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Sunday, May 25, 2014

noé...is six.

One-month-old Noé

6 years ago today... Noé made me a momma. I had no idea what his birth would signify, how his arrival would redefine my existence--and how much one little guy could teach me about motherhood.

I must admit I went into mommy-hood feeling over-prepared. I loved kids, I said. I was the 3rd of 10 children and spent most of my life being a "mommy" to my younger siblings. I babysat throughout my teens. I was studying to be an elementary teacher and had been an assistant teacher for 3 years. I had this, right? ;)

Wrong!

My vision of how I would mother involved very little structure, a free-flowing world where the kiddo would go wherever I went, strapped on my back or riding in the car, sleeping wherever he or she landed. I shook my head at people whose whole life seemed centered around nap schedules, and schedules in general. What was the big deal??

Huh.

So, God, in his divine providence gifted us with an amazing little boy who we named Noé Rey. Noé popped out into the world, serious and observant. He silently gazed around at his new surroundings--only crying when he was being cleaned and dressed.

Soon, though, my days became an endless task of calming my crying boy. He seemed to spend every waking moment crying, wanting only to be held by me... Not enjoying anything that took him out of the house. Car rides, stroller rides, trips out--big no-no's! Sleeping was a joke--one of those jokes that no one laughs about. I really have no idea how I held onto my sanity during those long, isolated months.

One-year-old Noé

Two-year-old Noé

Sister came along 18 months later... and still our boy struggled to joyfully partake of life. Each day was an emotional battle, complete often with 3 hours tantrums, for reasons none of us could guess.

Three-year-old Noé

When Noé turned 3, we traveled to Illinois--at God's leading--and began finding the help our boy needed. Skilled therapists helped us to think like Noé thought, see the world through his eyes, and help him through many of his deepest fears. I had to learn to become a highly structured, very intentional mom--and that it was okay! I learned to say "no" to things that Noé wasn't ready for, and to not take things so personally. During that year, Noé blossomed and continued to grow in the years that followed.

Today, our little man turns 6. It seems impossible to believe! In those long, unbearable early days--I couldn't imagine "making it" until 6. I feared to picture what life would be like at that time. Would life be even more of a struggle for our guy??
Four-year-old Noé

I don't know if I could've believed what an amazing, capable boy he's become! That he is the student every teacher wishes to have--a kid full of empathy and care. A perfectionist, a deep thinker, a rule-follower. A boy with a memory for details that leaves us shaking our heads. A guy that is quick to rub someone's back who is hurting, first to jump in to console. A boy that is daily challenging himself, and learning how brave he is.

5-year-old Noé

I would not be who I am today if God had not given us Noé.



Noé... you have taught me more about myself and the world than anyone I know. 

Because of you, I see everything differently; I understand more deeply, I love more fiercely. Since you've been on earth, you have brought your one-of-a-kind perspective and opened up new worlds and interpretations. I love the deep, thoughtful questions you ask, and the connections you come up with all on your own. I love how you think first of others--and how you can be a good friend. Your unique sense of humor brings us daily laughter.  You have taught me more than I knew I could learn in 6 years. 

As it is said about motherhood: "The days are long, but the years are short." I thank God every day that he chose that we would get to be the family that spent the years with you. 
Love you today and always!!


And, for memory preservation, the stats:
-Wears: Size 6 in clothes, size 12 in shoes
-Weighs: 50 pounds
-Height- 46"
-Favorite toys/games: Angry Birds, Legos, Minecraft
-New Interest: Karate
-Favorite instrument: Electric Guitar ("For my rock and roll band")
-Favorite color: Yellow
-Favorite lunch: PB & J sandwich.
-Favorite movie/shows: Despicable Me, Phineas & Ferb, Oscar's Oasis
-Favorite activities: Biking, swimming
-Really wants to: Go on a roller coaster and drive go-karts (so he says... ;) )

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