To Stinko Paco on his third birthday

December 30, 2011

Often, as I walk through stores and other public places with all three of you in tow, I see other moms with children both Asher and Haven’s ages but with none in between. And I get this little pang in my heart and think to myself: “Oh! What would I ever do without my Jude?!!!”  Oh Jude, our affectionate little soul, we are very much in love with you! You were a sweet little angel baby, though you progressed through all those early milestones a tad early for my taste. You were determined to do everything your brother was doing. So the progression from sitting to crawling to pulling up to walking, to running, to jumping was a crazy one. I laughed at your two and a half year check up when the pediatrician said, “Hmm, he sounds more like a a four year old than a two year old.” Yes, doctor, that’s because his brother is a four year old and Jude will NOT be left behind. I hear your toddler voice even now echoing in my head: “I’m NOT too yittle (little)!!!!”

You still ask me to hold your hand, to let you sit in my lap, to give you hugs and kisses. You beg me to stay with you in a room while you play, to read to you; you ask to help with every task I’m doing. You eagerly help your siblings when they need it. You even inquire so sweetly of me if you are helping God when you help your brother. And though I am often an impatient mom, I try to sacrifice my “get it done now with no nonsense” mentality and let you crack that silly egg and let you vacuum that one spot on the rug. And as you do, I stare at your sweet baby face with those sparkling blue eyes and deep set dimples and wonder what it will look like in fifteen years when you are a young man. And I say a silent prayer that you will still delight in helping others, and still delight in showing your affection, and still have that determination that allowed you to sit up on your own at four months and to pull up and cruise at seven months and to feed yourself lasagna at eight months and talk like a four year old at two. Oh, every mommy needs a Jude. And now as we enter your fourth year and you become more independent and more determined to have it your way, l will remember my gentle boy and be patient still and love that little guy who tells me after a wearisome discipline session, “Mommy, I love you ALL the time.”

I rejoice that God gifted us with your affectionate soul. And I say with Leah who named her son “Judah” all those years ago, “This time, I will praise the Lord.” And though you don’t know yet exactly what it means to trust Jesus to take your sins away, and though you don’t understand that for all your sweetness and helpfulness you simply cannot offer God the praise and perfect obedience he deserves, we pray that in time God’s spirit will move you to live up to your name and your life will be one that sings praise to God, YOUR God. We love you dear son. I cannot think of you without hearing your two year old voice enthusiastically quoting: “I will praise the Lord!” And I can’t hear those words without rejoicing to hear your young voice give praise where it is due, and without hoping to see my child’s life do just that. So Jude as you grow, praise God by loving others and praise God by helping others even as you are inclined to do now. And finally praise God by eagerly promoting His kingdom with that same ambition you’ve exhibited since infancy.

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