I was just thinking the other day about how I want to be better about writing letters to each of our children to have in the future. You know, telling them stuff I'm sure they'll appreciate when they're teenagers and think Luke and I are just SO COOL! Not only am I getting a late start with Austin, but I also decided to write them on our blog so as not to lose them in the sea of papers floating around our house in various rooms. Lucky for me, my firstborn was a son so I'm pretty sure his feelings won't be hurt that his letters started 2 years after his birth. Thank you, Lord, for boys without ridiculous emotions. ;) It will be long. Afterall, I have 2 years worth of catching up to do, and if there's one thing I am not, it's brief. Feel free to skim or skip this entry all together. But here goes. My first letter to my third favorite guy! May it bless him the way he blesses me daily.
I wish I could say that I'm one of those women that is always on top of things. Contrary to what I'm just sure you believe, I'm not super mom and so some things get started a little later than I would like. However, late start or not, I have loved you from the minute I found out we were having you and have told you everyday since how special you are to me. Now you'll just have proof!
When I was pregnant with you, the Lord specifically gave me this verse:
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
And what a gift you were and have continued to be!! You are our unexpected reward from our Heavenly Father. You have filled our hearts with abundant joy and gratitude for the Lord's blessing. There are so many things I love about you, and the list grows longer each day. I love that you love to laugh just as much, if not more, than I do. Before you could say Austin, you would call yourself Haha. What a perfect name for a little boy whose mouth is constantly filled with laughter! It's become a nickname now, and I doubt we will ever quit calling you that on occasion. It is obvious that you are joyful just like your Papa B and possess his zest for life. I can't wait to see how God uses this in the future.
Before you were born, I determined in my heart to share you as much as possible with our families because I wanted you to love them as deeply as your Daddy and I do. Well. It paid off. Sometimes a little too much since we cease to exist any time you have the undivided attention of your aunts, uncles, grandparents, and great-grandparents. But despite my sometimes ridiculous insecurity, I love to watch you enjoy each member of the family for unique reasons. I know in my heart that I have a special place in your heart that no one else can fill. At the end of the day, I am your hero, even if for just a little while, and I will never take that for granted. Never doubt how much you are loved by each and every person in the Keiffer/Bauerlein family. No one adores you more than them. Well, with the exception of your Daddy and I, but they're a close second.
I love to watch your little personality develop. There is no greater joy as a parent than to begin to recognize a little bit of Luke and I in you. In fact, you are the perfect combination of the two of us. You are observant and tender-hearted like your Daddy. And you are verbal and passionate like me. You're a rule follower and ask me every night,
What are the rules?
To which I say,
Lay still, be quiet, and close your eyes. You can get out of bed when it's REALLY light in your room.
You still won't get out of bed on your own, and we are just fine with that. I love your gentle spirit and that when I call you "sweet boy" you look up at me and say,
I love that you want to be just like your Daddy. You will not find a better role model on the planet and oh how he loves you!! He has such a way with you, and you listen to him more than anyone else. Lately you've been telling me that you "need him." Mostly this is what you say when you're in trouble with me, but in the mornings you ask where he is. Sometimes you even get a little teary-eyed when I tell you he's at work. If there's one thing the two of you share right now, it's your eagerness to start the day. I doubt you will ever sleep late because your Daddy never did and probably never will. I predict alot of early morning activities together while your Mommy gets her beauty sleep. But for now, a big thank you for forcing me to be a morning person and acknowlege that 5, 6, & 7:00 do exist!
There are so many things I pray for you. I ask the Lord for continued good health and safety. Something tells me I will not be good about broken bones and gushing wounds. It goes against every girly tendency I have to be ok with all the dirt, bugs, and burping! Thank you for stretching me. I pray that you never lose your joy and that you will always have a song in your heart. You bring a smile to everyone's face, even those who do not know you. Your happiness and love for life is contagious, and I know God has used this already to bless so many people.
But more than anything, I pray that you will be saved at an early age. It is my ferverent hope that you will come to know how wide, how high, and how deep the Father's love is for you! I pray that as He holds onto you that you will cling to Him. I ask the Lord to make himself known in your life, and that for as long as you live, you will love Him even more deeply than you do your family. He is it, Austin!! Greater love, you will never find! Follow hard after him and He will change your life daily.
I knew I would love you so much but I had no idea just how deep that love would be. You are more than I could ever hope for or imagine. The perfect fit for our family. Though our relationship may change with each new chapter of your life, my love for you will not. You may not know it now, but God has big plans for you and I'm so glad He gave me a front row seat! I love you, sweet boy.