Thursday, April 17, 2014

My firstborn, My oldest

Dear Ethan,

Today, you turn 11 years old.  It's bittersweet to see you growing up before my very eyes.  It's happening little by little, day by day.  You get a little bigger, a little wiser, a little older.  You're changing into a young man.  When did this happen?

We're standing almost eye to eye.  You're feet surpassed mine in size months ago. I have to think back to a year or two ago to realize how fast it's happening.  I can remember when you were itty bitty.  And now... You are anything but itty bitty.  You're going to be tall and broadly built. This morning, I walked into the living room to see you sprawled out on the floor.  You'd apparently woken up and come downstairs in the night.  You took up half the floor, and you had to curl up for the blanket to cover your feet.  Changes, changes.

Recently, another change has started.  Before the last couple of months, I could count on you to be up and going by 6:30, and now, you're sleeping later and later.  I have a feeling you're going to enjoy summer break a lot more this year than in years past.

School is going very well this year.  I could call you Mr. Comprehension.  You retain information amazingly well!  You've taken off in so many areas.  You've always been great at math, but your writing has progressed immeasurably this year.  Two years ago, every assignment was sooooo hard, and now, it's no big deal.  You write something up. We edit, add details and information, and you rewrite or type it out.  I am immensely proud of how hard you've been working and more importantly, your attitude while working!

I often wonder what you'll be interested in as you grow up.  What will strike in terms of a career?  How can you be graduating high school in seven years?   I want you to know this:  I am on your side. When the days are good and when they're not.  I will be there.  I will purpose to be there for you.  With you. Will I like everything you do? No. But I love you and I will always love you.

No matter what.

Keep being yourself.  Put others ahead of yourself.  Look to God every day.  Pray always.

Love you very much,

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I cannot ever get this kid to pose for me...  Any pics I get of him are all completely random.

He's a handsome little thing, huh?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The longest wait...

Grace is fine.  She's better than fine.  She's great!
And we're finally calmed down after a couple of nervous weeks...

A few weeks ago, we noticed a spot.  A lump.  We thought it was a cyst.  It wouldn't get better, smaller, or go away, so I took her to the pediatrician.  Our doctor thought an x-ray would be best.  She felt like it wasn't attached to the bone, but it would be wise to check it out and be sure.  

So off we went to get the x-ray.  Incidentally, radiology found a noncancerous fibroma in the same spot as the lump, but the two aren't related.  Their close proximity was purely coincidental.  However, the pediatric orthopedist wanted to remove the mass.  He called it a mass and scared me half to death that I forgot he called it that.  I kept calling it a cyst, and from what I understand cysts are never cancerous.  Cyst sounds much less terrifying than mass.

They were able to get her in for surgery in less than a week.  We were nervous but felt like there would be some other symptoms if it was truly something serious.  That was the sentiment the surgeon left us with, as well.  Surely, there would be something else.

The day of surgery, she was fine and enjoying the extra attention.  The surgeon came in beforehand to discuss what he would be doing and said, "Once we remove the mass, we will get it straight to pathology to get a better idea what it is.  And once we know what we're dealing with, we'll take it from there."

My heart started pounding.  It was a cyst.  I'd been calling it a cyst. What does he mean, "take it from there?"  Deep down, I knew they were checking to make sure it wasn't serious.  Of course they were.  It's their job, but suddenly, I was scared out of my mind.  My thoughts flooded with "what if" scenarios.  I was suddenly terrified of what he would come and tell us.

Then, he said, "Don't leave until we get preliminary results.  Even if she's awake and feeling better.  Stay here until we know what we're dealing with." There were those words again.

So I went back to the OR with her for a moment while they put her to sleep.  I held her hand, kissed her cheek, and was escorted to her post-op room.  I'm thankful they waited to poke for an IV until after she had gone under.  And then, Deron and I waited.  We waited and waited for what seemed like forever, but in reality, it was only about an hour.  We prayed for Grace.  We asked God to be with her, to be with us.  We were barely able to talk.  We were both scared to voice the fears that grabbed a hold of us.

They rolled her into the post-op room as she began to stir.  She had some nausea related to the anesthesia, and she was quite comical coming out of the sleep.  She commented on the room changing three or four times.  She fell asleep with her eyes open.  Now that was creepy.  We continued to wait.  We continued to watch Grace as she slept off the nausea. We continued to wonder what he would say.

Then, the doctor came in.  His first words were, "It was benign! When she feels better, you guys can go home!"  I was so relieved and thankful, but it hit me that they were really checking to be sure it wasn't cancer.  They were not sure. That was a heavy feeling. 

We could have received different news that day.  My heart suddenly ached for all the moms and dads waiting and getting very different answers.  Our day was a such a blessing and cause for celebration, but for some, it was terrifying and painful.  I cannot even begin to say how thankful we are, but we've been blessed. We are very thankful.