Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Dear Matthew,

You are eight months old today. Eight. Ocho. I'd say it in French but I grew up in San Diego and there just didn't seem to be a need to learn how to talk in Paris. Huit. There. I looked it up. Don't ask me how to pronounce it. I haven't the foggiest idea. But goodness gracious how ever are you old enough to have seen 2/3 of a year? You're not. I just won't allow it. I forbid you to be eight months old. There. I said it. This is me stomping my feet in protest. Or, in true Matthew fashion, flailing my arms and sobbing gigantic crocodile tears of objection. You are hereby sentenced to a lifetime as a seven-month-old.

Yesterday it snowed and your brother danced around in it like a crazy lunatic. You crawled up to the door and stared at it with an incredible look of wonder. It's not that you hadn't seen it before, it's just that I don't think you remember being a month old. I bundled you up and took you out to see what all the fuss was about. It was coming down all around us and you just kept giggling and bouncing up and down in Daddy's arms.

I'm not a fan of snow in October. Snow in December and January is growing on me but snow any other time of the year is just a colossal nuisance. Plus, I like my weather in the 80's. But, I have to say, I like my kids in snow hats. What's that, Adorable Snow Bunny, you'd like me to buy you Vail, Colorado on account of how cute you are? I'll look into it.
You pull up on everything now. Everything. And then you cruise. Around the table, around the couch, around my bed, anywhere you can. Then you stop, let go with one hand, and stand there with this look that says, Oh yeah, I could let go and walk right to you, if I wanted to. After that you wobble on one foot, come down hard on your bum, look up and giggle as if to say, Psych. Um. Okay. Yeah, Matthew, you got me.

You are in to absolutely everything all of Garrett's stuff. Your brother, the one who welcomed you with open arms and never so much as looked crossly at you and always explains to us that you are behaving that way because you are a baby, has finally had it with you. Why, you ask? I'll explain it to you. There is rarely a moment when you are not climbing him, patting him, drooling on him, taking his toys, licking his toys, chewing his toys, pulling his hair, licking his hair, chewing his hair, pinching his nose, pulling his ears, are you getting the picture? But don't worry, Little Buddy. While your brother has had it with you at least five times a day, he is smitten with you at least twenty times a day so the scale is definitely tipped in your favor. And, as I tell you this next story, keep in mind that he still begs me to keep you here forever. I guess he doesn't mind his slobbery toys as much as he pretends to.

But anyway, the story. We still have to lay on the floor while your brother falls asleep at night. It's got something to do with being afraid of roosters. So, you've taken to spinning onto your belly and immediately crawling up the side of your crib into a standing position the second I put you down at night. The moment the light goes out you start hollering and babbling and banging toys and trying to entice your brother to come bust you out--or something. We've had to put Garrett in our room on several occasions just so that he can fall asleep. The other night, as I curled up on the floor, you stood up. For a minute or two you didn't make a peep, you just stared at your brother. Finally, after several long seconds had gone by, Garrett whispered, "He's staring at me." It was said less like, He's breathing my air and more like, He's creeping me out. And I have to admit, it was a little bit weird. You were just so silent and, well, brooding--almost. Do babies brood?

It's important for you to know how much you adore the dog. If I put you down in the family room, you will always be found riding him, squealing at him, pulling his ears, chewing his know, pretty much whatever you do to your brother. Beck adores you and reminds us every day that we are so glad we decided on a golden retriever six years ago.

Ah boo. Anytime anyone says this to you, you crack up. We don't actually get it. It's like your own private joke. We don't care though, because you break into the most infectious smile that we're happy to go around sounding like complete crazy people to elicit the response. Garrett started it, I think. I'm fairly sure that in all of his three-year-oldness he meant to say Peekaboo and left off the first part. This morning you were Grumpy--yes with the capital G--and I was trying to get a good shot of you at eight months eternally seven months. I called upon your brother. He ahbooed (oh yes, it's a verb) and you, well, you did this:You're looking at him, by the way. Because he's your best friend. Don't try to deny it.

