To Marley-

(Picture by Lindsay)

Tonight I left you with a head of wet curls resting on a pillow borrowed from my bed while your own is in the wash. You picked a piece of fuzz from your binky before putting it in your mouth and pulling your purple blanket up to your chin. I closed the door and turned on the fan to protect your sensitive ears from the getting-ready-for-school rustlings of your brothers in the morning.

I have dreams for you, sweet girl. Not of degrees, travels, honors, or even husband and children. My dreams for you are of smiles that start on the inside and spread to your face, earnest tears, questions asked fearlessly, and love given and received with an open, trusting heart.

The rest is yours to choose. I'll be here, watching and learning.



Make a wish

I lived through nineteen March 10th's before I knew what a special day it was.

That first year we were still dating, and I called his mom to find out his favorite meal and what birthday traditions they used to have at home. I gave him an orange shirt because that's my favorite color on him. It was way too big, but he's kept it all this time. I made him Texas straw hats for dinner- we haven't had it in years, thanks to our veg-head children. I decorated a plastic cup with paint pens (I was nineteen- remember?) and our initials inside a heart- we use it to dump water on Marley's head in the bath.

Happy birthday, sweetheart. When look for the evidence of God's love in my life- first, and always I see you.



Eric and Brigham, with assorted neighborhood children after a visit from the ice-cream man.

I read today that my baby can dream. What do you suppose a yet-to-be-born baby dreams of?

As for me, these days I dream about the fruit trees I will one day have in my yard...of sleeping on my stomach...of baking pies for my grandchildren...of sewing sleeves on Marley's prom dress...of pushing a double jogging stroller again. Those are the dreams fit to print, at least- we all know that pregnancy dreams can get a little freaky...

A friend who just had a baby gifted us with two packages of newborn diapers on Sunday. Before bed tonight, Marley clawed open one of the packs and pulled out a tiny diaper. I had my mouth open to ask her to stop, but the words got stuck. I had forgotten, already, how impossibly small they are. I showed it to the boys, who seemed unimpressed. Then Marley put it on her baby doll and hugged it close while I sang goodnight songs.

It's been said that "when a child is born, the whole universe has to shift and make room." (Stephen Gaskin).