Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Shepherd

My baby boy turned five today.

Five is a big deal. As Walker said, it's halfway to ten, which is halfway to twenty, which is halfway to forty. Five ends the baby years. He is officially a kid now.

But, as he was sweet enough to tell me today, "I'll always be your baby do. Da biggest baby in da whooole wide world." Because he still talks a little bit like a baby. And I'm glad.

Five years ago today, I got up, went to an 10am OB appointment, and then planned to meet a friend for lunch. Instead I was informed that the two bottles of castor oil I downed or the sex or the walking or something had worked. I was in labor.

Finally. Finally every dream I had ever wanted in life, every goal I had ever aspired towards was about to be realized. I was going to be a mother.

At 8:08pm, weighing 8 pounds and 8 ounces, Shepherd Emmanuel took his first breath.

And I was one of those moms who mean it when they say, it really was love at first sight.

It doesn't seem like that long ago. And yet, it seems like a different life.

Because I was a different woman then. Motherhood has remade me.

What an amazing little boy he has turned out to be! I read somewhere that your firstborn is the most important investment you can make. Walker and I frequently look at each other and say, wow, what a fantastic firstborn is this kid.

He's sweet. He's loving. He rather naturally wants to be good. He has his moments of defiance, but they don't last long. He's funny. He has always been a Master Malaprop and the words he creates keep us in stitches. He has amazing rhythm - really, it's a little weird how well he can play the drums. He loves his little siblings with all his heart. He absolutely adores babies, any baby, but especially Ingram.

His best friend in the world is Eva Rose. They fight, but more frequently they play intricate games and completely crack each other up. When she is not with him, he thinks after her. When she is disciplined, he worries about her.

When Shepherd was baptized, on his invitation I put Hannah's prayer from I Samuel 1: I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD. I almost trembled when I thought of how the Lord might ask me to keep my promise.

Will he be a pastor? A missionary? Or some greater sacrifice?
I am prepared. I still tremble, but I am prepared.

And I am joyfully watching the Lord guide him toward whatever it will be. Because this little boy loves the Lord with all his heart, mind and soul. One mention of a bible verse, and it is committed to his memory. The questions he asks - "Did Moses go to heaven when he died? Does Jesus live in us like we live in him?" Yes and yes, baby. He told me yesterday, "Every time I think of Jesus, I just have to sing a song to him." And it is true our home is constantly filled with his off key, but very thorough and theologically sound praises to his savior.

Maybe he'll be a cool Birkenstock wearing shaggy haired praise singer.

It's going to be amazing. Whatever it is, I am so honored to get to play a part in it.

Happy birthday, my sweet Sheppy poo. I love you more than you'll ever know.



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