Friday, June 26, 2015

love wins

To my littles:

Today is a good day. Today the country we live in became a more fair place. A more just place. As of today, same sex couples have the right to marry each other. Love is love, and love is equal.

Now, I hope that by the time you are old enough to read this you are thinking, "What in the world is mom jabbering about? Why wouldn't gay couples be treated the same as straight couples? Mom must be SO OLD to remember these ancient times." But unfortunately I have a feeling that discrimination will still exist in some form. That there will still be individuals and groups of people who are marginalized because of who they are, who they love, what they look like, how they speak. There will still be people who aren't considered enough. So this is important. Even if none of the other things I have every written matter to you, I hope this one sinks in.

Today was a good day, but last week was not. Last week was hideous and heartbreaking. A white man walked into a church and killed nine black people at a Bible study. He did it solely because they were black. His heart was filled with hate, and now nine families have been broken. You see, humanity has a long history of being afraid of what is different. We don't always understand people who are different. And many times, that lack of understanding coupled with the fear of difference leads to hate. Uneducated, unjustifiable hate.

My littles, I pray that you are always the ones with your hands outstretched to the marginalized. I pray that you never fear those who seem different, but instead that you seek to learn about and befriend them. I can guarantee you that you will always find more similarities than differences if you are willing to truly look. And even if you find someone who is so different from you that you cannot find common ground, do not respond in fear. Respond with love. Know that they are just as sacred and special and God-created as you.

I am incredibly grateful that our world was made better today. I am hopeful that your generation will continue the progress we are making towards true equality, no matter one's race or religion or sexual orientation or any other characteristic. You are each so young still, and I have no idea what your lives will eventually look like. I don't know whether you will be single or married, but I love knowing that your decisions will not be limited based on your sexual orientation. That your love will be validated, whatever it looks like.

I love you and I am so privileged to walk into this brighter future with each of you.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

6 weeks

Sweet baby Ellis, you are now officially six weeks old. How is that possible? I've been terrible at documenting your life thus far....honestly, I haven't written the first thing in your baby book yet. So before another week speeds by, I wanted to quickly let you know just how truly precious you are.

Ellis, you may be #4, but you are unique. You are already showing us that raising you will not be like raising any other baby. Just like your brothers and sister, you have your own identity and your own adorable quirks, and we are thrilled to learn all about you.

Here's what we know thus far...

You are not a car baby. While many babies love their car seats and will snooze away, you truly hate yours. You scream; you spit up; you generally protest until you tire yourself out and fall asleep. And this is really a pity because you are already on the go. We rarely leave you behind as we jump from one activity to another--you are quite the busy 6 week old.

You get held and carried a lot. Being the fourth baby, this may sound surprising, but I find myself just holding you all day. You like it; I like it. You just seem to precious to put down, and you fit right into my arm so perfectly. And when we are out and about, you can most likely be found being worn in the carrier. I've never worn a baby very much before, but you have quickly become part of my wardrobe.

You get very fussy at night, usually inconsolable. You want to just eat and eat and eat, and nothing we do seems to calm you down. But your dad is so patient with you. He is already so in love.

Your brothers and sister love you so dearly. Frances and Barnes love taking care of you...they talk to you and give you your pacifier and help with diaper changes. I wish I could capture the love I see when I find one of them sweetly comforting you or telling you a story. And Shepherd loves you too, he just isn't sure how to show it safely. He loves saying your name, and his favorite thing to do is help you bounce in your bouncy seat, but his bounces are a little too violent for a newborn. I promise we are doing our best to protect you!

You smell so wonderful. I don't know when that sweet smell wears off--you don't realize it's gone until it's too late--but I cannot get enough of it.

You are a champion nurser. Ellis, I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying feeding you. You will never understand, but you have given me an invaluable gift. I love having those moments with you and being able to sustain you with just myself. One of the sweetest parts of each day right now is when I nurse you in my bed each morning, just you and me, before we go out and join the craziness.

Ellis, you are so dear and already an irreplaceable part of this family. I am so thankful for you and the way you (most likely) complete our little family. I cannot wait to learn more about you and watch you grow and explore this amazing world.