I realize this is a week late but these were my thoughts on April 20th.
Sweet boy. I sit by your crib on the last night you are one. You hold my hand tightly through the rungs of your crib as I softly sing you hymns, my thumb smoothing your hand as I keep time to the rhythm. I’ve kept time to your life Little Man, as well as I can. But it can get so fast. You will be two tomorrow.
You were born on a quiet April evening. That morning, I walked with your sister, Aunt Laurel and your Nana in the fresh morning air, feeling my body flex with the coming power of labor. As the strength grew, I planted seedlings in the garden and waited knowing you would come in time. The labor was fast. I will never forget the moment you were laid on my chest. You didn’t seem pleased by the chill around you but at the sound of my voice you immediately stopped fussing and opened your eyes wide. I propped you in front of me and we stared at each other. We all stared, your Daddy, Nana and me. I don’t know how long we were like that - 20 minutes? An hour? It seemed like forever in a moment. The miracle of you left us spellbound. Now we are here with our eyes meeting again. Yours blink with sleep. Mine fill with tears as I remember that first time.
You are such a joy to us. I don’t know how you can be so different from your sister and yet just as sweet and wonderful. You are all boy with a love for engine noises, buffalo, and outside. We joke that if you were left outside with a sippy cup of milk and some goldfish crackers you’d live happily ‘til your dying day. You do all things with your whole heart as you run, crash, play, and love. Your strong hugs and kisses are a highlight of our lives.
Passion describes you. Your name, Brandt, is the maiden name of your Daddy’s grandma a woman who always spoke the truth in love and thought the best of everyone. She said her father, Alex Brandt, was passionate for the Gospel and was the godliest man she had ever known. I’d say she gave her father reason to praise for her own passionate faith. Brandt means “sword, fiery torch, or beacon”. We pray you will be just that for God’s truth.
Your middle name is Andrew after my father, an amazing man who has passionately pursued the furtherance of the Gospel both in his work and raising his 13 children to be servants of the King. Andrew means “manly” and that you are with your barrel chest and adventurous spirit. In a culture were masculinity is losing its God-given strength, may you be a manly beacon pointing others upward to God’s design.
I finish my song and bow my head whispering a prayer for you. Your thick lashes close over chocolate brown eyes with a deep sigh of peace. It is your last night being one. We cannot wait to see what all your tomorrows have in store.
Happy birthday, Man-oh. We love you - passionately.