Tomorrow is another hearing. Baby Boy, you just have to understand how much hearings freak me out. Seriously. Heaven help us all when the trial comes because I am going to be one giant ball of wrecked nervous system. Anyway, even when our lawyer is confident I'm all, "But, but, but, what if? What if they take my son away from me? How will I even remember to suck air into my lungs and then exhale it?" And, above all, I worry about you. If, one day, you are taken away from us, let me just say here and now that I am so sorry. I am so sorry for whatever you will go through. I am so sorry that I won't be there to explain it and hold you and kiss your forehead. I'm so sorry that you won't know where we went, only that we aren't there anymore. Please know, somehow, that we only meant all of this for your very own good.

I told you today that there is a hearing tomorrow and you did this:

And then I was all, Little Buddy, calm down. Pray to Jesus. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. And there are people praying for us all across this country--across this world, even. People like this amazing woman. People who know us and love us and people who don't know us and still love us. So, stop your crying, it'll be alright.

So you stopped wailing and then you were all, "Mommy, I wasn't crying about that, God knows what he's doing. I was crying because I have this nasty runny nose and you need to hold me right now." Except it sounded more like, "Aiiiieee babababbbaaba! Beababaaaiaiiaiaiieee!" But I knew what you meant. So took a picture of your foot for good measure.

And you thought that was funny.

Eight months. I don't even know where Matthew's mommy stops and Lori starts. I know we had a life before you were here but it's hard to think about who I was before I knew you. We were fine when we were just three but we were missing you. We all knew we needed to be four. And now that it has been eight months of being four, I cannot wrap my mind around the idea of being three. I love you. I love the sparkle of your eye, the spread of your smile, the curl of your hair. I love your edible cheeks, your tiny birthmark, the sound of your little voice. I love the little boy I've called son for eight whole months.

All my love. ALL of it,


  1. Lori, I seriously can't stop sobbing. You and Troy are amazing. Mike and I will be praying for you two tomorrow and through out this whole ordeal.

  2. Huit sounds like wheat. The French don't know how to spell anything, so I fit right in :)
    We'll be praying for you.

  3. 1. In the off chance that you actually are wondering since I am from Ohio I actually took French (for all the good its done me) and I can tell you that "Huit" is pronounced something like "wheat," if your talking through your nose and you only just barely pronounce the T sound at the end.

    2. I'll pray like crazy for you all day tomorrow.

    3. A-Dor-A-Ble photos!!! He is just yummy!

  4. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your posts. I do not know you personally and probably never will but daily i find myself laughing and then crying at your blog almost daily. you have a gift for getting your words out in a wonderful way. I want you to know that you have added another prayer warrior to your team. I will be praying for you and your family all of you deserve to be together forever. I pray that God will continue to give you strength through these times and I pray for the day when you no longer have to worry! With much love, your sister in christ!

  5. I took a semester of French in school and I can only say,"Hello, how are you?" and "My name is" in French. I blame my professor. I see Rosetta Stone in my future. You and your family are in my prayers.

  6. well, two people have beat me to the whole "huit sounds like wheat" explanation, darnit. i was hoping i'd be the first and you'd be amazed at my knowledge.

    every once in awhile i will allow myself to timidly step into your shoes and i cannot tell you how terrified i feel when i do that. your dad prayed for you all this evening in cell group and in my mind i think i slipped maybe half of your shoe on and the tears started to fall, so i quickly took it off. your family is such a testament to God's faithfulness and his perfect peace. please know that you are in my daily prayers.

  7. I don't think many babies are as cute as my own, but Matthew definitely is right up there.

    I'm fasting and praying for you all and the hearing today.

    God is in control.

  8. We are all praying for you guys. And if you want to know any number in chinese you can ask Brian :)

  9. happy 8 months, little buddy! what a sweet post. praying for you and for the hearing today!