Monday, October 29, 2012

Baby Will

Dear Baby Will,

You're here. Well, I guess you've been here for around nine months now- but I can now kiss your chubby cheeks and stroke your fuzzy strawberry blonde head.

I want to tell you a story surrounding your birth. This is a story that I hope will help you understand one day just how precious you are to me. See, I'd been checking on your mommy because I knew she had been having a hard time this past week. Truth be told, so was I; but for very different reasons.

You see, Baby Will, Aunt Andie had been kind of sad lately. A lot of sad things had been happening around her and she was kind of unhappy. In the words of your Nana, "Andie, you have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees." And she is right.

This world is a beautiful place and you get to grow up in one of its most beautiful spots! Each year you celebrate your birthday God Himself will be decorating the trees in gold, garnet, and shades of brown and green just for you! You will get to play in the woods with your dogs and drive your Mama crazy lookin' for you while you chase critters and mud up your britches.

I know this because it's where I grew up; it's what I used to do. I've been sad lately because I don't get to do that anymore. I have to be a grown up now. On the night you were born I was especially sad, especially tired, and especially ready for some happiness. I was by myself at my house waiting to hear news of how you and your mama and daddy were doing. I couldn't wait to hold you in my arms and whisper how much I love you in your sweet little ear. A little bit after 8pm that night, the night you were born, your Auntie A called me and told me you were here! I didn't think I wanted to see a picture; I thought I wanted to wait until I saw you for the first time. But I did not want to live knowing I did not get to see you on your birthday, so your Papa sent me the first picture I got to see of you:

And the tears came. Big, fat, happy, proud, auntie tears. I loved your innocent eyes wondering what in the world just happened, your chubby cheeks squished up while the nurses cleaned you and the look on your face- already planning what you are going to do with this one wild and precious life. Your Uncle Josh got a picture from your daddy while he was working at a football game, and he too could not wait to cuddle you and spoil you rotten!

So Saturday morning bright and early (it was hard to wait those hours... I wanted to leave Uncle Josh at his game and come up by myself!!) we hit the road to come meet you!

Not only was I bursting with excitement because I was going to do what I could only dream of for a long time, but everything was perfect. It's as if the Lord knew what a special time it was, Will, because the changing leaves on the trees were vibrant, colorful, and swaying in the wind as if in celebration of your safe arrival.

After what seemed like forever, we made it to the hospital. I greeted your Mommy and hugged your Daddy, and I got to lay my eyes on you... perfect. And then perfect took on a new meaning when they placed you in my arms. I became your aunt.

You are one special little boy. Your tiny ears, a little button nose, the sweetest most innocent eyes a baby ever did have. I fell completely in love with you! You didn't seem to mind hanging out with me either. You were breathing softly and sleeping deeply. I couldn't hog you forever. I wanted to; but I had to give you back. It's okay though because that freed me up to take some photos of you being welcomed into this world:

Mommy protectively watching over you.
Snuggles with Daddy.
You couldn't be a more loved little boy. There hasn't been a person to meet you that has not been moved by the tiny miracle you are.

After meeting you I set out on a mission: to find you a Halloween outfit. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and there was NO WAY you were going to miss having something to wear for your first Halloween! Luckily I found two.

Then the next day you came home! I made sure we got there a little bit before you guys so we could put up balloons and properly welcome you to your home. Daddy was so excited and beeped the horn a bunch of times as y'all pulled up.

Mommy brought you inside and you must have felt right at home because you let it all go in your diaper! You made sure we knew you weren't happy about it either, and I was privileged to help your Mommy change your first diaper at home! (And by help I mean stand by taking funny pictures)

Two very special people (to me at least and hopefully to you as well) got to hold you then. Your great grandma and Uncle Josh! I thought it was so heartwarming how Ma snuggled you close like the most fragile baby doll and imparted on you the love and wisdom only a woman like her could give.

And Uncle Josh was proud as a peacock! He got to be the one to put you in your swing for the first time, and he must have folded your blanket 5 times to make sure it was perfect! He loves you so much and can't wait to take you out in the woods huntin' with your Daddy.

I wish we could have stayed longer; but I take heart in the fact that I get to watch you grow. I get to share a very special place in your life. I hope to be the rainbow after your storms, Will, because that's exactly what you were for me.

You woke me up to life happening now. You allowed me to step back and see the forest instead of one or two trees. I hope one day to give you another special person in your life: a cousin. When God says so, I hope to introduce you to someone who will share in the adventures that await you. Until then- sleep tight sweet boy; grow big and tall. Listen to Mommy and Daddy, don't ever regret being small. Kisses upon kisses and love upon love. You are forever being protected and watched from above.

