Friday, February 19, 2010

Four! And an Ode to My Husband

So. My little boy is four. In fact, on this day four years ago, the doctors and nurses kicked Curtis and me out of Baylor Grapevine hospital and made us take him home and parent him unsupervised. We had absolutely no idea what we were doing. I had not even started changing his diapers yet. Curtis had done it all up to that point so I wouldn't have to get up and be reminded of the physical trauma of his birth. The next day - when I woke up in the likeness of Pamela and had a hormone crash that would scare Satan - would probably be the most overwhelming day of my life. But we were thrilled to have our little guy. Absolutely thrilled and in love.

I know I should say something more sentimental but my mom wrote a really precious letter to him on the other blog and I will not attempt to match it at this time.

Wednesday was the big day. Jackson had been looking forward to it since February 18, 2009. I kid you not. Curtis woke up very early and got donuts. We were in the living room waiting for him to come down when we heard his door open. No one came out and it shut again. I crept into his room and found him covered in his blanket on the floor (where he sometimes sleeps). I said, "Is there a birthday boy in here?" He jumped up and said, "I'm four!" We rushed down the stairs and he looked around with a big grin on his face. I said, "Do you think there are any presents around here?" He squealed "Yes!" and started zipping around the house in search of them. He found his presents and donuts on the dining room table. He opened each one and was so excited. Then we ate donuts and eventually Annabeth woke up. I felt bad she missed it but I wanted to take in those moments without being distracted. Sorry, AB. You wouldn't have remembered anyway.

The birthday really revved up when Bibby came over bearing gifts for the kids. They both got a pillow pet. Jackson's was a frog and Annabeth's was a bumblebee. They were thrilled. We met Curtis at ITZ Pizza (which is like a ginormous and awesome Chuck E. Cheese). We had a quick lunch and then got to enjoy the rides and games with hardly anyone else there.

About an hour later, we headed over to a business that sells backyard playsets. My parents were giving one to Jackson for his birthday. He got a netted trampoline for Christmas that has been a tremendous blessing for such an active boy. He even naps again after 6 months of no naps! Our backyard is going to be hideous but Jackson is going to have so much to do. He played on all the playsets while Mom and I picked out the right one. It gets delivered next week.

Mom and I drove the kids home while Curtis went his own way to prepare for Wednesday night Bible study. There were a million absurd moments on the way home that kept us in stitches. For one, we got tickled that the voice command feature on my Blackberry cannot pronounce my husband's name. Then Jackson locked his wrists in the toy handcuffs he'd won at ITZ and he had to ride like that all the way home. I saw a friend walking by when we pulled up in the driveway and I had to let her pass before I got him out with his hands locked together. Thank God the neighbors didn't see. Then I set him free and he was fine.

That night we went to church and Curtis brought a strong word on 1 John 2. We missed fellowship supper because Annabeth refused to take her second nap and I'd told Curt I wasn't taking her to church if she didn't sleep. She would be a nightmare - and she's a handful on Wednesday nights anyway. Curtis didn't approve of that option, so we waited her out. She finally fell asleep at 5 and we let her stay in bed until 6. We drove through McDonald's and thankfully no one got fries with their nuggets or burgers. I can count on one hand how many burgers I've had this year and I have to be honest and say that it was the most delicious thing ever. I noticed that my right arm kept wanting to search for the fries. It's sick, I tell you!

Wednesday was such a great birthday for Jackson. We're having a little party for him this weekend, but I think he had a blast on the actual day. I went to bed so happy.

Then Thursday arrived. I woke up sick to my stomach and stayed that way. (I have IBS or something. I even get sick when I can tell a storm's coming. Nerves much?) Curtis and I had requested a progress report meeting with Jackson's preschool teacher and afterward we were going straight to the pediatrician for our kids' well visits. WHERE THEY WERE BOTH GETTING FOUR SHOTS. Ugh!

Curtis took our boy to school and once I got Annabeth in bed, I got down on my knees with my Bible and started praying. I was in the worst mood, nervous, and dreading the day. I thought it would help to read some Psalms outloud, so I opened up to Psalm 100. The last verse is, "For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." When I read "generations" I just began to weep. I had no idea what we would learn during Jackson's progress report, but I was assured of God's love for my child and for the generations that will come after him.

Curtis treated his girls to lunch, then we went to the school for our meeting. The Lord be praised, it could not have gone better. We were told things like, "He shares well...he minds the first time...he's a hard worker...he's kind and compassionate...he brings joy into the room...he's doing well academically." Hearing these wonderful things said about our son brought both of us to the verge of tears. We'd never had a meeting like this and we really had no idea what we were going to find out.

