This post is long overdue, of course. I am finally forcing myself to sit down today, for the first time. Baby Kenneth is asleep for the night, and I am able to relax. It has been a long day, y’all! Well, honestly, it’s been a long year. A GREAT year, but a long one. The events of these past few weeks have put me in a nostalgic and reflective mental state. Easter Sunday was the first occasion that caused me to get misty eyed. We went to the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem again, and I held my heavy and squirmy baby boy, sang worship songs, and remembered what it felt like last year when I experienced it for the first time. Baby boy was just one week old then, having been born on Palm Sunday after a long and scary 48 hour labor. I held him close that morning and could not stop crying as I thanked God over and over that we both safely made it through that awful time in the hospital!! And, oh, was it awful. Joyful at the end of it all, though. Whew.
Just look at how teeny! Oh my stars!
Just a little over a week later, our little guy turned One. This was an emotional and tiring day for me. Tiring because I stayed up most of the night prior cutting tissue paper into strips to roll into “tissue paper pom poms” for his high chair. Yes, they are a thing. And yes, Pinterest got the better of me that night. Alas. It was emotional because, well, my baby is one. ONE. I can’t really accept how fast he is growing up. He had the time of his life at his party, along with our American staff and all of Kenneth’s (Mr. Coomer’s) students, current and previous. He laughed, cheesed for pictures, cried about the stickiness of his cake, and clapped his hands after opening each gift. He waved, pointed, babbled, and did all of the new little things he had learned that week. My heart melts and breaks every time he discovers how to do something different. Before I know it, my outgoing, adventurous, brave little boy will be running away from me instead of toward me. He’ll be running out the door to his life that no longer involves me quite so much. I ache just thinking about it!
Look at the sheer joy!
Then of course Mother’s Day happened. It was a perfect day! Little Kenneth seemed to sense that he was supposed to show me some extra love that day. He stayed by my feet all afternoon, kept crawling into my lap, and snuggled against me with his thumb in his mouth every time I picked him up. After he went to bed, his wonderful Daddy took me to a nice dinner and showered me with praise. It was a sweet, emotional day. Of course, currently growing another person tends to make everything extra emotional. It’s like every day there is a new reason to cry. Yesterday, it was looking at the picture of our little girl’s face in our recent sonogram. We’re having a girl!!!! Tears. Then I saw baby Kenneth’s little black dress shoes in the closet. I mean, they’re SO small and cute that I just had to cry about it. Today it was when he yelled for his Daddy as soon as he woke up from his nap, and couldn’t be made happy until he saw him soon after. More tears. I am so blessed to be this amazingly perfect child’s mother, and to have one on the way, too!
I also cried over these photos, realizing how incredible this past year has been. We have been so blessed to live here in Bethlehem, and to have the adventures we’ve had. I’ve seen and experienced things in my first year of motherhood that I never imagined possible! Kenneth was born 200 yards from where Jesus was born. He has put his feet in the water that Jesus was baptized in. He has swam where Jesus calmed the storm. There are no words! Well, one. Grateful!
The Sea of Galilee.
Jesus WALKED ON THIS WATER.
We had to do the Lion King thing here. Had to. Don’t worry, it was safer than it looks.
The Jordan River. Where Jesus was baptized and began his ministry. Amazing!