Today is September 11th… one of the most tragic anniversaries in American history. Â I remember waking up to a phone call from my (then) fiance. Â His words were, “Turn on the TV. Â America is at war.” Â I was shocked, and scared, and sad, just like everyone else in the country. Â And the realization that our lives would never be the same began to set in. Â We had a rather long engagement, and were in the home stretch, but I remember discussing the fact that things were so uncertain that it was possible we wouldn’t be able to get married. Â Thankfully that wasn’t the case. Â We were married as planned on a rainy December day that same year.
We knew we didn’t want children immediately, but we didn’t know just how long we’d have to wait to be parents. Â We experienced three miscarriages (and lost four babies), each one more heartbreaking and dangerous and mysterious than the last. Â Seven years after we said “I do” we discovered we were pregnant again, and this time, it stuck. Â This baby’s journey wasn’t without hiccups (including unexplained bleeding, the stress of a cross-country move, and a nasty bout with West Nile Virus), but around 10:30pm on September 12, 2008, Ryder Harrison arrived via unplanned (but not emergency) c-section. Â His first act on this earth was to pee on his nurse, and we knew from that moment on that our lives would include nothing but action and adventure.
Tonight, I will tuck in my four-year-old for the last time. Â Tomorrow, Ryder will be FIVE!
I know every parent feels this way about their children. Â But Ryder is one of the most caring, passionate, smartest kids I know. Â He’s strong (no really, he can deadlift 88lbs with perfect form), and fast, and never. stops. moving. Â Ever. Â He surprises me every day with his compassion and the genuine affection he shows for his little brother and his friends. Â He’s eager to learn, eager to please, and obsessed with protecting those he loves.
And while our lives are still uncertain, I’m sure of one thing: The God who created the heavens and the earth also created this little boy especially for me. Â And He has BIG plans for my Mounted Warrior. Â He was worth the wait, and through the good and the bad, the messy and the loud, I’m thankful everyday for his presence in my life.
Happy 5th Birthday (tomorrow), Peanut!
I still LOVE that photo of him sucking on Ryan’s nose. So cute. Happy Birthday, Ryder! The Chappells love you and hope you have a great day!!