Nine Years Ago (plus one day because I LOVE to be fashionably late)

I can't believe it's been three years since I wrote my last "Dear Ben" post.  I can't believe it's been three years since Ben was six years old.  I really can't believe Abby will be six in less than a month.  Such is life with kids though, and they do say

The days are long, but the years are short.
(Can I get an Amen?)

Since I'm feeling nostalgic and inspired on his birthday (plus one day because it apparently takes two full days to compose a single blog post anymore), I'm going to write another one.  Whether blogs are meant to be personal diaries for the world to read, I don't know, but this one seems to be just that.  Someday I hope I don't regret it.  I don't think I will. 

My Dear Son, Benjamin,

Nine years ago, at almost exactly this time of day (10:55am to be exact), you entered this world.  After waking up just seven or so hours earlier with what I thought were gas pains, I soon figured out you were on your way (but not as quickly as you might think).  The next nine years would have plenty of gas and a few pains, but on the day you were born, all I could think about was how completely and totally responsible for you your father and I were.  Having you taught me that there is more to life than satisfying my own selfish desires.  In fact, you taught me to think of myself last.  I think God teaches us so many lessons through children.  You have been an excellent teacher, and you probably don't even know it. 
 You continue to soak up whatever knowledge you can gain, preferring non-fiction books to works of fiction.  You remind me of Grandpop when it comes to how much you retain after one pass through a book.  It's like you're a little sponge with a photographic memory. I don't know if it's because you read so much, or because you have an innate sense of right and wrong, but you have the gift of conviction.  You know what you believe and why you believe it.  This will serve you amazingly well in the realm of apologetics.  It's one of the reasons why Aunt Julie has been guessing that you'll be a litigator at some point.  That may be true, but I think you might also be suited for a seat on the bench.  I suspect one of your spiritual gifts is that of "Prophecy", not in a foretelling type of way, but in the fact that you have an ability at such a young age to discern right from wrong.  This is a gift.  Use it!  I admire this so much about you.  I hope and pray that this sticks with you through adulthood.

You are so much like me it simultaneously terrifies me and makes me smile.  Not that one can have an objective opinion of oneself, but I see you destined to exhibit both my best and worst character traits.  You are human, just like your mother.  Uncannily like your mother.  You prefer not to be surprised.  Depending on your mood, you can take a joke very well or not so well at all.  You get frustrated when things don't come naturally to you, and tend to not want to do them.  Your first reaction if you're not happy is to get angry.  I feel like I'm looking in the mirror when I look at you and your reactions to life.  Sometimes it makes me smile, sometimes I want so much more for you, and I wish I knew how to break you of your patterns.  I just remember that God created us in His image, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we too can embody Christ-like qualities - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. 

Having you has challenged me to do things I never thought I would do - read the Harry Potter series so I would be able to converse with you about it, make Minecraft creeper cupcakes for your birthday, and perhaps the biggest leap of all things - bringing you and your sister(s) home from school to learn with me as your teacher.  Thank you for your faith in me, for your unsolicited encouragement, for setting a positive example for your little sisters, and for your enthusiasm for learning.  You make homeschooling a joy (except when that 10:30am sugar drop occurs, but we're learning that a little snack helps, aren't we?).

Since I last "wrote" to you, you have accomplished and experienced so many things.

~became an accomplished boogie boarder.
~grew out of your intense, mysterious hives breakouts.
~scored the first goal of your soccer career.
~perfected the art of making sweet tea.
~became a big brother to yet another baby sister.
~performed your first speaking role in a church musical.
~went to Disneyworld and Busch Gardens where you discovered your deep love for all thrill rides.
~were, perhaps, the most convincing Harry Potter look-alike ever for Halloween 2011.
~won 3rd place in a derby car race.
~went camping and wore the same clothes for 3 solid days straight....just like a little boy.
~accepted Jesus into your heart.

I have relished in watching you grow in wisdom and in stature, just like Jesus.  I have just relished in you.  People always told me children are a blessing from God.  They were empty words until you proved them to me, and you continue to prove them daily. 

I love you, Ben.  With my whole heart.  Just the way you are.

My nine year old boy.

Forever your biggest fan,


Chrystal's Corner said...

They were empty words until you proved them to me...okay I was doing good until that line and then the tears came. What a beautiful letter to your sweet boy:) My oldest son is most like me as well so I relate to so much of this! And I definitely know God has revealed so much about himself and this world through my children. Happy birthday Ben!

Suz B said...

My tears started at the same. Now I need to go write my children an updated letter too, cuz it's been a while and way too long :).

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