A Year of Henry

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Sweet precious Henry celebrated his first birthday last week and I’m still trying to decide if he just got here or if I’ve known him forever.

In some ways, this year has flown by and I cannot believe how big our baby has gotten. In other ways, it has crept along as I celebrate each new day and week that gets me a little closer to full recovery and successful word retrieval.

A few days before his birthday, Henry was playing in the front room. Elliott walked over to him and put his cheek on Henry’s head.

“I’m touching the head of the man who changed my life,” said Elliott.

“How’s that,” I asked him.

“He’s made it so much better,” said Elliott.

In our family, having a baby in the house has certainly brought our boys an increased capacity for love and tenderness. Of course they have always been the boy version of sweet and loving, but Henry has brought even more of that sweetness into our home.

Often, when we are out running errands, strangers will comment on all the boys, and on us having a baby with these four older siblings. Yes, I explain, we had the first four very close, and then we waited almost six years to have another.

I leave it at that and skip the details of how when baby Augie came along I decided that four boys in five years was plenty, that Paul’s and my gig as a co-creators with God was officially over. I had met my match and reached my limit and these four boys were all I had the grace to handle.

For a while, that was certainly true. Those years of so many babies and toddlers were a wild and crazy (and mostly fun) blur. It seemed like the days would last forever, that I would always be the frenzied woman chasing four boy-cubs who were determined to go in my opposite direction. Some Sundays I wondered if Paul and I would ever sit in the same section of the church again. “One day,” I would think, “I’ll actually hear the Gospel and the homily.”

And then, one day, I did.

One day I could sit for longer spells, read a book a bit longer, go to the store without fear of a wine display being knocked over (though I’m still not totally convinced). Over time, things got easier. My boys started getting older and more independent and I began to enjoy some of the peace and tranquility I had long prayed for. We were baby- and toddler-free and things were a lot easier.

I enjoyed this beautiful season, indeed. But instead of feeling like I had arrived, I realized that I wasn’t ready to stay here forever, not yet. How sweet, I thought, to have a small hand to hold, to have someone to carry and comfort, to push in a swing or tote on a walk. While there is certainly continued wonder in each stage of life, I suddenly realized I didn’t want to say goodbye to the precious years of having a baby in the house.

I know Henry won’t stay little forever – one day he’ll be big and independent like his brothers. He will keep me on my toes and drive me to frustration and maybe even outgrow being held by his daddy.

But for now, he is our one-year-old baby. Henry is a delight, and he has brought an incredible richness to our family. He gives us an excuse to kiss and cuddle and profess our unyielding devotion.

Even more than all this, Henry is a soul that will last for all eternity. Thank you God for giving us the grace to be open to another baby – life without Henry would not be nearly as sweet. 1420″

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Of All The Whale Books…

…on all the shelves, in all the libraries, I pick the one that has a *photo* of the extended private parts of a Gray Whale. Which, incidentally, looks to be the size of our Suburban (that’s the boys’ theory anyway).

I can pick ’em.

Two Questions

1418 1418_ () 1418 1418 We can call this one You’re So Money Monday! even though I have two extremely specific questions this week.

1. Do you have a delicious recipe for pistachio cake? Someone has a birthday this week, and this is what he requests. Of course I’ve found a gajillion recipes online, but I’d like to speak with a professional.

2. Have you ever done a sprint triathlon? If so, what is your suggestion for practical attire?

Thanks! 1418″>

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Love makes you (black and) blue

I offer a few quick thoughts on brotherly love over at F&F.