12/23/2014 - Six months in heaven
Today you would be six months old here on earth. We are in Oregon for Christmas right now, and when your big brother Judah was exactly six months old we came for a visit here as well. I can so vividly picture him rolling around and doing his army crawl on Grandma Driver's living room floor, giggling and practicing his new clapping skill. He had his first major bump here too - he was sitting up and he toppled over and bumped his forehead on the fireplace. I remember feeling like such a terrible mother to have let that happen to my sweet little baby! What I would give for the chance to see you roll around on the floor at our feet and giggle and clap your hands... to kiss your "owies" better and wipe away your tears, my Theodore.
It is wonderful to be here with family, but there are so many reminders of what should have been. Judah is having the time of his life with his uncles and grandparents and you should be here too, meeting everyone and delighting them with your chubby smiles. The airplane ride here was so easy - Judah loved it. But I kept thinking... this should be more complicated. I should be carrying you in my Boba carrier while keeping track of hand luggage and Judah. I should be balancing you in my lap, nursing you during takeoff while I reassured Judah that the loud noise and funny feeling as we lifted off was normal. Missing you goes so deep, so wide, and so far. I feel it in every part of me, and in every part of my life. It's always with me, wherever I go... to Oregon, or to the ends of the earth.
On Sunday in church there was a sweet little baby accross the aisle, peacefully sleeping as the service went on. I ached to hold your sweet sleeping self. Judah was happy and singing along to the Christmas carols - there was a children's choir that sang a few songs, and he was dancing around and wanting to be up there with them. It was so cute, but my arms just felt so empty... I wondered what it would be like for you to be squirming in my arms, watching your big brother dance around and getting excited with him. And then, just as the congregational singing ended, Judah very uncharacteristically fell asleep in my arms. His face was squished up against me and he looked six months old again. He slept for the whole sermon and I couldn't tear my eyes from his precious face. God knew that I needed to hold a sleeping baby. It wasn't you asleep in my lap, but it helped.
The tiny flutters of your little brother or sister in my belly remind me that I was exactly this pregnant with you last Christmas... wondering what you would look like, and how you would change our family. I still wonder what you would look like now at six months old, and I'm still finding out how you've changed our family. This month I've found it hard to be content. I've found myself feeling like God is a puppet master in the sky... carelessly pulling on strings and jerking our lives around. How could he take our son?
But... how did He give His son? Knowing what would happen to him here on earth... knowing the frailty of human life, the hardships that he would suffer and the ultimate sacrifice he would make for all humanity. Still He sent Jesus to earth in the form of a tiny helpless baby, forsaking all of His infinite power, to suffer and to save the world. Christmas is the beginning of the still-unfolding story in which death itself gets killed. One day there will be no more death - no more perfect, sweet little babies will die an inexplicable death. This world is so broken, never have I felt it more than I do now. But no matter how wrong and disjointed and unbearable this world seems... one day, all will be set right. We will see you again, my son. Because God gave His son.
"Bless all the dear children in thy tender care
And take us to heaven to live with Thee there"
Six months ago today you were born into our arms for a few short hours, though your soul was in heaven. You were already in God's tender care. We love you, Theodore, and we miss you so much this Christmas. Sleep in heavenly peace, my sweet baby.
Momma, Papa, Judah, and Baby #3