Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dear Levi

Eleven years ago I held you, bundled and pink skinned, a mere six pounds.  Your dad and I could tell right away you had blond hair and blue eyes.  We knew you would be named Levi Connor Stables.  Your Dad did a road trip with a friend in High School and met a Levi on the road.  There is still a sketch of that Levi in one of his notebooks. A long haired man hunched over a guitar.  Your dad described him as a kind soul, a man with a big heart and a love for others.  Your dad told me about his road trip and this man while we were dating.  That if he had sons he would name one Levi.

When we found out we would have another boy dad physically jumped up and down with joy.  You know his broad smile, the one he gave you when he was so very proud of you?  Riding your bike for the first time, showing compassion to a friend, or showing him your ninja moves as a little guy?  Well, that is the grin he gave.  We already had a Luke.  He was a quiet and determined toddler at that point.  we prayed that a little brother would unlock his world and draw him out.  We prayed that you would be a joy bringer, and that you would always know the God that knit you together in my womb.  You showed up five days early and small just like your big brother.  The first six weeks were bliss.  We would hold you and you would look straight into our eyes, your big blue ones peering in to our brown.  On the seventh week at four o'clock you started howling.  You didn't stop until 11 pm that night as dad rocked and bounced and sang and prayed.  This continued every night for seventy-eight days.  I know because I counted them.  And while you wailed and lurched and were inconsolable, you also grew, and grew, and grew.  Your small, pink, six pound body quickly grew and lengthened each week.  The nurse was amazed as she measured and I sat weary in the green chair watching her weigh and measure you. The doctor came in declaring
you were as healthy as an ox even if you wailed all afternoon and late into each evening.  Dad standing beside me smiled big and said "That's my boy."  When you would finally drift to sleep at 11:30 each night I would stand over your crib and pray the same prayer every night.  "Lord, help him be a joy bringer, a hope giver, to point towards you and life and all that is good.  Help make him a bridge maker and peace bringer.  Give him wisdom."  And honestly, I prayed this in faith because I was enduring seventy eight days of hard.

     I don't remember if it happened all at once or in small steps, but I do know I stopped counting the wailing days at seventy eight. Something must have turned in me or you, or both of us.  And my sweet Levi, you
kept growing, but you also started belly laughing and smiling, and cooing at anyone who would lock eyes with you.  You made us laugh and pulled Luke out of his quiet world of block building and track laying.  The
minute you could walk you were tottering over to your dad to give him hugs and kisses.  Your first words were dada and moon.  He often told you he loved you to the moon and back.  And we continued to pray the crib prayer over you as you grew.  You almost filled the length of the crib at two.  Even as you slept you smiled, pink cheeked and happy.
     Your name means "to be joined, attached', or in other translations "to live in harmony with".  Your middle name means wise.
      And Levi, you live out the meaning of your name so easily.  You fumble forward loving others without thought of yourself.  There were so many, many nights when after dad went into pray with you he would pause and say "I am so grateful for Levi, he is such an encouragement to me, he knows how to love so well at such a young age...I cannot wait to see what God will do with a heart like that."  Your dad saw you as a world changer, a pink cheeked boy who's everyday was the "best day ever" that would grow into a man that was not afraid of the hard ones ahead.  You are a lover of love, a face turned towards the Sun, who is learning to not be afraid of the shadows.  My sweet Levi, your heart has taken a beating this year.  We are still in the wailing days and the shadows still fall long upon us.
For 119 days you have had your earthly father joined with your heavenly one.  But son, you will have the Sun shine fully on your face again.  You will attach and join together and bring harmony to where ever our good Father takes you.  You will love deeply and receive so much love in return.  I am so grateful that I get to call you son.  You are walking the walk of your dad and literally wearing his shoes at age eleven.  I agree with dad, I can't wait to see what God is going to do with the years ahead!  Happy Birthday Levi!