|An accidental photo taken at the perfect moment during the quilt photoshoot.
Lake Powell, Utah.
My Little Big Man,
There you were. Plopped in my arms the first time. Quiet. Content. Your eyes closed as if you were just not ready for the big world, but peeking every so often to see what all the fuss was about. You took my breath away, I loved you so much.
There you were. Crawling around. Stopping to sit. Then you would turn around and give me that sneaky grin because you caught me watching you about to get into something. My heart would burst with love.
There you were. Toddling about. That perpetual “Oh?!” look because you were caught throwing the remote or phone in the trash. In that way you pretend that you didn’t do something...but you realized you did something naughty...but maybe I wouldn’t notice. I loved you so much, because...how cute were you?
There you were. A big brother. So sweet. So gentle with your brother Jacob. I sometimes was afraid you would strangle him with all that love you had for him. I was so scared that I couldn’t love a second child. That I loved you too much I wouldn’t have room. Your love for him eased me and I realized I didn’t have to split my heart. It just grew bigger.
There you were. Always in a dream world. Tossing stuffed monkeys up in the air. Lining up your Little People toys and cars. Playing video games in the grocery store aisle with your fingers moving a joystick that wasn’t there. I knew you were a daydreamer, but also needed a sense of order like me. I love that we had that in common.
There you were. A big brother again. So capable. So ready to teach your other brother how to be a big brother to Jonathan. A mentor. A leader. If a heart can have pride? Mine certainly does.
There you were. Struggling in school. Daydreaming in class. Fighting me tooth and nail to do homework. But then taking control in fourth grade. Showing me that you didn’t need me anymore. I knew then, that you were going to be ready for any challenge in your future. You understood success because you experienced and understood failure. You gave my heart confidence.
There you were. Scraping your shoes out in the dirt. Knees bent. Glove at the ready. Prepared to spring and catch any ball coming your way. Or standing at the line on the court. Spinning your tennis racquet. Ready to take on the biggest and baddest. You never cared. You were like a Titan. I loved your fearless heart.
There you were. A big brother again. You held your sister Jamie so sweetly. So gently as she passed. You had your heart broken. We all had our hearts broken. But you stood strong and made me laugh in the car just twenty minutes after I had just wailed my pained soul out at the entrance of the hospital. You made me laugh all the way home. I will always be grateful for that. You will always have my undying love.
There you were. Conquering what seemed to be the impossible. Acceptance to Strake Jesuit Preparatory High School. You changed that day. You became more confident. More capable than I have ever seen. My heart was less scared for you.
There you were. A big brother again. You knew how much that little boy was going to heal us all. James worships the ground you walk on. They all do. You are worth worshiping. My heart worships you.
There you were. Driving. Looking out your review mirror at me. Spending more time with friends. Locked up in your room. Separating yourself. Getting ready to leave the nest. Preparing my heart to let you go.
There you were. Hands shaking. Ripping open the envelope. Crying. Joyful. Thankful. Your greatest childhood dream and accomplishment. Acceptance to Marquette University. My heart soared for you.
There you are. Listening. Agreeing. Disagreeing. No matter what? Always there. Becoming the man you are today.
I will miss you. But I'm so happy for you and your adventure. Be the difference.