about a boy.

Homeschooling means no school “picture day,” therefore, I try to photograph the kids around their birthday to document their year. Here are a few of our son Adin, with a note to him.

~I always knew I would have a boy. So much of raising kids seems foggy, but I’ll never forget seeing you for the first time. Something about the reality of having a boy after Priya seemed so weird but wonderful.

I find that I spend more time trying to “figure you out” more than the other kids. You’re not as vocal- dramatic- or “in your face.” I do know you have a huge heart, but expressing it can be a bit tough at times and that can be misinterpreted. I remember getting in trouble when I was little for not “seeming remorseful” to my parents, when inside I felt like my heart was bleeding and I couldn’t breathe….I just didn’t know how to express how I felt, and it hurt. I see this in you and I can sympathize.

I see your massive determination, but typically only for what you choose. You OBSESS over things…..like when you decided you wanted a compass, so you researched online about the types and models and begged, and begged, and begged to go to the army surplus store to look at them. Two weeks later you were obsessed with something completely different. We’ve had to work with you on this, reminding you about moderation in all things. Obsessing over anything just isn’t healthy.

You are an “all or nothing” kind of guy, and it makes schooling quite the challenge for me. Convincing you that school is fun is like convincing a brick wall to speak. Sometimes I just want to cry right along with you. But, we make it.

You’ve never been a fan of the curly hair. This is something I just can’t understand- I think it’s wonderful.  You’ve begged me for years to buzz it off but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it….until this summer. Your 9th birthday was coming and you again, begged. We gave in and Baba buzzed it off. You were completely in love with it (and I have to admit, it suits you well).

You’re so tough. You have my pain tolerance. You walked over to me about a week ago calmly and said, “Um, I think I got hurt.” Your side above your hip had a gash and was bloody, and after I cleaned you up I just had to laugh…..

I see you help your little brothers. I melt. We tell you often that we know you didn’t ask to be a big brother, but God made you one, therefore there are certain responsibilities that come with that role. We remind you that there are two little guys following you around- seeking to emulate every action, every word, and your works. This is something you need to know and be reminded of.  “Character is what matters,” you hear quite a bit, and we discuss ways that this can be built up, and ways that it can be torn apart. Sometimes you roll your eyes, but most of the time I see you listening. We speak frankly with you, and your questions truly amaze us. When you are deep in thought I find it nearly tangible.

Love you little guy. Thank you for making me get off the computer and pause work to come snuggle with you before bed. You are now nine, and I know in a few years I will be the one begging you.

You are so loved and cherished, Adin.  ~ Mama & Baba

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August 12, 2011 - 11:46 am

Jessica G. - I adore this letter. He is so lucky to have this note from his loving mother, this is something he will certainly cherish forever. What a great testament to motherhood, it’s real and it’s honest.
Adin will truly grow up to be a great man.

August 12, 2011 - 11:48 am

lucy - seriously jess? come over here and cry with me. beautifully said. A is so awesome…freckles, buzz cut and all….love you A!

August 12, 2011 - 11:50 am

Keaton - Probably my favorite post thus far of yours. It’s crazy what just a few photos and some words can tell you about someone. You two are extravagant parents, with love and hope and passion for God beyond some people’s wildest dreams.

Your kids will change people’s lives day after day for the good of Christ. And I am sure of this because you two already do. :-)

God bless!
- Keaton

August 12, 2011 - 12:35 pm

melanie - love the new hair adin! he doesn’t look like baba’s clone as much anymore! and he looks so much older. great post.

August 12, 2011 - 1:17 pm

meredith - he looks so grow up.. and the rest of it- I love how you embrace each of your childrens’ personalities and help them learn to channel unwieldy traits into something positive. It’s the mark of a truly great parent..

August 12, 2011 - 1:55 pm

Karla - This is such a sweet and wonderful post! It made me cry. I hope my little girl meets one of your sons in the future ;) (yeah I know, I just made “that” kind of comment). Seriously, I think you and Brett are AMAZING parents!

August 12, 2011 - 2:18 pm

Uncle J - LOVE. Absolutely love.

August 12, 2011 - 2:27 pm

Holly - love you, AJ.

August 12, 2011 - 10:00 pm

erin - He is so handsome and looks so grown-up! You are amazing parents, and that makes me hopeful.

August 14, 2011 - 2:40 pm

Rachel B. - These….ARE…..FABULOUS! Your tribute to Adin is so sweet, but I got teary-eyed when I saw the shot of his banged up legs and cut-offs. That image encapsulates boyhood like nothing else could! The time is so fleeting, but I don’t have to tell you that. I am thankful that you are able to save these memories for him and yourself and treasure them so. And those last two shots are heart-meltingly wonderful!

August 16, 2011 - 12:39 pm

gina - oh jess, i just saw this. such a beautiful post filled with mommy love for her boy. my heart was melting….xo.

August 16, 2011 - 1:22 pm

Caitlin Sullivan - I am one of four myself and am SO drawn to your beautiful writing about your family. It truly gives me chills and the way you honor each child is so awesome. Not to mention y’all are GORGEOUS. Can I photograph you guys!? :)

August 18, 2011 - 8:17 pm

Maggie - Wow…this brought tears to my eyes. Being a parent has got to be the coolest thing ever. You guys are so blessed!

August 18, 2011 - 9:15 pm

Gail - Oh my goodness does that short hair ever suit him! He looks 12 here! And don’t take this the wrong way, ’cause, you know, he’s like, a quarter of my age, but that kid? When he’s 18? He’s gonna BREAK SOME HEARTS.

August 19, 2011 - 3:52 pm

Shannon Selim - What beautiful eyes he has!!!! Lock him up :-)

August 30, 2011 - 9:16 pm

bobbi - ditto to what Uncle J said. And Adin, way dig the haircut. You look OH SO handsome!

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