it is a super cute book about a little boy who imagines up various scenarios (mama, what if i were a big, scary ape?) and his mother patiently and creatively reassures him that she would care for him no matter what (or who) he was.
we had no idea how special it would come to be.
pretty immediately when noah was admitted into intensive care at seattle children's he was given tons of fluids, which made him extremely puffy. we wanted so badly to talk to him, for him to hear our voices, but we ran out of things to say pretty quick. we also had jelly-brains and coming up with any collection of words that made a lick of sense was rare. reading became an avenue to communicate with our boy. and i love you, stinky face was one of the stories noah heard as he slept.
sometimes i changed the words to i love you, wonky head.
after reading it at noah's place when we put him to rest there, the book was put away and i had no intention of reading it again. it felt like noah's special story. or maybe it was just because i was afraid i'd get too emotional if i read it again.
then a few months ago i realized those were kind of stupid reasons and i really wanted to share it with miles. it's a sweet story and miles deserves to hear it too.
so now miles is hearing the same i love you, stinky face story (multi-daily). and as i read it i'm always reminded of noah. it's a tender, albeit small, thing these brothers can share.
the story is also my mantra for how i want our children to know love and acceptance.
"but mama, but mama, i didn't get accepted to college. will you still love me then?" no question.
"but mama, i don't want to be in choir or play football." fine with me. i'll look forward to supporting you in whatever you decide to try.
"but mama, but mama, i'm gay." great. now, where did you want to go for lunch?
every parent has hopes for their children, and john and i are no different. jesus-following, generous, and loving to others are all values we desire in ourselves and our children. but we believe it's of utmost importance to cultivate an environment where each of our children knows without a shadow of a doubt they are loved without condition. that's on us. (and if you secretly asked any of our children which one was "the favorite" it's our hope they all would answer, "me.")
my love for each of my children is as unique as they are.
my heart breaks that i will never know the boy and man noah would've grown to be. would he get thrilled by the siren of a fire engine? would he hate mushrooms like his daddy? would he use his life to make a positive difference in the world? well, that i know. and that's a resounding YES. i'm infinitely proud of noah and love him without borders. and always will. he did no wrong in my eyes. the only thing i'm disappointed in is that he wasn't here longer. but that's not his fault. he's my boy and is perfect. forever and ever amen.
i'm eternally grateful that i get to watch miles become his own sweet-one right before my eyes. every day i learn more about who he's created to be and i'm in love. he laughs on the swings, playing the piano and when daddy throws samson's toys. when he gets excited he shakes and screams, "AHHHH!!!" he prefers to drink from adult cups. he hates the pack 'n play. he shows affection by putting his forehead on mine and closing his eyes. he is my heart. and there's nothing in the world that will ever make me love him less.
not even if he were a terrible meat-eating dinosaur.