|Yup, this was the best one! Colin wasn't upset, he just looks like it in this picture!|
My favorite tradition is telling the kids the story of the day they were born, with lots of details about how excited we were, how we picked their name, what we thought when we first saw them, and who came to visit. As they've gotten older, both Gwen and Colin have started asking questions as I tell their story. "What did my cry sound like?" "Did Gwen hold me when I was a baby?" "Did I have teeth?" "Then how did I eat?" "Did I sleep a lot?" I love watching them imagine themselves as babies. Their faces just light up and I can tell it feels special to know how much we loved them before we even knew who they were going to be.
I tell Luke his story too. This year I told it to him right before he went to bed and he was so quiet and calm while I talked to him. I told him how beautiful he was and how I got to hold him right away. How he nursed easily and watched me with his big open eyes. How I got to hold him most of his first night because he was cold and needed a little extra warmth. I told him how it was hard to sleep because I was so excited he was there and how much we wanted him in our family. I explained that because we were in La Crosse we only had a few visitors, but that Gwen was first and she was SO excited to meet her new brother. That is where I stop for now. I'm not sure if we will ever tell him the rest of the story. I'm not sure if it matters or not. Maybe it does, but I hope I will know if and when it's time to tell him more. For now I finish with, "You are sweet. You are smart. You are strong. We love you."
Sometimes I wonder if words matter. Does it matter that I tell the stories? Will they remember the important parts about kindness, gratitude, and honesty? I guess we may not know for many years, but it seems worth it to try.
This morning as I was giving Luke a bath Colin came in and said, "Luke, you are strong. Luke, you are smart. Isn't he Mama?" I said yes and Colin continued, "You're little, but you can walk. You can't read, but I'm gunna teach you even if takes a whole year."
Words do matter, and our children are listening. We can't just hope that they know what is in our hearts. We have to speak it out loud. Over and over. Because we all know kids don't always hear us the first time, or the second, or the third.
After I posted at the the beginning of December we decided to stop giving Luke milk at night. Matt thought it might keep the phlegm down and keep him from coughing all night and waking up. Since we stopped giving him milk, he has had no fevers and has been amazingly healthy! We don't know it was the milk, but I can't remember the last time he has gone 6 weeks without a fever, so we are just thankful.