You turned eight over a month ago. I didn't write this letter because I didn't know yet what I wanted to you to remember from this year. You're starting to grow and understand more and I want these to mean something when you read them later, a memorial to what God did in your life that year and just who you were.
So, who you are is obsessed with Legos, into any joke about bodily function, always doing word searches and still so kind. You came home from school one day and said, "I made myself a real good friend." And you were super excited about it. Because God is cool, we ran into your friend and his family getting ice cream and I was able to meet his mom and set up play dates. I'm so happy to see you are picking good friends. I think your bestie will always be Hudson, who's basically your cousin, but the other boys you invited to your party were all sweet. Everyone was kind to each other and it was so good to see the people you gravitate to are like-minded. One boy can solve the Rubik's cube so you are enthralled with his skills. You are very into word searches as well. One word search book gives facts about each state and you are constantly quizzing me in the car about the official state flower of Minnesota or the marine mammal of Alaska. You are also still a planner. You are always thinking a few moves ahead of what you're doing. You love to climb trees but find the bark irritating so you wear gloves when you come outside to climb. You are so funny.
What I want you to know about this year is how God protected you in a way I didn't understand until he showed me last night.
You will probably always remember the time you got sick at family camp and were airlifted back to San Antonio. It was a dramatic event and we have discussed God's sovereignty in that and the peace He provided in crazy circumstances. I really believe that was Satan attacking our family and God intervening stop it. That may sound strange but so much about it felt supernatural. Neurologists, ENT's and even the head of MD Anderson told me that we would probably never able to fully explain what happened to you. You took a turn for the better on the flight home and I didn't have a chance to tell anyone. Cori, one of many intercessors for you that night, texted me to say she felt a shift in the spiritual realm and you would be ok. She had no idea you were regaining the ability to move your body. The last she'd heard, you were paralyzed on one side, your head almost wouldn't turn from this strange angle, even when dr's tried to move it. You had severe nystagmus. The paramedic who flew with us said he'd never seen anything like what was happening to you. You were headed for an MRI and brain surgery when we left Tyler. By the time we landed and got to the hospital, the trauma team that was on standby to receive you seemed puzzled. They kept reading your chart, then looking at you because you no longer matched the boy in those charts and they had no explanation why.
I know why.
The only medicine you had was zofran to stop your vomiting and fluids were given through an IV. Nothing else was done and I know people are not flown across Texas on a whim. Your condition was serious and getting worse quickly. Modern medicine had nothing to offer you at that point.
Within hours you were eating and later that morning, you were able to stand on your own.
But that's not even what I just learned. When we were once again at Pine Cove, you were bitten by one fire ant, one time. Just one teeny bite. We were walking across a field, you felt it bite you, scratched your leg and moved on. I paid zero attention to it because you didn't seem concerned. A couple of minutes later you said your ears felt funny. I looked at them and they were bright red, like you'd gotten a bad sunburn. I thought you might need some water, so we walked to the gift shop, where you started coughing. It didn't occur to me that this was connected to the ant bite. Another mom saw you and said, "lift his shirt, I think he's having an allergic reaction!" Sure enough, there were hives all over your body. Your nose started running and someone sprinted to their cabin for Benadryl. Someone else sat you in a chair and explained to me you were having what is called a global reaction and it was impacting your airways, which is why you were coughing, runny nose, etc. That can be serious. So, multiple people gave you Benadryl and we went screaming down the highway to the ER, with your prayer warrior Cori praying for you once again. While driving 90 mph.
By the time we got to the ER your reaction was under control and we spoke with an ER nurse who said they wouldn't do much more for you at that point than observe, so we went back to camp. You are a boss, so you hopped back in the zipline line and tore it up zip lining over the lake.
Here's what He showed me last night that had never occurred to me. It was His mercy to reveal your allergy at that point. If that had happened at home, first of all, you would have probably been stung by far more ants, so the reaction would have been worse. Secondly, I wouldn't have known what was happening. I had no idea to lift up your shirt to see hives. You didn't connect the ant bite with your issues and might not have known to even tell me you got bitten for me to connect the dots. Thirdly, even if I had, we might not have had Benadryl! Your allergy was pretty severe and needed immediate attention. The allergist told me if you got bitten again to immediately do the epi-pen, without waiting to see how you reacted, after seeing your reaction to the allergy test.
But you got bitten just once, in a place full of people who knew what was happening and how to help you. Now you've had weeks of allergy shots and will be immune or very close by the summer.
What a gift that was!! We found out about the issue in a safe place, with the best friends to be encouragement and help. And the problem is completely solvable. So, in the moment, it kind of stunk to have that happen and have to go home early but it was ultimately for your good. I want you to remember that when things sort of suck, it might actually be a huge blessing. Always look for the good and some times, oftentimes, God is merciful to reveal it, even though we are not owed that. My takeaway for this year, for you, is
"If you know His nature, you will not question His motives."
That's not my quote, FYI, but it aptly describes your past year. You're getting it because you described various characteristics of our new dog as "big blessings" and understand to be thankful for things you took for granted at one time.
I love being your mom! You are funny, insightful, thoughtful, brainy, and sweet. And you make an armpit fart noise with gusto. You are little enough to still love "kiss explosions" when I put you to bed at night and big enough to analyze situations and have insights that make me think. Happy, happy birthday, sweet boy! I love you so much!
““Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV