December 21, 2009

Dear Dutch,

You are three years old today.  I know that you’ve had a crazy-fun 48 hours.  A music party with special guest Luke Simpson (!) and friends Tay-Tay, Carter, Taylor, and Brendan, and even a special visit from Nae-nae & Elisabeth.  Then, a truck party today with Papa & Oma.  I know you’re delirious with joy over your new Cars racetrack, your orange Mack truck, your Murdoch train, and your Cat roadwork machines.  And, I know you’re super excited about your new Thomas Chart where you’re (hopefully!) going to learn to go potty on the toilet and get a new Thomas train.  I’m really pulling for you buddy!  I know you don’t like to talk about birthdays, and I know you get all embarrassed, so I thought I’d just write you this little letter, and keep it on my blog so I don’t lose it.  And maybe someday you’ll understand. Or at least it will help me remember this special day.

I love you.  I have never been so infuriated, agitated, frustrated, and absolutely head-over-heels intoxicated with love all at once.  I stare at your blue eyes and marvel at how God created you with such genius and wonder.  I love the smell of your face, and was in heaven today when we played puppies and I got to breath in your precious puppy breath and press my face up against your cold, slobber-covered cheek.  I love how you protest so maturely now–since you know you can’t say “no” to mommy–, how you have now turned to reasoning, but with absolutely nonsensical logic:  “But mommy, it’s just different!”  I have no idea what’s different that makes it so you shouldn’t go to bed, but it’s just different. I love your thoughts: “Why do trains go backwards?” and your imitations of me: “There has to be a better way!”  I love your re-naming of us all (Thomas, Gordon, Lizzie, Spud, Farmer Pickles, Bob, Speed), and am honored above all honors to be Wendy, Miss Sally, and your best friend Percy.  I love your enthusiasm, how you about had a heart-attack yesterday when you opened your orange Mack truck.  I don’t think I will ever have to coach you to express gratitude for the gifts you receive.

I love your prayers.  I have no problem with you asking God for pizza, or thanking Him for the radiator on your matchbox car.  In fact, I’m trying to make my prayer-life a little more like yours.  I love your compassion–how you run and grab a toy for Heidi whenever she is crying.  I love your imagination, how you can take a kitchen utensil and make it into a racecar, a hammer, a fence, a ladder, a bulldozer, and a barricade in a matter of 15 minutes.

I love your frightening resemblance to me.  Not so much in outward appearance but in your ridiculous home-body-ness.  I love that you are happy as a clam to stay at home all day long, and play with toys, read books, and make cookies, without ever seeing a soul.  I love that you think songs with hand-motions are weird.  I love that you love to read.  I love that you constantly want to eat old-fashioned oatmeal and call whole-grain banana muffins  “cake”.  Ok, and I love that the two of us can eat a whole pizza and think nothing of it.  Of course, I have to eat all the “puppyroni”.

Dutch, what’s so cool about you turning three is that I”m finding myself surprised and in awe of just how much I like you. Of course I’ve always loved you, from the moment you practically birthed yourself in three quick pushes.  But now, now you’re a boy, and you’re mine. You’re my son first, but also my friend.  You’re a person. And I love the little person that I’m discovering God created you to be.

I really need grace right now, babe.  Sometimes you’re so naughty all I can do is cry and pray God will help me win the battle. Sometimes I get so tired I snap at you or yell or don’t respond the way I should.  I’m sorry for the ways that I don’t show you how God wants us to be.  But by His grace I’m going to keep trying, praying, trying, praying, to teach you, guide you, shepherd you, lead you, to be a boy–to be a man–who follows hard after God.  I pray your little heart would be fertile soil, and that God would graciously draw you to Himself.  Do your best to respond, ok???

Goodnight, Dutch. Thanks for an awesome day, and a breath-taking three years.  I pray God would give us many more together.

I love you,


  • Caila Murphy

    Gosh, I don’t know whether I’ll be able to sleep after reading that because now my nose is all stuffed up and I’m crying.

    He’s going to love this letter some day.

  • Johannah

    Happy Birthday to Dutch! Isn’t it great how they change and grow to become the person God made them to be?

  • Amy Newell

    Haven’t we already had a talk about you not making me cry at work?

  • Elizabeth Richardson

    you are a wonderful mommy.

  • Joy Dombrow

    Dutch is so blessed to have a mom like you. He is sure a cutie! I love your new blog look, by the way. It’s beautiful…just like you.

  • Angie

    This is so awesome.. and when Dutch get older he will have this that his mommy wrote about him for a life time..
    Happy Belated Birthday Dutch..

  • Momma

    I am so thankful, Kari, that you are mommy to my grandchildren, Dutch and Heidi, and wife to my son, Jeff. Jeff, who thrilled me and challenged me and taught me much about loving and being.

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