Sunday, August 23, 2015

Year Five: A Letter

Dear Camden,

STOP the madness. I cannot believe that my little baby, the one that made me a mom, is now officially 5. FIVE! That's...ALL the fingers on one hand!

Camden has been up to a lot this past year. He started school, going to a Pre-K class that he LOVED. He was so disappointed to go to summer school that "wasn't the same". He is still a cuddler/hugger - giving good hugs at the most random times. He loves to be outside, "when the weather is so nice". He is a great helper, he has chores that he completes every week, he likes to help his dad mow the lawn, and he follows directions fairly well for a 5 year old. He likes to help feed the dog, change the trash, do any of the things I'm doing - especially if it comes to cooking. He can crack and egg like a pro!

He loves to swim, and this year he finally made the transition to swimming without floaties. He does great, and is a tan little fish. He gets to swim nearly every weekend, and some weeknights too over at grandma and grandpa's house. He still has sandy blonde hair, ridicuously long eye lashes, bright blue eyes and a tan that many girls would be jealous of. He is about 42 inches tall, and he weighs about 38 lbs, which is small compared to other kindergarteners in his class that are almost 6, and he's barely 5!

Speaking of growth - as he has continued to get older his toes are still turned in, causing his little hips to get out of alignment. God has blessed us with an amazing man of God and chiropractor who is helping us line his little body up right. We are adding little foot orthotics to his shoes to help his little feet turn out, and he is doing really well with them. We are believing in this miracle - that as he grows God will straighten him up!

He loves sleepovers at Grandma and Grandpa's, after church night on the weekends. He loves the sleepovers even more when his two cousins join him. He calls his cousin Kaitlyn who is 4 days older than him "my best girl". On some days, he will even ask if his brother can spend the night out with him because, "I really want him there".

He still prefers a morning sippy cup of milk in the morning, and a sippy of chocolate milk after school. He could live off of hot dogs and chili, I swear he might never get tired of that. He is a slow eater, but I hear that will change this year in Kindergarten, when they have about 15 minutes to eat their lunch. That will definitely be and adjustment, as he takes more time than my geriatric patients take to finish a meal. ;)

He sleeps well all night, and can still nap without issue. It's notable that during the school year he gets extra cranky by Friday's - because of staying up late and getting up when Mommy and Daddy leave for work, and there's just short "rest time" or "brain break" at school. On weekend though, he can still nap for an hour or two, especially on days when he has swam hard in the morning or been busy with the family.

His little relationship with the Lord is a precious one to see. He was helping his Dad mow the lawn not too long ago, and Dad asked him to push the mower that was turned off, to the front of the house. He started to push, quickly had trouble and stopped. He said outloud, "Hang on a second, I need to pray". He then bowed his head, said a silent prayer, and then looked up with a face of determination. Next thing I know, he's digging his toes into the grass as he's pushed forward with all of his little body weight to make that mower move, and by golly, he did it successfully, all while grining with accomplishment. It was one of the sweetest things to see! It wasn't that long ago that he was sick at school, and his teachers called to tell me they had changed his shirt that he got sick on, but were going to see how he did. I called and checked on him but he made it the whole day. When I picked him up he simply said "my tummy was hurting, but I prayed to God to help me feel better and then he made my tummy not hurt!". Faith like a child, so honest and pure.

Speaking of praying, we are working on praying about our whining and fit throwing. We are working on reminding him to stop and pray and ask for Jesus to help him calm down and ask respectfully for his wants or needs to be met - all without throwing a fit. He still has his good days and bad days at home, but overall, he's a great kid and is learning daily. He even told me the other day that he knew he could pray about his legs growing to be even lengths and that "God was going to fix it". Amen, little man; you definitely got this!

He is working on memorizing his first Bible verse, and pretty much has it down pat. Proverbs 12:22 is the verse. It was given to him at Gymnastics class and we talk about it as often as possible, and we repeat it in the car so he has it down pat.

Gymnastics is another new thing for him. He has so much energy, yet he could sit inside and watch his favorite TV show "Paw Patrol" for the entire night if we let him. So, we enrolled him in a gymnastics class for now. I think it's been good at teaching him to listen and follow directs, and in a large group setting. This will hopefully be something he will enjoy doing, and maybe he will want to try other sports and activities as we go on. He definitely loves swimming and has been asking about taking more swimming classes. We will see what develops over the next year for sure!

He's a smart little guy, always able to tell me different facts about things, and he is constantly learning. He still has some difficulty with speech, 'chip' and 'ship' tend to sound the same when he pronounces them, as do 'shoes' and chews'. Those darn "ch" sounds! Another thing is "think". It always comes out as "fink". I love it. And he told us that his grandparents recently took a vacation to "Alasaka" which - I didn't even WANT to correct him.

