|Oli, age 6|
The worst thing about bed rest is the stuff you narrowly get to be a part of. Participating-- on a limited, slightly removed-- basis from life is somehow more maddening than not bearing witness at all, I think. From the couch, I tell Logan how many potatoes need to be scrubbed and added to the crockpot. From the couch, I remind Seven that it is time to potty. From the couch, I walk Jo through a recipe she's never tackled. I am here. My voice is within reach, I am present and accounted for, and yet ...
I have not rocked my baby girl, felt her head nuzzle into my neck, and sung her bedtime songs in nearly two weeks. I did not bake this year's first batch of holiday shortbread-- that honor went to Jo, who did a masterful job. I did not run up to help Atticus with his math conundrum. I am not washing up the baby diapers and getting them ready for our next sweet blessing.
And I did not put Oli to bed last night, or peek in on him as he lay sleeping, or hang his birthday streamers, or set up the display of birthday gifts. Others stepped in to fill those roles, and for that I am grateful, but also sad. Because, you see, my little man turned six today ... and I feel like only half a Momma right now.
It's probably (most likely) hormones. Or the inevitable "Another baby! How will I do it all?" feelings that sweep over me as I inch towards the moment when our family adds another soul to its circle. Or maybe it's the swirl of complicated emotions that we adoptive Mommas so often feel as we contemplate the rich road of brokenness, grace, and redemption that is simply unavoidable on the days which celebrate births we did not endure, yet somehow became our own.
At any rate, Oliver is six years old--and while I had a bit more involvement in the marking of the day than I had during his actual birth, I feel so wistful, such longing for more that I can barely look into his shockingly blue eyes without tearing up. He has had a fabulous day, one that truly couldn't have been any happier had we dropped him part and parcel into a candy store. He is delighted that this day is about him, and that finally, finally it is his birthday. He cannot tell you how old he is (we're working on that) but he does know the birthday song, and is quite delighted that everyone puts up lights on their houses just for him. Truly, the Lord placed this boy's birthday exactly at the right time of year.
So happy birthday, precious Oli. May this year bring you much joy, growth, happiness, and delight. And may you never forget that, even though your Momma has seasons of frailty, the Lord who created you never does.