I can't help but cry when I think of 4 years ago today.
Big belly. Aching back. So exhilarated from being at my sisters birth the very night before. Same room you'd be born in just 36hrs after your cousin, Josiah.
This beautiful story is only more beautiful because of the person you are to me, Leland Ryan. You see you are such a communicator of love & affection. You are almost always talking to me, touching me, or telling me something you love about me. You might carry the genetic exact likeness of your introvert father, but you are all about the party, the life, the laughs.
It's ironic, Lee, because just a few years before you joined us, your Mama was in a sad sad place. Lost baby Miller #2 and only Jude saw all those tears I cried - and he quietly sat on my lap watching little einsteins over and over so I could just sit still and grieve. God healed my heart with each passing week but a true joy finally replaced that sorrow when I heard your cry, held your tiny body and lifted your face to mine. I will absolutely never forget that moment. The moment I first met you. It was like a door closed to intense pain and another opened to joy & laughter again. You came in and healed my heart and made me believe again. You, Leland, my teeniest boy, are living proof that a mustard seed tid bit of faith can move a mountain. Your Dad even told me, 'Wow its good to have you back again...' and he was right. I was back.
Your Dad took this photo of me - it's my favorite of us and always will be. I can close my eyes and be here in a moment. Remembering your warmth and your sweet little face...and seeing your Dad hold your hand on his finger. Nursing you was like wiping away tear after tear. You were and are my joy.
Today, you're 4. You're completely hilarious. We laugh constantly because of you. I am sometimes nervous in public with you because you're impossibly direct. You are also a big big BIG fibber. Flat out, you make things up. You've told strangers the craziest stories and we're working with you on being a truth teller but gosh, in the meantime, we're also really impressed with your imagination.
Today - I am thankful for your light and your beautiful spirit. You're a terrific friend and you will be loyal to your friends as you grow - that is easy to see. Your eyes are the most gorgeous shade of blue - so bright and big. You give the best hugs out of the family so far. Seriously your hug could heal diseases. I love how you touch people. Physically, emotionally and even through humor. You're funny because you're not even trying to be funny. That's the best kind of funny there is.
Last year, you became a big brother and that is when I was blown away by you. I remember you looking down at that baby and wondering if you were excited or if you were sad that you weren't the littlest anymore. I felt sad for you and excited for you. Sad because I knew my attention needed to be with this little brother of yours...and excited because I knew we'd given you a big gift in the form of a brother.
|image by April O'Keefe|
In the last 6 months, we've seen you go from sabotaging Simon to protecting Simon. I know you were really affected by Simon's seizure and you've prayed nearly every night since that he would be ok and he would never get fevers. I am in awe by your care for this baby (who is only 2lbs less than you but anyway) - you have truly arrived and have mastered the art of the 'little brother' and the art of the 'big brother' and you're rocking at it. Half your day is caring for this little bro who needs care and supervision....and the other half you're driving Jude insane by hiding his lego guys and demanding to watch your favorite show over his. You're pretty much the perfect middle kid and we love you more than life.
Looking forward to celebrating you....eating cake with you...building legos with you...and hugging you and kissing you, sweet son.
I could not be more proud to be your Mom.