Thursday, June 27, 2013

Letters to Carter

Dear Carter,

You stood at the perimeter, every part of your little body tensed as you watched the water splash and the children squeal with laughter.

You watched your little brother crawl straight into the water, mouth open.  His approach to everything is the perfect contrast to yours.  You are careful, calculating, and cautious.  Samuel is impulsive, fast, and knows no fear.

The more the people around you tried to talk you into all the fun, the more you resisted it.  You stood sullenly by the fence, muscles tensed, jaw clenched, studying the fun around you, assessing the risks.  

Finally, everyone gave up.  They left you to what you were comfortable with.  They stopped pestering you to try, just a little.  You kept watching, observing.  

About fifteen minutes in, you asked me to hold you in the water.  I grinned and tried to hide my enthusiasm.  If I got too excited, you would have shut it down.  I'm more like your little brother, loving the thrill of new things and never looking back to make sure it's safe.  I hate to see you miss out on fun because of your uncertainty.  Your father, on the other hand, fully appreciates your caution as his mind is always on alert for our safety as well.  You give him comfort while Samuel and I give him ulcers.

It only took a few minutes for you to realize what you had been missing, and you were ready to play.  Water splashing everywhere, you still needed the comfort of my arms, but you were laughing and splashing and enjoying the fun that had been there all along.

Soon, we were both soaked and your smiles were contagious as you swung in and out and in and out of the refreshing, cold water.  Your caution and fright were gone, replaced by joy.

Finally, at the end of one swing into the fountain, you landed on your feet and never stopped running.  There was no fear in your gait, no caution in your steps as you jumped head first into the water that had scared you minutes before.  You had warmed up slowly, but now there was no restraint.

Eventually, we had to pull you from the water amidst strong protest and a few tears.  The moments you had missed at the beginning were longed for as you grumpily left the park and changed into dry clothes for lunch.  The fear was all but forgotten as you waved goodbye to the fountains of cool water, splashing, laughing babies and screeching toddlers.

My sweet, cautious one.  I pray that God will use your gift of caution to make you a man of discernment, stability and wisdom.  I pray you will let Him shape your tendency to observe first, look twice, and calculate carefully to do His work when the ones around you are being shifted by every wind or the foolishness of the world.  I pray you won't be paralyzed by a spirit of fear, but will be filled with the power of the Spirit, the wisdom of His Word, and the hope of grace.  I am here, little one, to help you ease into things as you learn about this great, big world.  I am here to hold you as you step gingerly into the wild unknown.  And sometimes, I will be here to give you the nudge you need to experience joy uninhindered.

And please, for the love, watch out for Samuel.  He's diving down head first, careening out of control, or jumping off a high surface somewhere, all the time.

I love you sweet, careful one.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Carter says: Vacation Edition

Crazy screaming echoes from the car as I load the stroller in the back. I call out to the front, " Carter! Please stop! We do not scream inside the car!

Screaming ensues. 

"Carter!  What is going on?!?  Is everything okay? Why are you screaming!?!?" as I fumble to get the stroller pushed in and rush to his door. 

"What!?!  What is going on!?!?"

Screaming abruptly stops as I arrive at his door. Carter smiles and says calmly, "I just wanted a spanking please Mama."


Everytime Andi accelerated on our drive to the beach, Carter exclaimed, "We need to slow down! We need to be careful Andi!" 

I assured him that Andi was a safe driver and everything was okay. 

She accelerated again up to a whopping 35 mph after a stop sign. "Oh no!" Carter cried out, "Be careful Andi!  Slow down!"  He looked at me and shook his head. "What are we going to do with that Andi!?!?"


30 minutes into the trip to the beach, Carter looked around frantically and said, "Oh no! We left Samuel in Andi's car!" (Samuel was in the very back of the van where Carter couldn't see him!)


Carter screams to hear his echo in the Cracker Barrel bathroom on the way home from the beach.  I remind him that we are inside and while it is fun to hear his echo, he needs to lower his voice.  He screams again.  I remind him again.  He screams again, and I crouch down to amp up the discipline and help him get on track.  Carter's eyes got big and he said, very seriously, before I could say a word, "This isn't working Mama.  We need a plan."


Prayer in Cracker Barrel, just after a dirty diaper change in the restroom:

"Dear Jesus, thank you for dirty diapers and gas."
He went on to thank Jesus for food and family and etc, but all the adults at the table were too busy shaking with laughter to hear it.


Andi let Carter sit in her lap while she scooted the van out of the driveway for someone to get out while we were on vacation.  Carter grabbed the wheel and then furrowed his brow.  "Andi, how we gonna turn this thing around!?!?"


Steven and Carter walked out of the beach house one early morning when Carter woke up.  Steven was holding Carter, and they were both looking out over the water.  Carter turned and looked at Steven quizzically.  He twisted his head to one side and asked curiously, "Daddy, can you work your body?"


Andi pulled the rental car into the airport parking lot.  I reminded Carter that Andi was about to get in the car with us.  Carter suddenly realized he didn't know where she was.  His eyebrows flew up and he exclaimed in a panic, "Andi come back! Andi help us!"

Monday, June 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

We're at the beach this week with the family for whom Carter was named. A group of laughers, story-tellers and baby-lovers. Such a sweet gift to have such a network of extended family to love for a lifetime.