emri

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today was emri’s birthday. i remember a letter i had drafted a few months ago here on my blog. seems like an appropriate time to post. and of course our annual birthday slideshow and interview.

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happy birthday, sweet girl.

emri, i just have to tell you. i’m so proud of you.

the last 3 years of bringing samuel and lucie kate into the world has been a complete blur. for the longest time it was just us three. i watched you as you welcomed samuel into our family. i remember you asking me the night before samuel was born if i thought he would like you. i remember you fully anticipating his arrival complete with bringing a picture of yourself to the hospital to place in his bed. so he would see you all the time. i remember the way you loved him. the way i could tell he made you swoon. you were so patient with him. so lovely. so maternal.

i remember when samuel was 6 months old and you had just started kindergarten and my heart broke as i watched you get on that bus and leave us for the whole day. i remember how brave you were to go to school on your own. away from all that was familiar. and i watched you do so well in school. your new french accent slayed me. and then i found out i was pregnant with lucie and the hormones soared and the fatigue consumed me. i had no energy. and as i look back i just wonder if i gave you the attention you needed. if you ever felt forgotten or left out. because life changed so much. we didn’t go to coffee shops just the two of us anymore. and we weren’t video taping our cooking shows. we weren’t crafting and telling stories as much. and all those times you came home from school with rosy cheeks and smelling like “school”. you would ask me to play school. and i would say no because i just didn’t have it in me. and i wonder if it hurt. but you were so patient. and then lucie came and she cried and cried sometimes. mostly at your bed time when i would normally tuck you in. and i just watched you help and take care of your new siblings. you were so strong and courageous and showed samuel and lu so much love. and i remember sometimes snapping at you in my exhaustion and i remember thinking, i hope i haven’t hurt her. i hope she knows how thankful i am for the way she has weathered threw such a transition.

and how you have weathered it. you, my emri, have helped carry our whole family. you have loved  samuel and lucie kate with daddy and i. the way we look at each other sometimes, you, and i. when samuel or lucie kate does something ridiculously cute. and we both say “we can’t take it.” cause its that cute.

our lives have changed since the littles. hasn’t it , emri? but hasn’t it been good?

i want you to know that you aren’t forgotten. daddy and i see you.

we see you push through after a long day at school, when you haven’t gotten the best of sleep. the way you threw that diaper away. the way you held lucie when i asked you to. the way you remembered to do your homework. the way you initiated “highs and lows” at the dinner table. the way you finished your meat loaf even though you claimed it was you “worst fear”. the way you played with all those little kids who came over for dinner even though you were much older. the way you chased them and entertained them for so long out of the goodness and affection of your heart. the way i watched you apologize to your friend because you knew it was the right thing to do.

emmy, you are such a vital part of our family. you help us see Jesus a little clearer. you with us, makes His voice is a little stronger.

i was so thankful for you the other day when we were walking out of aldi. in our new, unfamiliar neighborhood. when mary, that elderly woman approached us asking us for a ride. i stalled nervously asking her questions wondering if we could trust her. (wondering if she secretly had a weapon in that little hand bag of hers). my guard was up. i was cautious and closed off. and then you stepped in front of me and looked her right in the eyes and said,

“we’d be happy to give you a ride home”.

i needed you then. and as you said that so confidently, i laughed and relaxed. you were right. we were happy to do that, weren’t we em?and then we had such a sweet conversation with her on the way home. she was precious. we knew it was the right thing to do at the time. well we knew… because of you.

you are eight, emri. and such a lovely little lady. i admire you and love watching you grow up. and in the midst of the flurry of having two new little lives under our roof, i wanted you to know that i was thinking of you.

happy birthday emri!

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