You Got Hurt, And You Will Get Hurt Again

Dear Lewis,

I knew it was going to happen. I just didn’t think it’d be so soon. Given how adventurous you are I don’t know why I’m so surprised. Last night you split open your noggin and had to go to the emergency room.

We had an awesome day, just you and me. We played in the yard, at the park, and even went book shopping. You fell on the sidewalk once, and another time in the Barnes & Nobel parking lot. Each time you looked up at me, grinned, and then stood to your feet before returning to business as usual.

But, when you took off running through the living room on your way to bed you tripped over a pillow, fell into a table leg, and then split your head open in two places.

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The First Letter To Lewis After He Was Born

Friends,

If you’ve had a child you know what it’s like to enter the upside-down world of parenthood. If you haven’t, well, imagine taking sleeping pills or NyQuil, then being awakened after only three hours of sleep, and then being asked to solve the Middle East conflict in your altered state. That’s the state of mind and pressure of parenthood.

In the weeks leading up to and after Lewis being born my world moved at a million miles an hour. I wasn’t calm. I wasn’t relaxed. If you’ve read more than two of these letters you know why – loving someone unconditionally was new to me.

About a week and a half after Lewis was born I sat at my kitchen table while he and his mom slept. I opened my notebook and realized it had been 73 days since I’d written a letter to my son. I stared at the neglected notebook. Every second that ticked by brought a new wave of pressure. This was going to be the very first letter I wrote to Lewis after he was born.

I don’t know if it was from feeling overwhelmed by this new level of love or just from being tired, but I sat at my table and began to cry. After a few minutes I regained my composure, took a deep breath, and then penned the only worlds I could.

These were the first words I wrote to Lewis after he was born:

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Love It To Life

Dear Lewis,

Today is your first birthday! I can’t believe you’ve been alive for a whole year. More impressively, I can’t believe your mom and I managed to keep you alive for a whole year.

Sure, the cake, the balloons, the frog-shaped pool, it’s all in celebration of you. But, it’s also a celebration and a reminder of how God has invited us to take part in the act of creation, to be creators. It’s a reminder of why he created us, why he created the universe and everything in it.

I can’t tell you how he pulled it off. I can’t tell you where the “stuff” came from. I can only tell you what it came out of: love.

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It’s All My Fault

Dear Lewis,

Today we took you to the hospital. You haven’t been feeding well, and it’s causing your mom a lot of pain. It frustrates her, even angers her because it hurts so badly.

The doctor diagnosed you as being tongue-tied. This means your frenulum (the little piece of skin connecting the bottom of your mouth to the underside of your tongue) extends too far forward. This prevents you from moving your tongue through its full range of motion. Right now it makes breastfeeding difficult, but later in life it could affect your speech and cause you other problems. So we decided to let the doctor cut that little piece of skin.

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