Alex, it seems impossible that five is upon us.  This is the first time that your birthday landed on a Sunday, just like it did five years ago.  Yesterday, we reminisced about a wonderful dinner with friends where a rowdy game of charades no doubt set me into labor and my water breaking later that night.  We remembered the big event at Dad’s church, the new sanctuary’s re-dedication, which ended up taking place without us…the new intern’s first day, forced to read Daddy’s sermon from the pulpit while also introducing himself for the first time.

Your birth was set in motion suddenly, unexpectedly, early….and 12 hours later, successful epidural in place, out you came, Mr. Azy, Alexander Zachary, firstborn munchkin, to the strains of “Stuck in a Moment” by U2.

Alex, you made me a mom.  I didn’t FEEL like a mom at first.  I know many that immediately experience this deep connection and get “it” right away.  I think I was still reeling from the fact that my water broke so unexpectedly and that I was still supposed to have a week before you came.

These days pass so quickly.  I have many nights where I savor bedtime, reading chapters from the Little House books.  Afternoons helping you craft some concoction from the many cardboard boxes and recycled materials you save.  Meal preparations with you by my side, wildly wielding knives, putting together platters.  Surprise parties you create with goodie bags and treats.  Conversations in the car about friends, school, the solar system, being a big brother, tips you learned on PBS Kids from Wild Kratts.  You are creative, you have a passion for learning and you care deeply about people and your friends, Alex.

Last year I shared about you turning four.  I had visions of what the “Year of Four” would hold.  The lessons to be learned.  The adventures to be had.  The conversations to unfold.  And all of those and many many more did, indeed happen.

Most, of all, though, it has been a hard, slog of grace-learning.  I would never want you to read this down the road, Alex, and think I didn’t love being a parent.  I so DO.  But being a mom is not easy.  Parenthood, more than any other endeavor, has challenged me to learn and practice humility.  And frankly, I’m pretty horrible at it.  I like time alone (yes, even ME, your extroverted chatty mom).  I thrive on a neat and tidy house that is picked up and organized.  I love having a predictable schedule.  Parenthood just doesn’t allow for much of any of those things.  But the other benefits so outweigh the challenges.  The one liners you throw out, Alex.  Watching you sing at your school performance or in church.  Crossing the street with you holding my hand.  Hearing you say that I need to love God more than I love you (as I’m bemoaning how QUICKLY YOUR ARE GROWING UP and MOVING AWAY FROM HOME and LEAVING ME!).

This week, I read a Facebook post from Anne Lamott.  She wrote:

“We are all pretty much in the same boat–

so ruined, and so loved–

much more alike than different.

Made of the same stuff as the holy spirit,

for the same purpose, to love, comfort, lift up.”

I needed to hear that truth this week.  To remember that we are ALL so ruined.  But we are also SO loved.  Our purpose is to love.  To comfort.  To lift each other up.  In my mind, when the unkept house or the explosion of Legos or bursting calendar seems to take over, I want to remember…..we are so loved and we are called to love.

So, Alex, as you enter into so many changes this year {kindergarten orientation last Friday was a quick reminder!}, know that even in the moments when you mess up, despite the times we are going head to head in verbal combat, in the midst of the disasters and tears and hard times… are loved.  And in turn, may year five be filled with chances to turn that back out towards others, to live into your purpose to love, comfort and lift others up.

In every moment, may you see life as an adventure, Al-Bug.  Be prepared, but once your supplies are packed and your head light on, let go, enjoy the ride and savor the community that surrounds you.  We love you so much, Alex.  Here’s a little video Dad made for you!

For lots of fun pics from birth to four and the long-winded story of Alex’s arrival, go to last year’s post here.

3 thoughts on “Five

  1. Pingback: Six | These Stones

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