The Terror Of Growing Up

Dear Lewis,

Tomorrow you’ll be 10 months old. I’m blown away by how much you’re already capable of on you own. You’ve even begun flirting with walking! You’re taking a few steps before you get so excited you fall on your face.

I remember bringing you home from the hospital. You were 8 pounds of helpless cuteness. I remember how fragile you were, and how careful we were when holding you. Your mom and I were so scared we’d fail to take care of you.

Now look at you…you’re amazing. You’re also terrifying.

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If You Would Just Come To Me

Dear Lewis,

Lately, you’ve been in the habit of having a great day right up until about an hour before I get home. Your mother loves you and I know she takes care of you. What I don’t know is why you become The Monster every evening around 4:30pm.

In the past we’ve been quick to comfort you when you cry. We pick you up, play with you, even give you snacks in an attempt to calm you. But, you’re 10 months old now. Maybe we should have started sooner but we decided a few days ago not to pick you up or drop whatever we’re doing every time you cry.

We’re not ignoring you. We haven’t abandoned you. We just want you to learn to come to us for the things you need.

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Mommy Almost Murdered Papa At City Museum…Almost

Dear Lewis,

Mommy almost murdered Papa today. I’d like to believe I’m using hyperbole to immediately engage you in this story. However, mothers are capable of anything when they feel their children are in danger. She searched caves, a forest, even the belly of a whale when she thought something had happened to you. Taking a life to save yours isn’t outside the realm of possibilities.

But, let me explain.

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Somehow, Love Grows

December 23rd, 2014

Dear Lewis,

My heart is beating out of my chest. My eyes still sting. It’s nearly impossible for me to take a full breath. This isn’t panic, Lewis. This is Love. Pure Love. Overwhelming Love. It’s Love like I’ve never known. Lewis, I’m going to be a daddy again!

Today was stressful. A hundred things slowed us from getting on the road to Kansas City to spend Christmas with the family. Your mom knew I was feeling stressed so she did most of the packing and loading while I finished working. Finally, we got into the car to head out of town.

Before I put the car in drive your mom said she wanted to give me my Christmas present. She handed me an envelope. Inside was a card, which held my true present – a positive pregnancy test. Instantly, I was a sobbing mess. I kissed your mother and told her a dozen times I was so unbelievably happy. A few minutes later, composure regained, we set off on our three-and-a-half hour drive to Kansas City.

I didn’t even make it to the highway before I started crying again. I cried, off and on, all the way to Columbia, which is about half way.

Lewis, my tears were more than just the overflow of joy that comes from incredible news. They were tears of love and relief. It might sound strange to say “relief.” In fact, that may not be the best word. But it’s the most honest word.

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Martin, Music & Change

Dear Lewis,

As you grow up, one of your heroes should absolutely be Martin Luther King Jr. You’re going to hear a lot of white people like me say that, especially this time of year, but I promise you I mean it. When you’re old enough, we’ll read and discuss his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” (you can thank your Uncle Josh for making me read the letter for the first time). We’ll listen to his sermon  “But If Not“, and then talk about the difference between what he calls If Faith and Though Faith.

But first, we’ll probably talk about the importance music played in the March on Washington, where Dr. King gave his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech.

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I Could Eat You Up. Really.

Dear Lewis,

I love everything about you. I love your smell, your smile, the way you sleep. I love the way you giggle when we change your poopy diaper, the way you look back at us and grin when you’re doing something you’re not supposed to, even your pouty face. Near the top of my list though is kissing you.

I love to kiss your cheeks, your forehead, your belly, your chubby thighs, and even your back because it always makes you laugh.

Conservatively, I bet I kiss you one hundred times a day. My goal is one thousand. About every tenth kiss I’m overcome with the desire to bite you. I never understood the idiom “So cute I could just eat you up” until you were born.

With your mom there’s the longing in me to be one with her. It’s deeper than sex. It’s a desire to, at times, be absorbed into her; to truly be one.

With you I’m so out of my mind with love that sometimes, if I’m not careful, I want to actually consume you.

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Resolution: Free Myself From Past Failures

Dear Lewis,

You’re going to hear a lot of talk about resolutions – promises people make, usually about how they’re going to better themselves in some way – this time every year. For a lot of us resolutions aren’t the start of something new. Rather, they’re a rededication to something that once was.

Leading up to Thanksgiving, I was in the habit of writing for at least 3 hours a day. All of the things that accompanied the move to St. Louis, the holidays and the blessing of getting to see family for an extended amount of time prevented me from doing much writing at all.

The same goes for my prayer life.

To be honest, no one prevented me from doing anything. I used my situation as justification for not doing what I know I should; what God has called me to do.

So, I’m studying the story of Daniel to remind myself that greater men than me have allowed their situation to justify their inaction, and that things don’t have to be this way next time around.

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You’re Sick, Lewis. So Am I.

Dear Lewis,

The past few days have been crazy. It has nothing to do with Christmas. It has everything to do with you getting sick for the first time.

It was Christmas Eve. You and I were hanging out like we do every morning. Except this morning, even though you hadn’t eaten for 11 hours, you weren’t interested in your bottle. I kept at it, and half an hour later, and less than half your bottle later, you puked on your self, on me, the couch, even the floor.

You didn’t cry, but I panicked.

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Songs About Your Mom

Dear Lewis,

Your mom’s birthday is coming up soon. On December 18th she’ll be 32 years old. I can’t believe it. Not the age thing. I can’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of knowing your mom for eight years now.

She was one of the first people I met when the band moved to Salt Lake. It took her some time, but eventually she actually became friends with us. Another thing I can’t believe.

Someday, I’ll tell you the story of how I met your mother. For now, all you need to know is this:

I’ve traveled the world and have been to a lot of incredible cities. I’ve met a lot of incredible people, some famous, some just downright good folks. I’ve done a lot of incredible things and I know I’ll do even more incredible things still. But when I get to the end of my life, whether it’s you, St. Peter, or Jesus that asks me, “What was the best part?” I’ll say, “Cherie.”

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