So, somehow, my sweet baby boy #3, got a little closer to the double digits this past weekend.
It's like I blinked, and now you're a big boy, growing up way too fast.  It kind of slays me.

Ransom Malachi - "God's Messenger of Hope" - how we love you...
I was a watermelon with you.
Daddy called me Barney...among other names.
 I can still remember your birthday so clearly.  We had literally just moved our very last box into our new house the night before.  My parents, my cousin, and friends helped us all the previous day - fighting the clock - knowing that your arrival was imminent.  As we crashed into bed the night before, we had settled on paint colors for all of the rooms, my kitchen was set up and organized, and our bed and yours was made up and cozy.

Everything else was in boxes all over the from up home was sleeping everywhere, because there was to be an epic painting party the next day, and we were sort of surrounded by chaos. But my kitchen was all set up and organized, so I knew I could feed my family; and your little corner was set up and cozy, so I knew that whenever you made your arrival, at least your little space was ready and waiting...  And, as we crashed hard for our very first night in our sweet little house, I looked over at your Daddy and said:  "If the baby comes tonight, I'm totally okay with that."

Two babies previous, I had needed to have every duck in a row until I felt ready for their arrival. Every corner of my house clean, every last stitch of laundry washed, everything in its place and organized.  But, this time around, it felt like an adventure!  I remember feeling so excited and brave that we were going to finally be outnumbered with this crazy passel of boys!  I remember feeling so happy and content that you were another boy.  With Kaden and Jesse we had chosen to be surprised by their gender at birth, but this time around, both Daddy and I decided it would be fun to find out.  I remember speaking your name over you while you were inside of me, and I remember loving the name we had chosen.  Bold.  Strong.  Different.

We had gone with a midwife for Jesse's birth in Pennsylvania, and that had been such an amazing experience that I wanted to replicate it with your birth back here in Maine.  Kaden's arrival had been traumatic, so I refused to go local where we had delivered him.  I wanted a home birth.  Daddy took a firm "no" stance on that one, and so we compromised.  We found a level 2 birthing center about an hour away, and Daddy said I could deliver there as long as when he said it was time to go...I complied without complaining.  I like to stay home until the last possible minute, and he's not a fan of my water breaking in the car.  It's always a fun little game we play, where I try to hide the fact that I'm in labor, so he won't make us leave too soon.

Anyway, pretty much as soon as our heads hit the pillow that night, I knew that you would be arriving within hours.  My labor was slower with you, but I was more confident, and I can remember just laying in bed with Daddy breathing deeply beside me thinking how blessed we were - to finally be back in the country, to finally be back near our families, and to be welcoming another new life into our arms.

I remember telling myself that you were probably going to be my last baby...(ha)...and I wanted to savor every bit of this last experience.  I love those first moments of labor where I am the only one in the world who knows that today is going to be the day.  With each one of you last three babies, I have gone into labor in the nighttime, and I have had a few hours of just waiting and of just being - quiet contemplation and excitement alone with you still inside - knowing that I'm about to see your face for the first time, and that you are about to hear my voice.  You're going to rock our world and change our lives, and I'm going to be, once again, in awe of the gift of life and of miracles --- and it's Holy ground.  Something that words can't express, and something where I've always said - I don't know how any woman who's ever given birth could ever say that there is no God...

And then things get intense.
And then I need your Daddy, because he's the only one who can soothe me, and he's the only one I want by my side.  He is quiet.  He is strong.  He is gentle.  And he makes me brave.

Really early the next morning, your brothers came running up the stairs to jump into bed with us and to marvel at the adventure of their new home.  Daddy looked at me and KNEW, so we told them the news...they stopped their jumping and their wrestling...and he and I got ready to go.  I told the family downstairs to just take the day off, because plans had obviously changed, but they said they'd paint until we called for them to come meet you, and so we hit the road.

Daddy prayed.  We settled in, and you entered the world and our hearts so sweetly and calmly - much like your personality today.  You were my dream baby, Ransom.  So content.  So calm.  Such a snuggly bundle of boy.  You entered the world so chill and relaxed - and that's really your personality now.  You are funny, you are calm, you are quirky, you are chill.  You can play cars on the floor for hours at a time.  You are content in your own little world of imagination and play.

But, you've also settled into your role as "big brother" pretty amazingly, as well.  I love seeing your tenderness with London.  I love watching you play together and listening to your little conversations in your bedroom at night.  How she loves her "boys" and how you three treat her so sweetly.

I love watching you grow and learn, Ransom.  I love seeing you learn to read, and I love watching your brain learn new concepts this year in Kindergarten.  I love watching your concentration, and I love seeing you so proud of yourself.  I love your dimple when you smile, and I love your crushing "squeeze hugs."  I love watching you run, and I love how fast you are. I love your love for your Daddy, and I love when you want to help him with whatever project he may be working on.  You are his little shadow, and it makes my heart so happy to see.

My prayer for you this year, Rancey, is that you'll fall in love with Jesus.  I pray that He will become real in your heart, and that - even at just six - you'll be able to listen to His still, small voice.  I pray that you will grow big and strong - and that your heart will be sensitive to the things that are important to Him.  You are strong, Ransom.  You have big love and big thoughts.
And so I pray big things for you.

I pray that you will become what your name means.  I pray that you will grow bold in your love for Jesus and that you will be a mouthpiece for Him - a messenger of Hope.  A speaker of truth.  A life giver in your words and in your actions toward others.  Watch your Daddy, Love.  See how he models life.  See how he loves his family.  See how he needs Jesus and how he's not ashamed to love deep, and wild, and true.  Keep being his shadow, sweet boy.  Watch and learn...

You are our gift, Ransom Malachi.
We are so blessed to get to call you our own.
Happy 6th!  May you know how loved you are.
I love you sweet boy.  More than you will ever know...

Thanks for the joy of YOU...

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