Three

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Drewske….this was you a year ago today.  Fresh faced and 2, ready to barrel into new adventures all with a side of “train”, please.

And then this happened at your party—-

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Mom determined it was time for cake.

But you wanted to play and not be the center of attention.

So we strapped you into the chair and tried to control the situation.

You had other ideas.

Stubborn, determined and OPPOSITE OTHER ideas.

I laughed that day.

And sometimes I still laugh about these moments.

I think that was a shadow of what was to come during the year ahead.

The year we have just wrapped up and shared.

I love how Daddy is pointing at the cake with the burning candle, restraining you.

You, on the other hand, are pushing back, clearly wanting NOTHING TO DO with that plan.

Oh, Drew.  It was probably there, hidden beneath your calm and sweet exterior prior, but full force fun began that day.

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You had plenty of smiles and antics and ya-ya’s to share—-just on YOUR terms.  In YOUR timing.  In YOUR way.

Maybe that is the hidden nature of age two?!?

Pushing forth, trying to discover your voice, your way and your self.

Always wanting to communicate, but not necessarily being understood.

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I don’t want to make a big deal out of some rockier parts of this past year, but each piece is part of the necessary journey.

October and November found you hitting a lot.

We weren’t sure if it was a space issue—

were you annoyed that other folks were trying to do the same thing you wanted to do in the same spot?

Or—-

were you lacking the words to say what you were feeling, and thus, responding physically?

Was your communication development on track?

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I write these truths here not to spill the secrets of your story without your permission.

I write them to remind us all that this year was full of lots of questions, concerns and yet also, many special joys & surprises.

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Sometimes when things are hard, confusing and unsure, it is easy to lose faith and turn inwards.

Instead, I feel like we had lots of helpers.

Friends who encouraged us.

Professionals who talked with us.

And adventures we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

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We ended up taking a break from school which was a good, but hard thing.

At first, it took some adjusting, especially for me.

As much as I LOVE being with you and Alex, it is nice to have a few hours to get projects and writing done without little hands interfering or constant conversation.

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God used this time to show me something I didn’t even know to ask for—-

the gift of time and adventures together.

As the second child, I am sure it can be hard.

You are the baby, but you often play “second fiddle” to your brother and his commitments and loves and energy.

Instead, you and I were joined at the hip.

We ran errands together.

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We started going to music class every Tuesday and usually took time to walk around and see the ducks.  We made lifelong friends in that class and I got to observe you in a group.  Sometimes that was hard as you didn’t always like to follow the plan or sit still.  You had the gift of an incredibly supportive and loving teacher, Miss Keyla, who also was one of Alex’s Sunday School teachers.  Keyla’s joy for music and children was incredible and each week’s class was a highlight of our week.

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music together

We did weekly park playdates with friends from church.  You formed some incredible bonds.  I don’t remember Alex having his little “posse” of friends at age 2, but church provided you with a wonderful group of buddies.  Not just “parallel play” friends, but get dirty, laugh, rough house, go on walks & have playdates friends.

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Buds

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Through these relationships, I gained some of my best friends too.  Moms who were going through similar situations.  Other bunnies with that same, unmistakable BOY energy!  We swapped tips, shared struggles and stories.  And laughed over all the crazy things each of you did.

We pulled Radio Flyers.

We pushed swings.

We sat in sand boxes.

We logged many hours at construction sites, following mailmen & chasing after fire trucks.

We shared over loud car rides to Happy Hollow or parks or museums or beaches.

We drank coffee and fed you-all Mac-n-Cheese.

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You went through an unmistakable hat phase.  Even wearing a wool beanie on a 90 degree day.

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And often chose other “accessories” to show your flair for fun.

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Following in your brother’s footsteps, you have kept us entertained and managed to stay quite busy.  From “lawnmowing” to lego building to cooking to completing puzzle after puzzle, you, Mr. Drew, love to engage and explore.

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You have tried new foods (s’mores on your first camping trip! & powdered donuts to name a few), had frustrations and successes.

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Even on the tough days, the hours that passed by so slowly, the fights in need of mitigation and the patience to be doled out—

through it all, you still managed to teach me so much.  I remember being so sad to miss one of the services during Holy Week.  It was Maundy Thursday, the service marking Jesus’ last supper with his disciples.  He washed their feet showing servant leadership and love.  And there you were, on that very night, too strung out to be packed in the car, taken to childcare allowing Mom to go to the service.  Daddy was preaching and I missed that too, but amazingly, you reminded us of it all.

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I had never seen you do this before, but you were insistent on washing Alex’s feet and later, mine too.

You weren’t old enough to get the significance of it, but your brother and I talked about it.

I love how you end up helping me see God in my day-to-day life, Drew.

**********

This spring, change began to be afoot.

We knew that you wouldn’t fully grasp what was happening, in the same way as your brother, but we wanted to help you transition nonetheless.

Daddy got a new job which would be taking us to a new state, far away from some of your grandparents, closer to others.

This move meant leaving our beloved neighbors, especially next door surrogate grandma, Jeanne.

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We planned fun things to help ease the transition, but I know the stresses of it all must have been hard.

Boxes being packed.

Goodbyes to be said.

Long hours on the road.

A new town to get to know.

And…..

the biggest hurdle of year two—-

CLIMBING OUT OF YOUR CRIB.

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This past August and September have been tough on us all.

You began sleeping in your “big boy bed”, which meant—escaping at all hours of the night.

And getting up at the CRACK OF DAWN.

For days on end.

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But, Buddy, like SO many things this year, through hard work & determination, we are making progress.

Things don’t change overnight, and thus, I’m grateful that you’re cute…

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….as it keeps me from going crazy when you randomly nap or decide to potty train yourself or get into various messes.

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You are making new friends and loving going to school three days a week.  And while insisting on doing thing YOURSELF, I do love your tenacity and determination.  It means my “baby” is growing up.

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We have a long way to go—and if I remember correctly from your brother, year three was often tougher than two.

You are showing me, with God’s help, that tough times aren’t all bad.

We’re learning and growing.

We are making memories.

We are sharing lots of gutteral laughs.

We manage to squeeze in lots of hugs.

And those harder parts of our journey have shaped & bonded us this past year.

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I love you so much, Drew.

I am so lucky to be your mom and can’t BELIEVE that it was three years ago today that you joined our family.

(recaps for age one, 2011; age two, 2012)

I keep watching you and wondering about the many plans God has in store for you.

The ways God plans to use you.

The chances we get to be along for the ride.

We love you!

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5 thoughts on “Three

  1. What a beautiful, joyful and hope-filled tribute to your amazing Drew. Happy, happy birthday to your sweet boy. We really miss you here – Luke still asks about Drew and wants to come visit. 😉 Happy three years of Drew to ALL of you! xoxo

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