I have spent the last four days straight with Daniel and Jonah on our first, and possibly only vacation just the three of us. In light of what we've learned about how crazy our life will be once Caleb arrives in a few months, Daniel and I thought we should take Jonah and get away to spend some time making memories with our little guy. I'm so glad we decided to do this. We just got home this evening from Brown County state park (or "Brownie Park" as Jonah called it) and the three of us had a blast together. A highlight: Jonah rode a "horsie" for the first time. We paid 2 bucks to let him ride a pony named Macaroni around a track and when Jonah returned, he insisted on going again. And again. It was great. The cool thing was they just let parents lead the pony around the track, so Daniel and Cowboy Jonah got to go all by themselves. Here is proof of this adventure:
I was pretty proud of Jonah, watching him go around the track and thinking about how he is truly not a baby anymore. In fact, his second birthday is next Sunday. I've actually been thinking about Jonah a lot lately, and spending more time than usual praying for him. It's really difficult for me to think about how big of an adjustment he will have when Caleb is born. Even now, as I write about it, I can't help myself from crying. Not only will he have the typical transition of not being the center of attention anymore, but his mommy and daddy will be gone for weeks, and he will be passed around between family and friends while we pretty much live at the hospital for all of February and March. I know kids are super resilient, but it breaks my heart to think about how he won't understand why Mommy and Daddy are gone. Then, when we finally do all come home, his new baby brother will require a lot of attention. I just wonder if Jonah will ever feel like our "other" son. Of course he can't consciously reason on that level at age 2, but will he ever feel like that? I pray that he won't. I pray for Jonah to be the kind of boy that is full of compassion and grace for his little brother. I pray that he will grow up to be the kind of person that notices those who are hurting, who cares about the ones on the sidelines; the kind of person who has a humble sensitivity towards the people around him. I have prayed these kinds of things fervently for my oldest son in recent weeks. And I'm not really worried about him feeling left out, because I know there is a lot of grace from God on my family. God cares about Jonah as much as He cares about Caleb. I like the fact that I have been inspired lately to help make my family as strong as we can be, and creating time for each other is the biggest part of that. Thank you Jesus for this vacation. Thank you for the blessing of time together, and riding horsies at Brownie Park, and wrestling and laughing and finding acorns to put in our pockets. Thank you that our love for each other is going to grow stronger than we could possibly imagine through the hard times ahead. Help me to appreciate Daniel and Jonah and Caleb and help me to have a thankful attitude, even when I am tired or frustrated or stressed. I pray for the families around me, for the families of the people reading this blog. Lord, help us to give our families more attention, more of our energy and time. Help us to be ridiculously loving and patient with each other and to create an atmosphere of joy and peace in our homes. You make life good, Jesus. Thank you.