Monday, August 6, 2012
I believe in the written word. I believe that spoken compliments and words of affirmation are super important for the ear to hear, but that the most faded ink is longer lasting and more cherished than the sharpest memory. See, over time, words fade in our consciousness and we forget the tones and enunciations that made the spoken word so impacting at the moment of its utterance. I'm not at ALL taking away from the fact that we should speak words of love from our mouths to the ears of our loved ones. But I am trying to fortify the fact that if written, words will never lose their power.
I think this is especially true when it comes to our children. Telling them daily that we love them is paramount to their development. However, there's day to day stuff that we tell them and they forget. Things we would like to capture for them to last a lifetime. Things that we want to freeze in time and seal away for them to enjoy when their maturity allows it.
I have a brand new nephew. My only sister, only sibling- gave birth to her second son last Monday. He is perfect. And he is mine. My sister and I have both an unspoken and a spoken "thing" that what's mine is hers and what's hers is mine. We share it all- from our deepest thoughts to our giggly children. When her first son, Legend, was born, I felt like a new part of me had begun. And as we add to our brood (me another baby in February, and hers last week), the love I feel for our kids intensifies. I've written each baby a letter. So, Cash Lincoln-- this one's for you.
Today, you are seven days old. This means you have experienced seven bedtimes, seven sunrises, seven 24 hour periods where your parents try to figure out what to do with your newness, and seven mornings now where I've awaken with you on my mind. You're super tiny, still. Your eyes are open alot- you slowly study the world around you in bite sized chunks while you nurse or while someone new cuddles you and rubs your face. We're still pretty picky about who all gets to love on you. You're defenseless and small. But, I can see there's a giant of a man inside you who is waiting to come out.
You are joining two sides of your family who love you as much as the air we breathe. Four grandparents who think you fell off of the throne of God itself. Aunts and uncles who have made it our life's mission to make sure you get the candy you want, and lots of sleepovers with movies, forts, and popcorn. A brother who will get you into more messes than you can count, but who will be your closest friend until eternity. And two cousins who think you were created just for their enjoyment. But really, this is about your Mom and Dad. I know it's hard to tell who's who in this bunch of people who love you. So let me make it a little easier for you and give you the break down.
They're the ones who love you most.
They're the ones who will sit up at night with you until you learn to sleep like a big boy. They're the ones who are responsible to make sure you are fed, changed, somewhat clean, and rested. They will be the ones who say "no" the most, and who will make you madder than you thought it was humanly possible to be. They'll worry if you come home too late, your temperature runs too high, or you don't eat enough at dinner. They're the ones who will drive 45 minutes to get you the pair of shoes you're wanting and watch their least favorite movie every day when you become obsessed with it. They'll teach you things like how to make your bed and how to play the guitar. They'll show you that a gentleman opens the door for all girls and women, even your annoying big cousin Abi. You'll learn from them how to mow the grass, how to walk your dog, and how to change a tire. You'll also "catch" alot of things from them- like how to be affectionate to your wife, how to pray, what it means to be appreciative, and how to look someone in the eye when you're talking to them.
Your mom worked really, reallllllly hard to get you here. But like the other boys born before you in this family, you had to switch things up and keep it interesting. Silly boy-- your head was facing the wrong direction and you were just too cozy to come out and play. When you finally came out, it seemed your daddy would burst with joy. It was a rainy day and everyone, especially your mom, was so very tired from waiting all night for your arrival. But when you came out, there was a special sunshine placed just in our room. Your tininess filled the space around you. It was almost like you were a dream. You're the 4th grandbaby on your mom's side of the family. But don't worry, Little One... you were celebrated just like you were the only one. We counted your fingers and toes, memorized your eyelashes, and smelled your sweet face over and over again that day, and the six days after up until now.
Every thing about you matters. Your feelings, your thoughts. The dreams you will have, the fears you'll face... All of it is part of your story and part of making you into the person you'll become. There will be days when you'll feel like you aren't important. Days when you'll be angry that Legend may be faster than you or Walker is bigger than you- but in those days, my prayer is that you'll be reminded of how very special you are, exactly like you are.
I know you're new here. Literally hours ago you were tucked inside a secret place that only your mommy could provide for you. But you have alot to learn- alot to experience. It's too much to say in one letter, but I think there's some things you need to know.
Life is good. It really, really is. There will be days when it seems like it's not. But those days will only serve as reminders that good days come next. And good far outweighs the bad in everything.
There's always something to celebrate. Birthdays are once a year. Unfortunately, so is Christmas. But there's 363 other days that are great to celebrate, too. Like making it through a whole day without sitting in time out. Or making a smiley face on your alphabet paper. Or making the team. Or that girl finally noticing that you exist. Celebrate big time. Because we celebrate YOU. You are a very worthy celebration.
Sometimes, people are just mean. In fact, they can be really sucky. Grouchy. Rude. And hateful. Not everyone will love you. Or even like you. But those people have boo-boos on their hearts. So be kind to them. Because they'll need you.
People are also very good. There are people who will help you, believe in you, trust you, and support you for your whole life. When you pass someone on the street, smile at them. They may be your future boss, or someone who just deserves one of your precious smiles.
You'll want to quit. Alot. Whether it's football and you can't take the burn in your legs anymore, or guitar practice and your fingers bleed-- you'll reach a point in your life when you're ready to throw the towel in. Remember that you won't become great at your craft without the burn. Push. It's worth it.
Some risks are worth taking. Not stupid ones, you little booger... Not like "Can we beat this train" risks. I'm talking about the "believing in yourself" kinds of risks. You're smarter than you think you are. And if someone has ever done it, so can you. And if they haven't ever done it, remember that someone has to be the first one. It might as well be you.
Sometimes, life just isn't fair. Someone will get credit for your idea. Someone will get the award you deserved. Someone will get a bigger piece of cake than you. That's just the way it is. Decide as early as you can to be okay with that.
Your brother, your cousin, and you will get in alot of trouble through your lives. But, you guys have parents who are looking out for you, watching most of your moves, and relying on the One who loves you most to give us a heads up for your stupidty. We will spy on you, listen to your phone conversations, check your text messages, and show up when you least expect it. And we will not apologize for it, ever. So, get over it.
You're going to think it's funny to throw lizards at Gia. Don't. Do. It. Trust me.
No one loves you more than God does. No one. And you may be able to spill cherry Kool-Aid on your mom's carpet and destroy it. You may be able to break a window with a baseball. You may find 100 ways to wreck a clean house in 30 minutes or less. You can even scuff up and ruin your new shoes in one day. But you will never, ever, ever mess up how incredibly much the Maker of life is in love with you, little boy. Not when you're 6 or 96.
Really, that's all you need to know.
I love you, Cash Lincoln Adgate. I always will.