(wrote this a month ago, just finished & posted it tonight)
Your dad is on a 3-day scout campout. We are all sleeping together. It is a lot of breathing in one bed (you guys purr in your sleep), but I am so glad to have such darling bedfellows.
There are just a few things I need to tell you.
I'll start with you, Henry. A few nights ago you came into my room in the middle of the night awakened by a terrible nightmare. I don't think I've ever seen you so frightened. We let you crawl in bed with us, right between dad and me, and we snuggled you and reassured you and prayed with you and still, your little body shook for half an hour. And there are two things about the experience that I can't ever forget, so I'm putting them here. For later.
First: your prayer was maybe the most precious thing I've ever been witness to. I can't remember it all, but I do remember that in your shaky, terrified voice you begged the Lord that "the Americans could always be free and that there could never be a war here." If that prayer doesn't get to God's ears, no prayer ever will.
And second: I was so sorry that you had such a bad dream and that you were so frightened, but I savored the chance to snuggle you close to me and comfort you. You're getting so big (so big! your feet are nearly as big as mine!) you can mow the lawn and water the plants and make your own snacks and fix your own plate at a barbecue and solve most of your own problems (and I'm glad about all of that...that's what we want), but it was just such a gift for my mom heart to have the chance to hug you good and long in the quiet of the night and comfort you.
And Lily. You, little lady, there just aren't words that sparkle and shine enough for you. Truly, your essence can only be observed and absorbed with eyes and ears and heart. Several times a day I look at you and do half a laugh and half an eye roll and my heart just squeezes.
You say the best things, in the best voice.
A few examples: the other day we walked outside and it was really sunny and you said, "wow, mom! It's sure is shiny out here!"
And as we were riding in the car a few days ago you said, "I wish Jesus didn't make slivahs (slivers), but I'm sure glad he made tweezahs (tweezers) so we can get them out!"
And a while ago when you were helping me switch the laundry form the washer to the dryer you said, "mom, what would happen if i got in the dwyah (dryer)? Would I just like turn into laundwy or something?"
And after we watched Tangled you asked me, "Mom, what does Wapunzel do when the movie turns off?" I didn't quite know how to answer that; I was so amused that you assumed her life went on somewhere in the void when the TV was off. You looked up at me with a smart grin and said, "That was a pwetty good question, wasn't it?"
Darling girl, there is sunshine in your eyes. My favorite thing is to lay down with you when it's time for your nap. You go from giggles and fidgets to peaceful sleep in about thirty seconds. It's hard for you to quiet down - you always have things to tell me. But when I finally insist that it's time for sleeping, you close your little eyes with fervor - they tremble and twitch and then...stillness. Except for the rise and fall of your sleeping breath. I love that.
One last thing...
During our scripture reading the other night we started talking about how sometimes even in the middle of hard/bad things, God can cause really beautiful things to happen and we can grow. I wanted to give you a real example of how that happens, so I told you about some of the good things that have come from this experience of wanting a baby and asking for one, and not getting one -- something I knew you both could understand as sad and a little bit hard. I think our chat sunk in some, but I don't think your little hearts are quite ripe for such a big lesson, so I decided to write more of it here, while it's so big and fresh in mine.
We talked about how we've prayed for something together, every day, and how much unity has come as we've all shared that desire. And how we have fasted together (such a big sacrifice for you guys!) and it taught us about how strong we are and how we can do hard things. And even though we are asking for a baby and haven't gotten one yet, we're getting other things - things we haven't even asked for - more unity, more gratitude for each other and everything we have, and, strangely, more faith and courage to keep asking.
And probably the biggest, most beautiful blessing of this whole experience is how I am able to see you two. And how happy I am to be with you, in the car, on the floor, in the pool, reading stories, watching silly cartoons. The longing for more children is a gnawing, burrowing kind of ache. But I am starting to think that the hollowness it carves is really just a holding place, an expansion chamber, a proper context to understand the enormity of the blessing it is to have you two.