Valentine’s Day – Seasons and Immense Joy

I’ve felt like we have been sinking for the past few weeks. My heart has been gripped in a vice of fear and despair. Peace has abandoned me for the moment.

I can be happy for just a brief second, and you probably have thought I’m fine, if you’re my friend in real life. I haven’t been. Don’t be deceived; I’m good at keeping up a front.

It’s been tumultuous. I won’t go in to it because it’s not beneficial, and my journal has been drained and badgered with all of it. Instead, I’m practicing love and thankfulness. I’m thinking through the amazing things that have happened this week, the blessings amidst times that feel hard and dry and quite like a desert.

Ethan – This week you disobeyed and deceived both your father and me, our friends, and your babysitters. You repented, we forgave you, and you sought forgiveness with Cars stickers, a tin of crackers, and a hand-written letter of apology. You showed your brokenness with a repentant heart, a conscience, and a demeanor of love and thankfulness. You pursued your brother in his tunnel and tent. You learned about spelling, studying, and listened to books on CD all week. You can’t get enough. You read and read for hours, focusing more where I’ve never seen you focus before. You are thrilled with a good book, hopeful about snow skiing, and giving to all of those around you. You love that kids under 5 love you, and they should because you push them around in their cars, you make their trains epically crash, and you encourage them when they trip over their own shoes. You talk and talk and talk about machines, trucks, cars, and anything with an engine that moves. I don’t follow but am happy to listen because you are passionate, and you are mine.

Martin – You turned one. It should be enough in and of itself. You completed one whole year on this earth, and it’s a big accomplishment. You have brought joy, pride, despair, tiredness, giddiness, contentment, peace, and questions to your parents and your brother. You crawl to the stairs in the morning and call for “Dah-Den,” hoping Ethan will come down, so you can give him your cheesy half grin with one eye closed and the other open, your gap-toothed grin full of laughter. You open-mouth kiss the dog daily, much to the chagrin of your yelling mother, pushing the dog away as you lean in, mouth open wide. You learned “high-5” and played in your tent as if it was a safe haven from the chaos surrounding your first birthday. You slept through the night all week, giving your over-worked mother a much needed reprieve. You snuggled when you were tired instead of whining and crying. Thank you.

Tyler – You worked, and I watched you diligently focus and accomplish a task to the best of your ability. You sacrificed time you could have spent watching TV, reading articles, or playing cards with me to provide for our family. I hated every moment of it, but I am so thankful we work each day together. Whether apart or in the same room, we focus on the same goals. Even when it feels as if we are on separate pages, you are there, and will always be there: approachable, sleepy, and hoping for little conflict. You are grounded and bring me back to some realm of partial reality when I float off into my imagination, into the stars falling down from the sky.

Happy Weekend, All. Happy Birthday, Martin. Happy Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day, or whatever you are celebrating these days.