It is a well known fact that I am going to cry on each and every one of my children’s birthdays. So much so, that they begin to taunt me about it weeks before the actual date! (Rotten children) When my oldest son turned five, I cried off and on all day. Five is something of a milestone. You are no longer a baby, you are ready for school, ready to have a taste (!) of independence. So as my youngest approaches his fifth birthday, I find myself saddened by how fast he is growing up and thoughtful about his future. I thought that I should put down these thoughts for him.
As your fifth birthday is approaching, I wanted to share some things with you. My memories, my hopes, and my prayers for you. Someday you may need these words and someday I may need to remember saying them.
Your Father and I prayed for you. As a family of three, we were happy, but we knew we needed you. Your brother needed a sibling, and we needed someone for him to play with! For nearly two years, we prayed for God to bless us with another baby. When we found out we were expecting you, we were all over the moon, even Layton. We knew that God was sending us someone very special and we were right! You came into this world with a swiftness that has become a part of your personality. You are quick to see the beauty in everything around you. You are quick to be everyone’s friend. You are the most quick witted little kid I have ever known. It is these three attributes that I want to focus on as I look toward your birthday and your future.
1. You see beauty in everything around you!
From a butterfly, to a peanut butter sandwich, you truly appreciate all that life has to offer. You love a good song, you love trees and mud, you love animals. You appreciate a soft blanket and you are thankful for the lollipop that you get at the bank. This world can be cruel and cynical. I hope that you will always see it for the beauty in spite of the filth. It is my prayer that you will always find joy.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees in the forest sing for joy.
Psalm 96:11-12 NIV
2. You are quick to be everyone’s friend!
From the time you could smile, you smiled at everyone. By the time you could walk, you walked up to everyone and flashed that smile. By the time you could talk, you walked up to people and said, “Hi, my name is Oliver, would you like to play?” It didn’t matter if the person was 2 or 72. You have a way with people. (You did go through a period where you didn’t like babies very much, but you got over it pretty quick!) You do not see race, or sex, or age as an obstacle for friendship. You are patient, and kind, and loving toward everyone (well, sometimes not your brother, but that’s normal). It is my prayer that you will always love your brother, your friends, and your enemies.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
How about you? What attributes do your children have that you pray they keep? What do you pray for when it comes to your children?