Saturday

Grace Before Meals...at preschool

Here's a cute video from Cassidy's Thanksgiving feast at preschool. I love hearing her sing, but as I watch this I can't help but look past her to the little boy on the other side of the table. His name is Joshua and he reminds me so much of our little Wy-guy. It's this strange physical reminder that Wyatt is gone. Yet Cassidy is such a joy and we're blessed she's in this class with Noah. They love each other so much.
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Monday

On the road

Some of the best conversations happen over the open road. This last week I got to ride with little Hadassah in the back of the van, and she gabbed my ear off. She knew she had a captive audience. She had been talking for a while before I decided I should get my camera out. And she didn't stop once I turned it off. Sorry it's not much to look at, but her little voice is so enjoyable.
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Her vocab is a little limited (she's only 18 months) but she's quite the mimicker. She kept talking about her shoes (shocker!) and we couldn't find them. And then we did.
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Little Miss Cassidy spent the week exploring silly puddy and all it's fun possibilities. I couldn't resist getting it on camera -- watch how she helps roll the puddy with her mouth.
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Birthday without the Boy

A few weeks ago I asked Cassidy what she wanted to do for Wyatt's birthday. It's become our family tradition to get books for the boys' birthdays, both earthly and heavenly. We wrap them up and put them on the dining room table, like we used to when Wyatt was still here. It's a nice, simple tradition, that always reminds me of the birthday morning when they both woke up and Wyatt said, "Look Cassie! Balloons!" He said it over and over, I could hear the excitement in his voice as I laid in bed.

Waiting for her response I could see the wheels spinning in her little mind, trying to think of something we could do, something extraordinary (and more fun than going to the grave). Then, as though it was the most brilliant idea ever, she said, "Let's go to Chuck E. Cheese!"

About two months ago Tom took her there on a special date night and she loved it. So much so, that when her teacher asked the class what their favorite thing was, she answered "Chuck E. Cheese". When she told me that's what she wanted to do for Wyatt's birthday I tucked it away, not revealing that I also thought this was a good idea. When November 4th rolled around she was surprised to find out that we were going to see the big mouse, with Maasen (double bonus).

She played almost every game but only once. After she accomplished that she was ready to go. It was sad to be there without the boys, and the curiosity will always be there about how the three of them would interact as siblings. But celebrating Wyatt's life at Chuck E. Cheese, without him, reminds me of one thing -- Cassidy keeps our hearts full of love and laughter.

Friday

A few words

...about my husband. People send cards to women, but very often to men. I don't know why this is, and admit I might be guilty of it myself. On days of remembrance this seems especially true. That being said, today I want to tell you about the man Tom Blake is. Or at least who he has been the last 6 years. I think Tom's smile changed the day Wyatt was born:
People told him they were curious to see him as a father. As an adventurer I think some were skeptical he would settle down and parent, responsibly. He did go on a canoe trip 5 days before Wyatt arrived. But as soon as that little boy appeared Tom has been a compassionate, tender,wise and hilarious father. And though the memories and photographs still sting, I am grateful for November 4th, 2005, and the way it changed our lives forever.

As a husband Tom continually tells me how great I am at mothering; he thanks me for what I do. When he was in the middle of full-time painting he would come home exhausted to the beautiful screams of Wyatt and Cassie, "PAPA!" He would immediately chase them into the bedroom and bounce and wrestle with them on the bed. He is never too busy to play, especially with his kids. And though it hurts his heart a bit he still bounces and wrestles with Cassidy.

And he teaches too. He used the holidays to show the children about G-d and His Word and how it should impact our hearts and our lives. Wyatt knew about the importance of the Word and when Tom would get passionate about a topic with friends Wyatt would run to his room and get his Bible so he could participate. Tom read to Wyatt and Cassidy the night Wyatt went with Jesus. Wyatt was primed to encounter the L-rd because of the way Tom fathered him.

In the last two years Tom has continued to be my rock and my safe place. Because of the way he's endured this pain I've been able to see the L-rd as a loving and safe place once again. Instead of getting angry he turned to the only place that held truth and in turn G-d has rewarded him with an open door to develop his gifting as a teacher. A while ago he told me that he doesn't feel like he's received healing, but rather the Word of God and studying has brought him hope. It feels right; the scars are still there, closed but still present, and some days they hurt more than others. On a day like today we weep for the separation but rejoice in the little life we shared together. Our firstborn, Wyatt William.

Thank you, Thomas, for being Wyatt's Buddy Best Friend.