To the 4-Year-Old Who Made Us Parents

4 years and 9 months ago, two tiny pink lines altered our lives forever.

As a 23 year old newlywed with zero interest in small children, exhilaration wasn’t my first response.

Hyperventilation, a blood test confirmation at LabCorp, and a panicked call to my best friend followed by a literal Googling of “how to be pregnant”…these were my first responses.

4 years and 9 months ago, I had absolutely no idea what was in store for our family. I had no idea what parenting was or how hard and joyous it would be. How infuriating and rewarding. How scary and overwhelmingly beautiful.

But then came August 22, 2011.

And I looked into the eyes of a blue-eyed, blonde-haired little Taylor tot named Beckett and I knew that no matter what happened, no matter how ill-prepared we were, no matter what else followed that moment in our lives, it was going to be ok.

On August 22, 2011, our whole world changed.

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The little boy who first made us parents turns 4 today.

Four.

Legit kid age.

Wipes-his-own-butt age. Rides-a-bike age. Knows-more-about-how-electricity-works-than-I-do age.

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Kid, you have taught me so much.

How to be brave and “make the scary feelings go away”.

How to have faith like a child and see Jesus in every day life.

How to toot your way out of an argument.

How to love unconditionally.

How to turn a bug catcher into an HGTV-quality home for geckos.

How to make the world an imagination playground.

You are inquisitive, cautious, friendly, smart, and intuitive.

You are quick to notice other people’s feelings, you love your brothers fiercely, and you like rules and plans.

You are currently “allergic to enchiladas”, you think the word “gentleness” is “gentlemens”, and you are completely obsessed with your “swish” shoes.

You love teamwork, being responsible with “sharp things”, and using adult hygiene products (like Daddy’s “certain smell”, aka cologne).

You’ve gone by the name Ocean Lizard for, like, 5 months straight.

To be honest, kid, we have no idea what we’re doing as parents. We will mess up often and big. We will make poor decisions and act in ways that don’t look a lot like Jesus.

Our prayer for you, Beck man, our precious guinea pig child, is that it’s never about how great our parenting is or how many things we do right, but how well we point you to Him. We pray that we don’t parent you into relying on us more, but push you towards complete trust in Him.

We pray for you to be courageous. Your first instinct is caution, which will serve you well in making decisions (like saying no when your high school friends decide to paintball a car dealership), but there is also a time and a place to be bold and brave. Remember when you jumped off the diving board and swam across the pool? That, buddy, is being courageous. So do not be afraid. Be brave.

We pray for you to seek out the knowledge of God. You are so inquisitive and incredibly smart, constantly asking how things work and why. We pray that you never stop asking questions, but that the majority of your search for knowledge is about things that matter. Jesus, loving others, things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy…we pray that you seek out knowledge and wisdom on those things as well.

We are sosillyexcited for your 4th year – all the ways you’ll grow and change, all the ways you’ll teach us, and all the ways your role of big brother x2 will impact our family in the next 365 days.

You are our greatest surprise adventure.

You are so loved, buddy boy.

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