HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! You are 9 years old today!!! The time has gone by so quickly. We moved back to Ojai from living in the mountains of San Bernardino just in time to wait for your arrival. Hahaha! I started having contractions and we thought you were coming soon! Both Emma and Caleb had come two and a half weeks early, so it seemed pretty reasonable to expect that you really were coming. But 26 days later, with contractions on and off, (and one week past your expected due date), the doctor told me there was no choice but to induce labor.
They even gave me a chance in the hospital by breaking my water first. The contractions came, sure and steady...until your heart rate started dropping and they told me to lay on my left side. All contractions stopped. You are the only baby that I have had pitocin with during labor, but 2 hours later you were out and in my arms. (Side note: they think your dates may have been wrong and you were born at 39 weeks gestation.)
You have always been on your own timetable. You have a different rhythm and pace sometimes. You didn't walk until about 16 months, and at two they wanted you to begin speech therapy because you weren't talking much. But we had a feeling you were just on your own schedule. And you were! You are a very bright boy, excellent in your work.
In this world of hustle and bustle...you may find yourself hurried along by those around you. But, you, my dear boy, were created with a different rhythm. Oh yes, there will be times when you have to work quickly to get things done. In the grand scheme of it all, however, you will find that this life passes so quickly. We are in need of those who might slow the pace, and enjoy the beauty of each moment, rather than rushing on to the next. I NEED you, Noah. I can't tell you many times I have longed for you to hurry up, only to find myself surprised by the joy of waiting...and discovering something I would have missed.
You have an incredible smile and a laughing heart to go with it. When we took you to see the comedian Tim Hawkins the other night, I couldn't help but be just as entertained by your uncontrollable laughter in your seat. I'm pretty sure your stomach will be sore in the days to come because you laughed so hard. Don't stop laughing. Times will come in this life that are painful and difficult to understand, and you have been gifted with a special ability to laugh and bring joy. This world needs you and your million dollar smile. It needs your goofy jokes.
And finally, the thing that perhaps characterizes you the most, is your loving spirit. I think you hug me goodnight about 3 times every night. You are always the one to notice when grandma is leaving after having stopped by for a visit, and you are the first one to throw your arms around her because you love her so very much. You love BIG. Noah. This world needs men who can love BIG. There are hurting, broken people all around who need the only kind of love that can heal....the love that comes from above. And that love is often best delivered by those who are willing to HUG, to LISTEN, to SLOW DOWN, to CRY and to LAUGH with another.
Jesus knew how to slow down. He was on a different time table too--He was always on the Father's schedule. He wasn't bothered by the hustle and bustle around Him because He saw that there was more going on than what human eyes could see. Jesus knew how to laugh. He knew how to see humor even in hard situations. And He loved BIG. He lived, knowing his earthly life would end with stretching out His arms in order to show His love.
In one of our favorite family books, Tales of the Kingdom, an apprentice juggler found himself struggling against his rhthym. He kept trying to stifle it in order to bring himself in line with all the other jugglers and their rhthym. But it was only as he revealed the rhythm given in his own heart that he discovered the job the King truly had for him--he was a clown!!!! He was the best juggler of all because his rhthym was different.
"A juggler with the instinct of a clown! Oh, they are rare! They are rare! What a troupe we'll have! We'll bring down the house! We will make the balls dance!"
So the Apprentice Juggler lost his place in the troupe, but found another. For all who live by the rhthym of the inner timing, which the King approves, find a place in the Kingdom all their own. More than any other, they live happily ever after.
Noah. This world needs you. So keep teaching me how to wait. How to laugh. And how to love. I am a better mommy because of you and I am so absolutely humbled and honored to learn from you, as well as teach you. Happy birthday.
For the King,