Saturday, February 26, 2011

Today is Keith's 13th Birthday


On February 26, 1998, as I lay in my hospital bed, I heard my husband say gently into the phone, "Jessica, you have a little brother."
     What I did not hear was a forlorn, disappointed voice saying, "Okaaaay, daddy."  James was 9 1/2 when Keith was born, Jessica was 5, and William was 3 1/2.  Jessica REALLY wanted a sister, so when she heard the news that she had another brother we were not shocked by her reaction but rather, we felt for her.
     Later in the day, Daryl brought James, Jessica, and William to the hospital to see their new sibling. Jessica and William nearly had a fight trying to see who could get next to me on the bed so that they could hold Keith. Jessica's disappointment quickly evaporated into elation the moment she cast her eyes on her new baby brother.
     She struggled momentarily with the fact that this new baby was the most adorable thing she had ever laid eyes on and that he was not the sister she had longed for. In a way that was no longer disappointed but also not quite willing to concede that everything was now right with the world, Jessica said, "Well, he's cute now...but he won't be when he grows up."

     Every year on Keith's birthday, we ask Jessica, "Is he still cute?"

     Even this morning, on Keith's 13th birthday her answer is still, "Yes, he's still cute!"

    We were so blessed that God decided to see that we had our fourth child. Keith has been the frosting on the cake in our lives; the cherry on the sundae; the "pièce de résistance"--that's French meaning (and this is my own personal interpretation)--we were already a great family before Keith came along, but when he came into our lives, the addition of his life to ours made us outstanding and uniquely special!

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