We got our boy and rushed out to the car so we could tell him the wonderful things we learned about him. He acted like he wasn't listening but I'm pretty sure he heard us. (This morning I asked him what his teacher had told Mommy and Daddy and he said, "I'm a good boy." And he smiled.)

There was not much time for talking because we had to get to the doctor. Oh my word, y'all. We were fools! We'd opted for one really bad day rather than two bad days. Big mistake. First, we spent 50 minutes in the waiting room, which meant our kids were already melting down before they were seen. Second, our nurse told us that another family had scheduled a dual well visit for their kids at the same time in the afternoon. Their two were babies. So the two nurses drew straws to see who had to take ours. Seriously? Who admits that? Lucky for her I couldn't understand a word she was saying because Jackson was rustling the paper on the exam table. Curtis filled me in later. I don't know. Maybe he heard wrong. Basically, both my kids were terrible the entire time, I was frazzled, and Curtis was annoyed. I'm a bit embarrassed that we put our doctor and nurse through that. Never again!

Then the horrible moment came when the nurse had to tell Jackson that he was now a very big boy at four years old and that meant he had to have four shots. He acted so brave. Oh my word. He kept smiling and nodding his head. I was thinking, "Bless his heart. He doesn't understand." But he kept smiling until Curtis was leaning over his chest and holding his arms. The nurse had his legs and was prepared to go fast. Jackson was very tough with the first two and with the second two I could see the tears in his eyes as he started to whimper. But he never really cried. As soon as it was done he bounced back and was smiling again. Holy cow! The nurse looked at me in shock. She couldn't believe it. We just kept telling Jacks what a brave and tough boy he was.

Then we were off to Chick-fil-a to have an early dinner and reward our kids and ourselves with ice cream. Jackson went into the play area and Curtis and I began to rehash our wonderful meeting with his teacher. At that moment I looked up and saw him doing something only a boy would do right in the window that looks out into the restaurant. It was a perfectly humbling and hilarious moment that brought us back to earth.

I looked at my husband and said, "We've done a lot of parenting today."

A few days ago my friend Kim Smith gave me a DVD from our Venezuela mission trip back in March of 2001. That was nine stinking years ago! She said it's three hours long. I haven't watched it yet, but I can't wait. It was on that trip that Curtis and I sensed God leading us to be married to each other and serve Him through our partnership. We came home and immediately began talking and praying with our parents about our future. We were engaged about five weeks later.

We had - and still have - so many dreams of adventures in ministry. But I don't think we gave much thought to the adventure of parenting. That probably would have been a good idea. The last two days were plenty adventurous. They weren't anything we imagined when we were 19 and 20, but nothing could have made me love my partner more than walking through those moments together.

No one else on earth could have known my emotions when Jackson's teacher told us what a great kid he is. No one else could have kept him calm while leaning over his chest and holding his hands down. No one else could have so effectively affirmed our son's developing character and masculinity. I didn't know what a serious decision I was making when I chose my mate. Parenthood seemed a lifetime away. I didn't know what qualities to look for in a college guy that would translate into a great dad.

This I do know: in a million ways, Curtis Jones is God's grace in my life.


Toknowhim said...

That was a wonderful tribute to your husband :)

Amanda, some of my worst parenting moments have been in doctor's offices... It does get a little better when they get older :) Sounds like Jackson was a champ in the doctor office though...

Congrats on the good report. I am a Pre-K teacher and it is a wonderful thing to share with parents all the postive things about their children.



Between you and your mom I don't know who's post brings more tears to my eyes and I mean that in a good way your all's posts are so moving at times we laugh, we cry with you oh my word I bet if somebody was watching me as I read your posts they would probably think good Lord girl get a grip here its not that bad. Only if they knew I was reading the best posts from my sister's in Christ they would understand.

Thank you so much you and your mom and Melissa you all have such a gift of writing and you all are so sweet.
Love you here in seistaville
You all are the best
You all are awesome
You all rock
I want to be like you when I grow up.
Love you Carol

Bobbie said...

What a blessing you & Curtis are to each other! And what great parents you are...with two great kiddos. Sounds like you handled parenting VERY well in that one day.

Jackson is a SUPER 4 year old. I'm so glad he handled his shots so bravely (if that's a word!)! I bet Annabeth was a perfect little lady!

Happy Birthday, Big Mister!

Sister Lynn said...

This is lovely.
You and Curtis seemed to be cut from the same cloth - servants of the true God.

I am so happy that Jackson had a wonderful week of celebrating life.

Sister Lynn

Kiki said...

The sweetness in this whole post. Almost unbearable.

Sorry the doctor visit was so horrible. I can't believe you waited almost an hour in the waiting room.

O Mom said...

This made me smile, laugh, cry, and remind me of the seriousness of praying for my daughters future husbands (which is the 2nd time today I have been reminded of that!)

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I'm picturing all kinds of breaking free jokes when Jackson was stuck in the handcuffs.

Parenting together is an adventure, isn't it? I know it's hard work, but at least for my husband and me, it's incredibly bonding. Talk about companionship on the journey....

MEGAN said...

What a wonderful birthday he had! I have no idea how I will handle watching my kids get shots, pretty sure I won't be able to be in the room. God is Good all the time!

Sarah said...

What a great post! Happy Birthday, Jackson! :)

Samantha Michelle photography said...

This is my first time stopping by your blog. I found you through Kelly's Korner blog. I must say that I smiled throughout this whole post. I especially love the story about you and your husband. How amazing that God put the two of you together. Just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog! Thank you for sharing.

Beth Herring said...

What an amazing story and tribute to your precious children and husband. You are so blessed to have found such a man of God. I pray many blessings on you and your family.

Praising God for the everyday graces in all our lives.

In Him,
Beth Herring

Spicy Magnolia said...

What a full and fun week you've had, Amanda! Wow! I get all emotional reading about Jackson's birthday and him being such a big boy at 4 years old, being reminded of how fast it goes. And I'm so excited for you all as you celebrate how God's helped you raise a terrific boy, and will continue to help you through all the other hilarious, hard and unexpected things that will come with the role of being a momma and daddy. Oh the emotions that go along with that...just thinking about it makes me both quiver and rejoice.

Hope you have a great celebration this weekend and much love to you!

Heather said...

Great post. Happy Birthday to Jackson!!! You guys are wonderful parents!

Angela said...

What a great post! Happy birthday to your sweet boy. I got tears when reading what his teacher said! What a happy Mommy moment. You are doing a great job and it shows!

Have a great weekend!

Suzi K said...

Such a great post Amanda! Sounds like you have an amazing hubby!

Happy Birthday Jackson-you sound so much like my little boy!:)

Marla Taviano said...

Oh, this post was just too much. Those last few paragraphs did me in.

Gabe and I have both grown soooo much since we got married as babies 12 years ago. Neither one of us is perfect, but there's no one else on earth as perfect for me and our daughters as he is.

I loved watching you and Curtis interact--God's grace is SO evident in all four of you together. Melts my heart.

Lynette said...

What a great post. Happy Birthday Jackson and what a great hubby you have.

Cindy- My Life HIS Story said...

Oh, Amanda! I'm so glad that you see the strength and support of Curtis in your life! A strong foundation for you and those sweet babies!

And I remember Jimmy holding McKenna when she had to get five - count them FIVE shots. She, too, was remarkable. Never cried. But that's okay because the big guy had big crocodile tears welled up in his while he was holding her and consoling her!

Michelle said...

Congratulations on 4 years of parenthood!!
I was feeling your pain at having to wait 50 minutes in the waiting room. Having to wait with young, active children in the Dr.'s office waiting room is a true test of parenting. This has brought me to the end of myself on several occasions.
Thank God for husbands. Amen. Your kind words about your husband were a blessing to my heart to read.
Have a wonderful birthday weekend with your sweet, beautiful family. ;-)

Deidre said...

Beautiful words. You're right, we don't exactly know what to look for when we're so young and not really considering a parenting partner. We don't know anything about parenting ourselves. But, God honors our commitments to one another and our desire to seek Him in everything. I love your plead to him before the teacher's meeting. Only Him.

What a sweet, sweet boy you have!

Marc and Charity said...

I have several thoughts:

1. Happy 4th Jackson!

2. We did that one time- in April- when we took all three girls to the doc on the same. Never. Never again.

3. Your comment on IBS and nerves- oh girl. I'll just tell you that I read So Long (most of it anyway) on the drive here- we are in Beaumont right now, about to speak to a church and I'm sick. SICK. I'd rather crawl under the table.

Amy said...

Bless your heart. One doctor's visit is hard enough, let alone 2 in 1 day. I had to laugh out loud though because we all live the same way. Sounds like you all had a good birthday week.

marty h said...

Love your blog and am so grateful God blessed you with such a wonderful and Godly man in Curtis! Our God is so good!

Heather said...

Girl, I have IBS too, and it's miserable. I am praying none of my kids get it, it runs on my mom's side of the family. So glad that you guys had a great day on Jack's birthday! He is one loved little boy! Happy 4th birthday Jackson!!

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful. I so relate to your words, which remind me of the great blessing I have in my wonderful husband. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and for being so real with us.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post amanda.

Judy said...

So neat to read. I think I loved parenting with my husband about the best of anything we've done together for the last 25 years. I think I will quote your last sentence. I wholeheartedly feel that way about my husband.

Unknown said...

What a beautiful post! Blessings to you and your family this week.

Kelli said...

This was awesome, Amanda- thanks for sharing! I'm new to your blog and I love the way you share. Your family is a blessing to so many. As a mom of three girls (my baby just turned four today too), I love learning from your families journey. Be blessed today! Kelli

Missy said...

I have 3 months until Ellison's next round of shots and I am already dreading it!

pinkmommy said...

a hormone crash that would scare Satan-perfect description!

Ashley said...

WONDERFUL post... ;)

Lauren said...

How sweet was this post!!!! Loved it :)

Kara Akins said...

I love good fathers. Wipe the tear from my eye. And happy birthday Jackson. Four is one of my favorite ages for children. May the Lord bless this next year in a very special way as you continue to discover your God given gifts, talents and abilities.

Deirdre said...

Nothing brings two people closer than parenting together with God as the supreme authority over all four of you.
blessings on dear girl, and your beautiful family.


Angie said...

we are doing the well ck shots next wk and i dread. dread. dread. brooklynn will not be like yours i'm positive of that because she threw down at the penicillin shot she had several wks ago.

Kyle Taylor said...

I love this Amanda! You are a great mom and I love how you keep it real about your parenting struggles and joys! Even though my husband and I don't have kids, I still feel the same way about my husband too! I feel like my man is a very tangible expression of God's grace in my life. I mean just this morning before he left for work (I'm always still half-asleep before he leaves...which is almost hilarious because he takes my limp hand and prays with me every morning even though I'm half-conscious. I also realize how sad that really is as I wrote it out) he told me twice how much he loved me and how beautiful I was to him. I had no makeup on and who knows how wild my hair looked. I have no earthly idea why he constantly loves me so and why he thinks I'm so beautiful, but it certainly reminds me of God's constant love and grace to me. Your post has reminded me once again to praise God for blessing me with this man, thanks for writing!


Kelli said...

I don't think I even understood what I was praying for when I asked God for a man who would be an amazing father. I had no idea what that truly meant and how Chris beyond fulfilled it till we had Caroline. How wonderful that HE knew!

Terri said...

I love how great our God is and that he brought you and Curtis together. Loved your tribute!!! I have tears in my eyes. Blessings!!

Molly said...

You didn't know what to look for, but GOD knew. I am so blessed by your honesty, and your obedience. the Chik-fil-A window story got me (we are getting our first chikfila up the street from my work soon - I am beside myself, would you think less of me if I said I think i dream about it). Just reading random life experieces from you and your mom and sis, really encourage me to stay the course and find the man GOD has for me. four shots for two tikes in one day is drama I want someday. GOD knows our hearts and I am so thankful.

Blessings in Him,

Siesta OC

PS: The picture of you sitting with your Bible on your knees crying ministered to me - my anxieties get the better of me, I need to go before GOD with that. Thank you

Shelli Littleton said...

Oh Amanda ... all pediatricians should use EMLA cream. It is a numbing cream. Katelyn was given this when she went through kidney cancer chemo treatments (at 13 months old ... she's almost 10! Praise God!). Her little port-a-cath ... this numbing cream went right on it ... and she didn't feel the needle (fishhook!) poke. When we were in San Angelo, our pediatrician used it to give the kids their vaccinations. I was so thankful. Though, I have a constant supply of the stuff ... Katelyn still has to have a yearly check-up/blood work. I put it on her finger and her arm ... when I'm not sure where they'll draw blood from!! :)

You should ask your pediatrician about it ... some use it, some don't. I don't understand why they wouldn't. Those shots hurt!! I'm a BIG shot scaredy-cat though!

Oh, I found this wonderful website for coupons ... ... they have tons of diaper/baby wipes coupons ... everything you can think of ... free magazines. I'm really loving it!

Love, Shelli

Molly said...

I'm with Pinkmommy - the hormone explosion that would have scared satan, I sooo got that!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Wow, lots of parental adventures, but a God-given man to participate in those adventures:) Jackson did do good with those shots!


Jeannie (HAPPY HEART) said...

So sweet!! Funny thing is when you find God's man for you it just gets better with time. God is OOO so good. Enjoy your everyday blessings!

The Davidson Den said...

So glad you got great news at the teacher meeting. That just goes to show you how your diligence to teach him the Lord's ways (even back when he was two and three...and it was SO very challenging) is bearing some fruit. Good job Momma. You and your God-given mate are bringing glory to our Maker.

Oh, and I loved the description of Jackson waking up on his birthday. That is just priceless. What a funny little personality he has! SO cute!!