Lots and lots of love,
Your Aunt Boppy.

PS. Your Halloween outfits rock.

I love the "Mom?! What are you doing?!" look on your face!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Oh, how I wish this post were about a real fair. Rides, an array of life-shortening fried foods to choose from, bright lights, cheap thrills.

Instead, tonight I'm being vulnerable.

It's been awhile since I've posted. I have to say honestly lately my heart hasn't been into it. I whined some earlier this year when I was SO busy. 3 wedding showers, a baby shower, a wedding. Lots. Now that all of that is done it's time to decompress.

It's my favorite season.

My favorite month.

Waiting for my sister to go into labor with my favorite nephew.

My favorite fall flavored coffee by my side tonight.

And yet I'm incredibly sad. Is it okay to blog when you're sad? I would hope so. I love reading the blogs on my favorites list and soaking in all the greatness and motivation, but sometimes I get overwhelmed feeling like I need to rearrange my life and get it together so I can be happy.

Lately, I've been alone with my thoughts more. That's especially dangerous when I'm moody.

You see- I always had big dreams for myself. Huge dreams. And God placed incredible people in my life that helped me feel like I could achieve those dreams. As I grew and matured those dreams began to change and take more shape.

When I was a youngun in high school, I had big plans to become a Christian motivational speaker. I had it all planned out- I would have awesome hair with blue and red and purple and green streaks in it and I would have a rad wardrobe and be madly and hopelessly in love with and betrothed to a gorgeous punk rocker with a raging love for Jesus. We would tour the world and I would share my story with it; a story to help others who have struggled with feeling inadequate and ugly, a story to heal hearts and point to a Man who loves us more than we could ever fathom.

In college, those dreams changed slightly. Instead of being a part of some flashy music tour, my studly husband (oh yes- Mr. Punk Rocker was still there. Except at this point I decided he would have deliciously scruffy facial hair and a British accent) and I would instead be missionaries living on prayers and the things we carried around with us; sharing Jesus in the most destitute and desperate of places.

Well, Piedmont isn't Beverly Hills or anything; but it's not destitute. There is some red in my hair; the summer sun turns the ends a lovely auburn shade (that I can get away with now without dying because of this new 'ombre' trend. Take that, you dark roots!). My husband is from Taylors, SC and isn't a famous punk rocker. In fact he's just a humble servant for the Lord, doing his best however he can to help us survive. He does have some pretty sweet piercings and ink, and he can grow a sumptuous beard. There is a little punk rocker with a crush on me at school- I find it precious because when I was in school I never got a second glance. Now I'm old and married and middle school boys are always vying for my attention. :) I guess the part where I'm the teacher is the main reason, but still- puts a little more bounce in my step to know I'm admired.

My dream did not come true in any way but this- I get to share my story. Looking into the eyes of children desperate for an ounce of identity and recognition, I see a lot. I've been desensitized to a lot of heartbreak. I deal dry-eyed with things that my younger self would (and did) weep over. But I do get to share that someone cares. Someone sees the treasure inside the eyes that have seen beyond their years and will be there to cheer for their A in Math or their art project that won an award. And some days I go home ashamed that there's not more I can do for these children. I wish my home were big enough. I wish our bank account was big enough. I wish my arms were big enough.

The point of my sadness tonight- I feel the weight of life not being fair. As a child we dream of the days we are an adult- free to choose our own paths and to knock on the doors of our dreams and finally receive an answer. As an adult my heart cries out desperately for a shred of the magic I felt as a child, wide eyed and thirsty for this world full of wonder.

My life did not turn out like I expected, and while most of the time I feel blessed beyond measure that God would allow me to live this one wild and precious life, I can't help but tonight to be disappointed. To be sad.

It makes me long for things that used to bring magic to my life- making leaf piles, climbing trees, my nose running because it's cold and I don't care one bit because the sun is setting and I want 5 more minutes outside, sandcastles, secret emails, late night walks, catching snow flakes on my tongue, making up wild fairy tales to put Ashley back to sleep, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that red light I saw in the sky was Rudolph and I needed to get in bed and to sleep fast so Santa would visit.

I guess I'm mourning for the person I thought I would be; and grieving for the loss of the liberating innocence I had as a wee one.

Maybe one day I will find this magic again. Maybe my heart will soften. Maybe God will hear my prayers and allow me to make my husband a father. Maybe He will allow me to be a mother, because  to give my children even a sliver of the magic my mother brought to my own life would make me deliriously happy.

Just maybe.

I'm sorry I'm sad tonight; and if you read this entire thing- thank you. And please know if you ever want to be sad around me, my hugs are warm and my door is always open.