Eli and Andy playing at bedtime almost every night, making roads out of their bed linens and driving their lego cars.
June and Eli were playing at the school playground and another child started to harass June. Eli called out, “DON’T TOUCH MY SISTER!” (Way to go buddy!)
“You broke my day!”
(summer 2014) While playing a board game, Eli sits up straight and randomly says, “Captivated is when you don’t know where you are.”
What was your favorite part of our trip to Mt Lemmon? (2014)
Daisy: Spending time with family.
Andy: Going on hikes with Papa
Eli: When Papa fell down the mountain.
Eli kept complaining about how hungry he was. Finally he gave up and waited patiently, and then said, “Dad. I was waiting and waiting longer, but I just didn’t feel any food in my mouth.”
Seth helps Eli interact with baby June, “You should smile back at her!” Eli looks at June and says, “Cheeeeeeeese.”
Eli’s lips were super chapped this winter, so I got out the carmex. He cried and cried, and fought me, so afraid it would hurt when I put it on. Finally I got it on his lips. He sat up, surprised, and said, “Oh. I didn’t die!” I said, “Did you think you would die?” He just sat there looking stunned.
30 minutes after bedtime, “I heard the sun come up!”
Gee goo gee goo gee goo gee goo gee. Eli is the only baby I’ve known to speak baby.
Pregnant with Elijah
Home birth makes more sense to parents with multiple children. You don’t need to arrange for childcare for the older siblings; they can just sleep through labor, hopefully. Unfortunately, home birth wasn’t for us. And we didn’t know anyone well enough in Tucson when I was pregnant with Elijah to ask for help with his older siblings. Anyway, whoever watched Andy and Daisy would need to be comfortable administering Daisy’s seizure medication (a vallium, suppository drug) should she need it. (And then call and follow the ambulance to the ER.) Should I go have this baby by myself? Should Seth bring our 20 month old and 3 year old along? Neither of our parents could hop on a plane and be there as soon as I went in for labor. We lived too far away.
Elijah was a surprise. He was a gift from God that, at first, I felt sure was wrong for us and the whole business terrified me. Man, I how I cried. Daisy’s health, Seth’s journey away from the protestant faith I understood, graduate school, etc. These seemed like good reasons to not have a baby. Meanwhile a couple of my dearest friends struggled with infertility. I never accused God of being confused, but I was confused. Under His great mercy and as we approached Eli’s birth, I did turn, heavy-laden, and call on Him. “You are my Father. I need You. This is all beyond me.”
I was studying Isaiah with BSF, and at that point we read the king of Assyria sent a great army and took all the fortified cities of Judah. He then did not only send a creepy message to Hezekiah of what was supposed to come, but the messenger, a high-ranking military officer, taunted the guarding Isrealite soldiers about their coming destruction. Gruesome fear mongering and mockery of our God. He reminded me of the Mouth of Sauron, coming out of the black gate and basically telling Gandalf and company to give up and let Sauron win the war. Our enemy said it all to me too. God will not provide for you. God does not care about the well-being of your family. God is not listening to you. This is your fault. God does not see you.
See Isaiah 36 and 37 for the full story.
“Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.” (37:14-20)
It became my prayer. It’s a good prayer for one thing, but most often I had none of my own words. God gave me that unreasonable peace I needed. Not having a sitter for the birth was just the tip of the iceburg of the inadequecy we felt as parents. And the inadequecy we felt was only the tip of the reality. More real than all of that was/is God’s power and lovingkindness channeled to us, not only for Eli’s birth, but always. He brought my brother in town, unexpectedly, from Korea the week before our due date (crazy!). My parents and Aunt all congregated at our house to see my brother for the weekend. And God, who orchestrates all new life, introduced Eli into a happier, more loving company than no one else could have supplied.
Elijah is sunshine and laughter and joy. Our comedian. In the first year of his life, God regularly impressed upon me that when Eli smiled at me, these were His smiles. Here – this is for you. I wanted you to have this gift, because I love you.
And what a gift!