So my littlest love is always on my mind and his sweet little cheeks are solidly imprinted on my heart. Luke is only one, but already he has a gift; he is a ray of sunshine. Even when he wakes me at 1 am, it's with his precious singing, so how can I be mad? I just love his bubbly laughter and the way his whole face lights up when he smiles. He claps his chubby little hands and giggles at my mom's little dachshund. He absolutely adores that dog. Know how I can tell? He was very interested in pulling Stryker's ears and even pinched his lips before leaning over to peer intently into the puppy's eyes. Then he grabbed a handful of fur and gave a little yank for good measure, and all the while, Stryker, the old man that he is, just sat there and let him love on him. He's been a part of my family since he was still squatting to pee, so I whispered in his ear "Thanks for loving my baby as much as I do."
(Come back another time, and I'll let you see these two in action!)
But back to Luke. My sweet little ray of sunshine. You'd think I'm just partial to him, but no, everyone else thinks so too. Even with so many clouds in his life, he still remains the happy little cherub we all love to pieces. See, what I failed to mention was that Luke, my sweet baby, has Stage Four Chronic Kidney disease caused by psuedo prune belly syndrome. He has been in and out of the hospital his whole life thus far. The dark clouds piled high over us the day we had my 20 week ultrasound. We were given many problems and fewer solutions that day. I chose to wait to find out what sex he was. I figured it was my last pregnancy and this was the one great mystery left in life. But once we found out our baby had troubles, I had to know. I stopped the stroller in the parking lot, looked up at my husband with tears in my eyes and said, "I have to know. I must know now. This little one needs a name." We carefully opened the little envelope they had sent us home with and stared at the grainy black and white picture. There he was! Our little Lukey. I named him on the spot.
He came to us four weeks early, but weighing a healthy 7 pounds 6 ounces. He was ready! We prayed mightily, as did all of our friends and family that he would get to come home with us when I left. But alas, he was called to the NICU where he wrapped every nurse and doctor in the joint around his little finger for 18 days. It was absolute torture. If you are reading this, and you have gone through this, or are about to, trust me, I empathize. I sobbed for days in my room at the hospital and at his bed side. I rarely got to hold him because of all the tubes and wires. It was excruciating, and even that might be an understatement. He was finally discharged and since then has spent many more visits to our local Children's Hospital (which is AMAZING by the way). Every time I am worried sick about him, but every time we joke halfheartedly that he just needs a vacation from his rowdy siblings and that he wants to go see his pretty nurses. They take such good care of him there.
Even with all of the sticks and surgeries, he has developed his sweet disposition and anyone that sees him, instantly falls in love with him. So ladies, lock up your daughters. I have a feeling he may be sweet now, but those chocolate brown eyes and long eyelashes are going to make him into a heart breaker one day! So that's my little Lukey. He'll be signing autographs later; you won't want to miss it ;)
I think we can learn a very important lesson from this precious little one year old. Especially us deployed spouses. Pain hurts us for a little bit, we cry about it, and rightly so. But the sooner we move on and smile, laugh, and get busy, the better our quality of life will be. It takes a little while. For Luke, he had 18 days of constant reminders that he wasn't with me. 18 days to a newborn with no sense of time, probably seems like a lifetime to them. (wait, does that even make sense? You get my point...) It probably seems like a lifetime until your beloved will return to you. But smile, baby. Light up a room. It will be over before you know it and when it is, you will be remembered as the one who held it all together. The one who encouraged others and took the time to meet their needs.
Ok seriously, you should probably comment about how cute this kid is before you burst... =D