4-year-old and I hanging out in the kitchen:
Nora: “So Mommy, what should we talk about? I know, let’s talk about husbands!”
Me: “Sure, what about them?”
N: “I wanna talk about how I’m going to get one. You know, in some more years.”
Me: “What do you think he’ll be like?”
N: “WELL. He’s going to be kind, funny…grateful. Tall like Daddy but more hairs. Not sprinkles like Daddy’s hairs. He’ll build things, like houses. And sometimes he’ll give me rings when I DON’T even ASK for them! And I’m going to get HIM presents on Amazon. As long as he doesn’t look at them first. He’ll hug me ALL the time and he’ll be strong, and caring, and…delicate. [Pause]…Hm, is delicate the right word?”
Me: “Delicate means kind of, fragile.”
N: “No. That’s not right. My husband will be sturdy. …Are you writing all of these down?”
Me: “Um, no. Would you like me to?”
N: “Yes. Write them on a list, please. Then when I find the man who will be my husband, I’ll send him over to your house and you can give him my list.”
I can’t handle this.
My husband, Kevin, went to Brazil for the first time 9 years ago when my oldest, Caleb, was one. I was pregnant with my second and could barely get out of bed or keep anything down. To top it off, Caleb came down with a stomach bug while Kevin was gone (with the rest of my family)…and it was rough. My heart was ugly and I remember laying on the floor watching my baby toddling around needing things from me I couldn’t provide.
I never imagined that almost a decade later, this same needy baby boy would be confidently boarding a plane with his Daddy, passport in hand, to finally meet these people he’s grown up hearing about and seeing and watching and praying for. His Brazilian family. People we’ve known longer than him and have watched grow up and have kids of their own. People parts of my own family now live amongst. A remote little corner of the globe that by the grace of God, looks so very different than it did over a decade ago.
I pray that my worries will be overshadowed by my joy. The kind of joy that comes from sending my child off to a place where so many people already know his name and have likewise seen pictures of him growing up. Where God has done big things that I’m praying he’ll see and understand. Where he can meet and squeeze his new little baby cousin who one day will probably help him learn a language he wasn’t born speaking.
And though I’ll miss him and his Daddy like crazy, I pray these people will teach him and change him and become HIS people too by the time he makes it back to me…
What anniversaries look like when you accidentally have too many kids, and leaving the house just feels hard…
Plan B= Putting your myriad of children to bed at 6pm, and dining on Thai food takeout while we reminisce about the last 11 years and pretend we’re not wearing sweatpants. And loving it.
Because this guy has my heart. Whether we’re honeymooning in Costa Rica, unpacking moving boxes for the 7th time, listening to our babies’ first heartbeats, remodeling our 12th bathroom, watching the sun rise over the Chesapeake, scrubbing little boy pee off the side of infinity toilets, sharing a bottle of wine over The Office re-runs, navigating IKEA, or daydreaming about traveling the world together… He’s just it.
The graciously strong and kind guy, God graciously and kindly gave me because he knew I’d need pushed forward, pulled back, and held up. And he knew I’d need someone as hilarious as Kevin who could somehow make all that incredibly fun.