Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Look At Him Now - On Turning TEN!

Ten years ago today, somewhere in Kiev, Ukraine, this little man took his very first breath.

I wasn't there, but I believe in this first moments he felt love. His parents took him home, and I believe that for three whole months, Carter felt their love. When they decided, in September, to take him to the orphanage - I choose to believe they walked away from him in love.

I so wish they could see him today. Ten years old, and so proud of himself. I imagine they'd feel proud, too.


Dear Carter,

I think Year Ten was our best year, yet. We definitely had our struggles.

But all good things are hard.

We learned so much this year about how to love you and understand you. You've been an excellent teacher. So patient with us as we move through this life so quickly. But you take us by the hand, look us in the eye, and remind us to slow down.

So slow down, we will.

Today is your day, and I think if you could plan a birthday party for yourself, it would be at a beach. There would be a dock to walk on, a boat to ride in, soft sand, and clean water. There would not be one single bug or dragonfly. I think there would be goats at your party, to smash your cake (because you tell us about goats smashing cakes a lot, I think this is a funny joke of yours). I think all the attendees would stomp like Frankenstein (another favorite thing of yours) and we would yell "SURPRISE!!!" and "COOOOOL!!" at seemingly random moments throughout the party. There would be lots of cake (no tummy-ache cake!) and pie. All your favorite people would be there, and we would beach it up until after bedtime.

When we love someone a whole lot, we embrace their uniqueness.
Sometimes this means we have a toilet paper & paper towel birthday cake!
This sounds like a recurring dream I have. But in the dream, you turn to me and grab my face in your hands and say, plain as day, "Mom, I love you and I love life. I'm happy. Thanks for giving me a chance."

And sometimes I feel sad that you haven't or won't or can't say those things to me. But then you take my hands, look me in the eye, and we slow down - and thats when I recognize that there was so much of that this year.

Maybe you didn't use your words to tell me, but you told me. Maybe it didn't come out as clearly as you wanted, but I hear you. I see you. I feel you.

You're happy. You're loved. You're an expert at bringing joy into every situation, when you're given the space to do so.

Here's to a year of more space to bring joy. More space to be you. Who you are is big and loud and ON-every-single-second. But it's you we want, buddy.

On this extra special 10th birthday, we take a second to appreciate you for who you are and the value that you bring. You're somethin' special, kid.

Car-car, Cartsy, Carter B, Carter Keeko (I don't even know), joy bringer extraordinaire. Happy Birthday! Gifts and cake and grandparent spoiling were all part of your day, but what you don't know is that you are the gift.


We also wrapped up Third Grade this week. It's been an amazing school year with many successes. I purchased a copy of "Oh, The Places You'll Go" when Carter was in Early Childhood (over 6 school years ago!). Every year during the last week of school, I send the book in for the teachers to write notes to Carter. As I pulled the book out to send to school this year, I cried big tears reading all those words from that past 6 school years.

Almost every teacher's note declared the value that Carter brought to their life. I thought it was the other way around - THEY have all touched and changed our life. But instead, the overwhelming theme was that Carter touches. Carter teaches. Carter changes. Carter CAN.


We're walking in to summer with our ten-year-old fourth grader - feeling like we can accomplish just about anything together.

If only they could see him now.

 We feel what you're feeling. We see what you're seeing.


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