When I was a kid, my great-grandpa would write poems for us on our birthday. He was incredibly witty and thoughtful and put a lot of time into writing them. I’m not much of a poet, but I do share his love for putting pen to paper–or fingers to keyboard in this case–to turn thoughts into the written word.
My baby boy is two today! So although this is slightly different from my other blog posts I have decided to share my Letter for Lincoln: Year 2, on this space.
I’m sitting here, watching you sleep, and I can’t believe that we have had two years of knowing you. 730 days. 17,520 hours. More minutes than I can count. The days seem to mix together and often feel the same, but somehow the time has flown by and you have grown and changed so much.
Your father and I often talk about how privileged we are to get to be your parents. To hold you. To watch you grow. To guide you and teach you and love you. To know you.
Lincoln, the Lord has instilled so many characteristics in you that make you unique. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we could spend a lifetime getting to know more of what makes you, you.
And although there are too many things to count, here are a few of our favorite things about you:
You pay attention to details. You notice things that other people often wouldn’t because you are so incredibly observant. You notice when something is out of place, when a book is off it’s shelf, when there is a smudge of dirt where it shouldn’t be. You notice the details on your trucks, trains, and cars–the parts, the colors, the names. You take the time to study things instead of rushing through–one time I watched you go through a box of about 100 hot wheels, and you took each one out and mulled it over in your hands, observing every detail. You inspire us to slow down, to enjoy the moment, and to appreciate the little things that we so often miss.
You are empathetic. Whether someone is hurt, a baby is crying, or you dropped one of your beloved trucks–you always check to make sure that person (or thing) is okay. In a concerned little voice, you say “oh no!” and try to help in any way you can. We pray that the Lord will continue to develop this sweet spirit of empathy in you, and that you will continue to care for others when they are hurting–to sit with them in their pain and to be a reassuring presence.
You remember. Sometimes I’m not sure you are listening, but then you’ll surprise us, even a few months later, recalling specific details from a time many days prior. You remember who bought you each truck in your collection. You remember times when you felt scared. You remember places you have been, and you remember the people who love you so dearly. You often sit back and observe, taking it all in, and then you remember.
You are thoughtful. Your most-used words are thank you and we are learning to say please. You are gracious and appreciative and you teach me to appreciate even the smallest of things. You are gentle with little babies and are helpful around the house. I can tell that you are a deep thinker, and I can’t wait to hear more of what’s going on in your head as you learn more and more words.
You are resilient. You’ve been through a lot of changes during your little life. You came into this world not breathing after enduring 40 hours of intense labor. I praise God every day that you are here with us, and although I know that there is no medical reason to worry, I don’t know if I’ll ever stop checking to make sure that you are okay throughout the night. But you are strong, my son. You’ve been through the uncertainty of a pandemic, a job loss, a move, and a major renovation. Very few things in your life have been consistent for long, and we are working toward the day where routines will be steady and the big-life changes more sparse. You’ve handled the constant shifts with adaptability and positivity, but we want you to know that we acknowledge the changes you have been through and that it’s okay to express however they make you feel. You are strong, but all of your emotions are valid and welcome here.
My son, as amazing as you are, you are not perfect but you are perfectly loved by your Creator and by your parents who often don’t get it right. We have a lot to teach you but also a lot to learn. Although you look just like your daddy, I often see myself in you–your desire for perfection, your attention to detail, your frustration when things don’t work out. As I learn to give myself more grace, I pray that I will model for you that your worth is not found in what you can do, both for yourself or for others, but in the One who made you and knows you more than I ever could. You are fiercely and deeply loved, my son–not for your abilities or behavior or thoughtfulness but simply because you are.
As you grow and learn and change and as we get to know you more and more, may you always know just how much you are loved.
Happy second birthday, my love. The world is a brighter place because you are in it.
Family Photos by Katie Atteberry Photography and Kyra Noel Photography