at art of the “at home date” and the humor that can be found in just how wrong things seem to go some days. Such as babies who build tacos on their head and then poop on the floor without us noticing because we’re Just. That. Tired.

Mostly I just love you and lately I feel like I love you all over again in a new and fresh way that’s come clean of all my unfair expectations.  My heart is full of passion to love you as the man God created you to be.  I’m dropping all my silly notions of who you should become.

I’m seeing you beyond my own nose, taking you into my newly tender heart, surrendering to all the ways that I can’t earn or control love.

In year 7 I’ll keep buying you super hero underwear because I want you to feel strong in spite of all the ways the world can tear you up.  I want you to wake up and believe you’re able to work miracles in his name, because you are and you do.

As the days go on I say screw the lawn, forget the theological bickering and all the high expectations I used to put on everything.  Let’s just draw together, skin on skin in the moments of life, not as we imagined or planned them but just as they are.

And of course I’m half awake writing this, and of course you’re 1,000 miles away finishing up your masters but baby, I love you like whoa.

Bring on 7, 17, and 47.

My Son’s Voice

my Caedmon at the splash park in downtown OKC. I wasn’t prepared for splash play so my kids were the ones running through fully clothed in bulky regular diapers, ah well, Que Sera)

My 17 month old, Caedmon, has started talking, wowing us with new words daily. As I write he’s bebopping around the kitchen pretending to greet someone with a hearty “hello!” into his play phone.

He’s now named his stuffed elephantMamake” and his main two word string is “my eat!” He yells this often as he is always keen to eat whatever is available to him, including chalk and Q-tips. (which i try very hard to make UNavailable to him)

I’ve been waiting for that little voice, so sweet and still dripping with baby softness. Before I know it he’ll be walking in the door with his buddies, showing off his deep man voice and armpit hair. I’ll love him tremendously then too, but I’m guessing I won’t get as many kisses.

One of my favorite parts of parenting is unwrapping all the unique and lovely bits that God packed into their souls, the inner voice. Such as my daughter’s energy and tender heart, my sons determination help and be “part of the group.”

I want to love those around in a way that empowers them to be the person God created, not the vision I have in mind. This is universal for every relationship we engage in. Love is sacrificing what we want for what is best for our dear ones and this is always God’s lovely, perfect will for them.

It’s not always easy, we’re all so prone to want to jam people into our molds. But it’s our call to love people freely, especially when it’s inconvenient. Our natural drive is to focus on what we are getting out of every relationship we’ve engaged in, including parenting.

Yet if we all spend our time in a state of self focus, community would die and our world would become an even lonelier place than it already is.

So the trick is to hear the voice underneath the bad choices, the acting out, the hurtful words and peer through to discover the intentions underneath. Very few if any of us are walking around the world intending to hurt people for fun, it all comes out of something broken or buried deep.

We are all accountable for our actions and have to make amends, yet to correctly understand the actions, we have to reflect on the heart behind them. We have to learn to listen for the true voice in spite of the din and noise.

We all need this grace, to be loved and seen for who we really are in spite of all our faulty choices and painful words.

One of my deepest prayers is that God will grow me in humility, teach me to die to myself so that I can have eyes to see the deep voices and true needs of those that I love. I pray he makes my own true voice louder as the Spirit speaks to more of the moments I’m blessed with.

So I pray Grace for today, ears to listen for the deep voice in the strained moments.