(This post is a few weeks late, as it took me a while to get photos of Sam.)
I remember that September morning. It was one of those clean fall days with blue skies and sunshine. One of those days when I usually get a burst of energy and start my fall housecleaning. But on that day, September 11, I was all weight and fatigue, heavy with squirming life.
I remember that morning. I was cleaning up an apple juice spill when the phone rang. The news was breaking and Steve told me it was unbelievable. I turned on the tv and terror’s story unfolded right before our eyes. Airplanes. The World Trade Center. The Pentagon. Pennsylvania. I quickly switched off the tv, longing to shield my children from any image of the horror on the screen. And I went back to my sticky floor, going through the motions. Washing and rinsing. Adding my own tears to the water on the floor. Longing to be clean in a world that was darkened with evil.
A few weeks later, as our nation still shook with grief, I delivered a son . . . all eight pounds of him. The air filled his lungs and we both cried. There was a sudden pairing of grief and joy, and a surge of relief that life is sweeter than death.
It has been twelve years since that October evening. Those twelve years have been filled up with securing the homeland, rooting out terror. For me, those years have also been filled with “boy noises” and percussion, with Legos and nerf darts, with soccer and baseball and snowboarding and playing in the woods.
In the midst of it all, I have found a certain acquiescence to the grander scheme of things. I have set my heart to enjoy God’s good gifts to me–my dear children, my loving husband, sweet friendships, even the beauty of the world–but more than that, to enjoy the Giver of all good things.
I think back over the gift of Samuel’s years. How do I sum up this boy? Do I talk about that Thanksgiving morning when he was a toddler? He woke up before everyone else and climbed up on the table before dawn and took a nibble of each cookie I had laid out to cool the night before. His cuteness made him so very forgivable.
Do I tell about our trip, just the two of us, to visit my brother in Washington, and how he loved his first airplane ride?
Yes, we have stories. Lots of them. But in the end, I am just glad he is a part of us, perfectly fitted into our family at just the right time.
Happy Birthday, Samuel. I am so glad there is you!