Monday, May 08, 2006

If He Is Our One And Only

I've been thinking lately about the fact that Alex may be an only child. Because I was not a girl who sat around dreaming of her 4.5 children with alliterative names, it was not my life's mission to have kids as soon as I got married. And because David and I married a little later than most and then waited five years to start our family, we were running a little behind the baby train from the get-go.

Now Alex is three, and I'd love for him to have a little brother or a little sister, but, well, he may not. I'm a little older, the odds aren't as much in our favor, and he very well may be the only one.

But let me be perfectly clear: if he is the only child we have, we will have been blessed beyond any measure of what we could've ever asked for or dreamed.

The little man is, as they say, the bomb. ;-)

It does make me a little sad, though, to think that Alex may never have a brother or sister. I tell David all the time that I have honestly ENJOYED my sister and my brother (not to mention the people they married)...and because they're 14 and 10 years older, respectively, I've never had much of that sibling rivalry thing with them. More than anything, they've been my friends, and I don't want Alex to miss all the good stuff that goes hand-in-hand with a sibling relationship. I hope he doesn't have to.

But the other morning, as I was getting dressed, feeling a little conflicted about the possibility of no more children, I remembered what a huge - HUGE - role my friends have played in my life. Because Sister and Stacy were out of the house, basically, from the time I was seven, it was just Mama, Daddy and me for my elementary / junior high / high school years. I never felt like an only child - far from it - but I was never a part of a house full of kids. And my friends totally filled that void for me.

As I started to absorb that thought, standing in my bathroom with dripping wet hair, I found myself praying for Alex. Because if he is an only child - which is certainly not my "perfect" scenario but definitely one that's increasingly realistic - I pray that he has friends who will be like family to him. Just like mine have been.

I pray that he has a Laura to walk with him, laughing, through every stage of life.

I pray he has an Emma Kate to hold him accountable and to encourage him in his faith (I was going to say, "and to swap shoes with him," but that might be a little strange if two guys, you know, swapped shoes. However, Emma Kate and I swapped shoes just yesterday, and we agreed that mine were definitely the more comfortable even if hers were cuter).

I pray he has a Merritt who will always listen, who will always find the humor in a situation, regardless of the circumstances. And who will, when all else fails, do a goofy dance that makes him wet his pants.

I pray he has a Daphne who will listen to his weird theories and philosophies, who will encourage him to read and write and think - and who will always laugh at his jokes.

I pray he has an Elise who will keep him honest, a Tracey who will hug his neck when he's blue.

I pray he has a Liz who will never, ever judge him; a Wendi who has loyalty that knows no bounds; a Lea Margaret who reminds him of the beauty of heritage, and family, and place.

I pray he has a Bubba, a friend who loves him so unconditionally and so fiercely that it humbles him more with every passing year. I pray he has a Norma Kay, someone who will reach out to him when he moves to a strange place - and help him feel at home.

I pray he has neighbors - just like we do - who share the same faith and who can be trusted with everything, from a drill bit to a house key to a three year old child.

I pray he has a wife who's his missing piece - just like his daddy is for me. I pray that when he's with her, when all else fails, he'll be able to sit next to her, in the complete quiet of his home, and know that he's in the presence of his very best friend. And that they'll laugh together. I pray her family loves him like he's one of their own.

I pray that whether siblings are or are not a part of his life, he will feel so totally blessed, so completely loved, that he'll long for the day when he'll be able to extend that love to and through a family of his own.

I pray he'll see God's hand so clearly and so personally in his life that he'll never question His faithfulness.

And I pray that his life will be very full, and very rich, indeed.

Even if he's the only one.


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