Tuesday, March 22, 2011

this time next week...

It's hard to believe but this time next week, the Keiffers will officially be a family of four. I know we're all so excited, but for me, part of it is a little bittersweet. For almost four years, it's just been Austin and me. I would be lying if I said that I haven't shed a few tears over the closing of this chapter. The last few weeks I've done what I seem to do best these days, which is worry.

I know. I know. Jesus tells us not to, but honestly, I can't help it sometimes.

I worry how Austin will handle the change. I worry that he won't feel as loved when we have to pay special attention to Brooke. Luke tells me he'll be fine and I'm sure he's right...he almost always is, which can be infuriating sometimes. Still, it's a mom thing, I guess. I've spent the last weeks obsessing and preparing in every way possible to make sure this transition is as easy on him as it can be. And of course my final preparation would have to be a letter. Afterall, I may need it someday just to prove to him that he wasn't chopped liver before or after Brooke was born.

Dear Austin:

There was a phrase my family frequently used to refer to a fun memory in the past or coming in the future: "This time {next week, last week, next year, etc}." As I grew up, I would find myself thinking that same phrase to myself about the most random times or events.

Today, I'm starting that tradition in the Keiffer family.

This time next week Brooke will be here.

As your Aunt Brittany said just this morning, I will be a mother of two and you will be an official big brother. No doubt our world will never be the same.

Before the sleep deprivation catches up with me and causes my patience to run extra thin, I want you to know how wonderful these last three and a half years with you have been. In some ways, it feels like it's been an eternity since we brought you home from the hospital, but mostly it feels like I blinked my eyes and you were no longer my baby but a little boy.

My quiet times these last few days have been about Mary and the birth of Jesus. He was her first born too, you know. The Bible says that she treasured every memory with Him in her heart to look back on through the years to come. I love that verse because it's exactly what I have done these last few years with you. I had no idea what I would do with a little boy. Let's be honest, I had no idea what a little boy would do to me! 

But just like the Lord promised, you have been a gift from the start. You have forced me out of my comfort zone and shown me that I'm capable of more than I thought I was. Nine hours of labor, potty training, and many other things come to mind. 

God has used you to show me things about Him I never would've known before you came along. I love that being a parent has given me new insight into how deep the Father's love is for us. I love that you have taught me what it means to have child-like faith.

When I look back at the memories I've stored in my heart from these last three years, I'll remember Target trips, Sonic dates, and our heart-to-heart talks before bed. But more than anything, I'll remember that, much like Mary knew from the very beginning, God has shown me that you have never been mine. You belong to God and have been entrusted to me and your Daddy for just a short time. I pray that as you continue to grow and need me less that you would find you need Him more. He is more trustworthy and capable of taking care of you than we'll ever be!

It's true. This time next week, we will begin a new chapter in our family. But one thing will still be the same...

This time next week, you will still be as special and as loved as the day you were born. For now and for always, my sweet boy you will be. I love you!!