Happy 4th birthday Max and Kate

last years Mother’s Day out picture

Dear Max and Kate,

Yesterday on my trail run I noticed the contrast between the blue of the sky and the changing fall colors of the trees. I considered how to describe the wonder I felt in the moment. Strange to really think about the world. And life. Impossible to explain the whole beautiful thing as some accident. Some rock spinning in space with no purpose. Beauty is everywhere if we open our eyes and our hearts.

The revelation of beauty everywhere made me think of you kids. My story as your dad.

Today is your 4th birthday. Your mommy, big sister, and I prayed so hard for you when you were babies. Mommy stayed in the hospital for 10 weeks. And then you spent 6 weeks there yourself, because you were sick. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than your story of strength and life. The blessing that God gave us all in you. The lesson I’ll likely never understand here on Earth about the struggle. And the depth of the blessing I feel now.

At the top of our steps there is a frame with your newborn faces  that reads “Angels danced the day you were born.” Sometimes I stare at it and eventually cry out of joy and gratefulness when times are challenging at home. Parenting 3 young kids isn’t easy. It is, however, part of the beauty I mentioned. It’s part of me, but it’s no easier to explain than the color of trees. Man and woman. Love. Or creation itself.

Happy 4th birthday, Max and Kate. We love you. Here are some memories from the last 4 years.

The first picture ever taken of the two of you together, moments after birth.

Meeting your big sister

Max, you’ve always been your sister’s bodyguard

You’ve also been her tormenter

We’re teaching you to love South Carolina. But we never had to teach you love each other.

I’m so grateful for life and the beauty I know.

I love you kids,

– Daddy