You are three years old today! It really seems so hard to believe. Just three years ago, Daddy and I were in the hospital about to experience the biggest change of our lives. And now, three years later, you have become this little person, this little boy that lives in our house, and eats our food and makes us laugh and makes us cry. What an incredible journey it has been.
Your third year has been harder than your second. You actually have (strong) opinions now. Well, I suppose you’ve always had opinions, but you’re pretty good at talking now, so you make us aware of how you think things should roll around here. Discipline has become a regular part of our routine. We knew it was coming, but it doesn’t make it any easier. It is hard to discipline and you have to believe that it hurts us more than it hurts you. I know parents have been saying that for centuries, but it really is true. It is so hard, but we have learned so much about our relationship with God through our parenting. We are such imperfect parents, Rhett. One day you will really feel that. But, we have conversations regularly about how when we parent you, God teaches us the way that He loves us, the way that He disciplines us, the way that he woos us into obedience. We want so much to not be parents that just modify behavior, we want to be parents that lead you into joyful obedience and humility. We don’t have the first clue how to do that, but God is faithful to do that in our lives and we can trust that He will be faithful to do that in your life too.
Just a few days ago, the worst school shooting in U.S. history occurred. It was at an elementary school and 20 children were killed. You have no idea how that makes a Momma feel. Helpless. Afraid. Angry. As I thought through the events, one thing that I was reminded of was what I told you on your first birthday – I want to be a good steward of you. I am reminded that you are gift to me and Daddy. We didn’t deserve you. Today, I feel that more acutely than I ever have. We don’t deserve you and we don’t deserve tomorrow. All I know is that everything we have today is God’s perfect will for our family. And if it all fell apart tomorrow, I want to be able to say the same thing. So, today, on your third birthday I am praying a special prayer thanking God for the immeasurable joy He has given us through your short three years, and for the lessons that we continue to learn about God’s great love for us as we parent you and begging God, really really begging Him to give us many more years with you.
Rhett, I love you so much. I am so proud of the little boy that you are becoming. You are working on such good manners and when I get dressed you say, “Oh, you look so nice!” Oh my heart. You are spunky, stubborn and so so silly. You are not a rule-follower. You test your limits. Some days you love your brother and some day you think he’s a nuisance. But, every single minute of every day, you are the perfect son for me and Daddy. I love you and am looking so forward to your next year.
Happy Birthday, Rhetto!