And oh, this little boy as a big brother. It is just heart melting. There are times when gets frustrated and pushes his brother, or takes a toy away from him, but you can tell he immediately knows it's wrong. As soon as Caysen starts to cry, he will be hugging him, apologizing to him and trying to get him to be quiet - and hurry! - before Mom and Dad hear! ;)

But in all seriousness, he is the BEST big brother. He is incredibly patient, he likes to teach him how to do things and get Caysen to follow his lead. He will pat him ever so gently on the head and talk to him, while Caysen "mm-hmm's" and nods in agreement with whatever he is talking about. He understands what it means to take turns, who goes first, who gets to watch a show and he is sure to make sure Caysen gets what he wants. Often times he will speak up for his brother, as Caysen will point to something and only Camden will see it, so Camden will speak up for him. He knows exactly what Caysen wants and is one of the best at reading Caysen's speech and motions! He is SO good at taking care of his brother! He will give him rides on his toys around the house, makes sure he has his blankie, and will always share a bite of whatever he is eating. Their relationship is really a sweet one to see. I pray that Camden will always be a great protector for his little brother.

Camden, I hope you know how proud we are of you as parents. You are smart, kind, honest and inquisitive. You have a tender heart, a beautiful faith, and a loving little soul. We can't wait to see what is in store for you, to continue to watch you grow, and to enjoy time with you while we have it. You are a blessing in more ways than can be counted, and we can't wait to see the ways God will use you in your lifetime. We pray you continue to deepen your faith and share with others, and allow God to mold you into the sweet young boy you are becoming!

We love you to the moon and back,


Sunday, August 16, 2015

That Trust Thing Again...

My thoughts have been swirling for the past few days, as it seems to happen after a discharge from the hospital. The whole stay went smoothly, but I was surprised at how much I missed two of my dear friends - one being Andi and the other a doctor friend who moved on to another state to practice medicine. I found myself reflecting back on the aloneness while in the hospital - feeling like those that I knew were in my corner were no longer there to "check in" on me, if you will. And the last time we were inpatient - I had just become close to Andi. At that time I didn't realize I was only going to have a short span of one year with her - but in that one year to be impacted in far greater ways that I could ever imagine. To be educated on so many things, supported in vital ways, and calmed with a level of understanding and expertise that was invaluable in our daily life.

Some days the void of her loss doesn't seem so black and dark;  or so deep and wide. But other days it's nearly impossible to crawl out of the expanse.

“For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.”

Psalms 84:11-12 NLT

This one verse right here. Been doing a lot of thinking on that trust word. 

I pray at the beginning of each year for a word.

A word that God wants me to focus on. One that I can learn to fully live by and focus on. In 2014 my word was trust. We had been through so much in 2013, and Caysen was SO sick, I knew that I was still learning to fully trust and grasp what it meant to do so. Trust was what needed to be focused on. Especially since Caysen's Comprehensive Stage 2 was coming up in March of 2014. I had to learn to fully trust in God's plan; the things I couldn't see. It was an incredibly tough year, but I thought I had picked up the meaning of the word. I felt that I lived it, breathed it and learned to completely trust Him with handing Caysen over for such a HUGE surgery. 

So this year, in January, I prayed again for my word. And I just could not shake the word "trust" again. I couldn't figure why I should have the same word, but each time I prayed, multiple times over the course of a couple of weeks, the Lord kept taking me back to that same word. Every. Time. 

Looking back, I know now that was God nudging me back to that word for a reason. He knew what was to come this year, that I would shortly lose my best friend Andi, and that it would be the hardest, deepest and most painful loss of a loved one that I had yet to experience. Sure, I've lost friends and family but it was different for those losses as it may have been expected or seemed like it was time. That was not the case with Andi. So sudden, unexpected and unfair to us left behind that it has been so very excruciating. This year likely holds a surgery we didn't expect to be quite so soon. The difficult decision to have a littler and younger kid do the Fontan surgery isn't an easy one, especially when there can be so many complications when they are smaller. God knew the difficulty of what was to come that I couldn't see and He wanted me to TRUST in Him, yet again. Because the tests this year have been bigger. Deeper. Requiring more strength.

And for crying out loud, that trust thing is the hardest to get a hang of. Trusting that Andi had bigger things to fulfill in heaven. Trusting that taking her now - someone so young, smart, full of promise and drive to help others. The most knowledgeable person I have ever met - that taking her now was indeed for the best. Trusting that the timing of Caysen's surgery is perfect for him and his little broken heart. Trusting that he won't get sick and we can do this surgery before fall and before sick season. Trust, trust, trust, in more ways than one. 

And just when i think I have it down, I realize that I might have wavered, or doubted. For trust walks hand in hand with faith. The faith that God will carry you through, that His ways are higher than our ways, that his plans for our future are better than we can imagine. Even when that involves heavenly plans for someone that we love dearly.

When you do finally fully trust in Him, it's like this verse says. He will withhold no good. Oh, what joy it is, to trust. So even though I'm still a work in progress at finding myself fully trusting, when one does succeed and see the blessings poured out hand over foot, or when you feel that comfort and peace knowing God has the future perfectly planned; it's like no other. And a little bit of trust, goes a long way. Once you start to trust Him fully with what you have, it becomes easier to give Him everything. And let me tell you, as difficult as it is - I KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I couldn't do any of this without Him.

God is good, even when I don't understand. God is good, even when I don't see a future - or a way out. God is good, even when I'm hurting, or when Caysen or my family is hurting. God is good. He relentlessly and beautifully cares for us so deeply, that we can't fathom what a joy it is to Him, when we trust him fully. Do you trust Him? You should definitely give it a  try.