It was just yesterday that I was dropping of my big boy for his first day of Pre-K. And here we are, finishing up the year and I have a Kindergartener on my hands.
How exactly does it happen?
I reflect on just how much he has changed in that span from August to May. In all reality, 9 months is so short - its just the time it takes for someone to have a pregnancy, the time it takes for people to safely lose weight, and its the amount of time it takes to get a copyright. In that time though, big C has had a birthday, a few good holidays and all the seasons in between.
When I dropped him off for his first day of Pre-K, he was still three. He was shorter, ornery, and huggable. He liked extra cuddle time, he needed help making every little decision and he was learning about his personal choices and consequences. He adored spending time with my best friend, Andi. She would come and play angry birds with him on the iPad, give him hugs and build marble tracks with him. He loved it.
He's so big now, the boy that made me a mom.
So opinionated. He moves so quickly, is tall, and is four. He's a great big brother, often sharing with his brother or pointing out the new things his brother has learned. He prays nightly for his friend Andi that he misses, and prays for her family. Every. Single. Night.
He is the most tender hearted, compassionate guy when it comes to his loved ones. He loves stairs, thrives on routine, and still is addicted to his morning sippy cup with milk. (Daddy swears the milk doesn't taste the same if you take the sippy away, so I guess it will stay for now).
Caysen has changed too. He went from just learning how to walk, to trying to run. He went from no teeth, to 12 teeth. (only 4 on the bottom!) He went from super short and barely growing to gaining inches. He went from barely talking to nodding yes and no, signing more and speaking more clearly. He went from crying at drop off to church nursery, to walking in and waving bye, as he's ready to play with their toys. He went from crying in swimming lessons to begging for more, wanting to jump off the side over and over.
I look at how my life has changed. I stopped pumping for Caysen in that time, dealt with another winter, learned how to shoot a gun, took on an intern at work, and Caysen got his first real sick bug, which was super scary for a bit because of course all the signs of sickness are also the signs of heart failure. I learned the importance of a good strong hug. I learned the importance of appreciating others. I learned that I desperately love thieves essential oil to help with any sickies. And, I lost my very best friend, in an incredibly unexpected and painful change to the story that I had pictured in my head. Through her loss, I gained a new best friend. I researched more than you would imagine about health concerns and HLHS. I cried more than I ever thought possible. It's hard to describe the changes that are so small yet they seem like something insurmountable, but really, things are just SO different.
When I think back to where I was in August, I NEVER would have pictured this road. The way things have changed. Doing life so differently than I was before, yet still so similiar.
God has a plan. He knows what he is doing, and He knows better than I do about what will come and what is to be. I have to trust in Him. Trust in the path he is taking us on. Trust that this road that we are taking, this one that I didn't picture, is indeed the perfect path.
God always has different ways of drawing us near, bringing us back to Him. In those moments when we feel alone, those most painful nights, God is closer than we can imagine. He is over everything, walking us through it, by our side. Like it says in Exodus 14:14 - The Lord will fight for you, You need only be still. And in those dark moments, he is fighting to draw you close.
2 years ago in May, I started having health problems while pregnant with Caysen, including loss of vision. If you had told me 2 years ago that this is the road we would travel and the path we would take, if you were to tell me all the things that were to happen to us in that time, including heart defects, open heart surgeries and traveling across the country for medical care; I would NEVER in a million years believe you. I wouldn't believe the people that have come into my life. In the same respects I wouldn't believe the ones that have gone WAY too soon, jerked so painfully out of my life that the hurt remains. I wouldn't believe the things we have seen and done, or the things we have put our kids through. It would be hard to fathom what we as a family could survive and endure; and how we could grow our faith like we have.
But God is good, and always good. We will shout it from the rooftops, just what he has given us. Best friends that save our child's life. (I mean, how many people can say that?) A child that we can look at and just appreciate how far he has come in a short time, that is nothing short of a miracle. Friends, family, and another day to share His great love, and to love each other. Take it all in, friends. If you learn anything from me, please don't miss that! Time here is short, be thankful for what you have loved, and for what you have loved and lost.
It can be so easy to wall off, close up, shut everything inward. But no, we are supposed to share burdens, love unconditionally and speak life into one another.
So thankful for the last nine months. For the growth as a family. When I reflect back, I am sure to cherish each step. Because in those 9 months I learned just how quickly life can change, and how short our time is here.
So...how are you using your time?