Friday, September 16, 2011

dear fuzzies.

A couple of weekends ago, my two cousins (you'll remember them as my "fuzzins") celebrated their spiritual birthdays. I didn't do anything major to commemorate these pretty major events, so I thought instead, I'd write them a letter, then publish it for the world to see. That's what blogging's all about, right?


There have been times, in the past three years, when I have wondered if moving back to Tallahassee and choosing to stay was really the best decision. It's not always easy to move back to your hometown, to become a grown-up in a world where people still see you as a very scrawny, nerdy child. I don't spend a lot of time looking back -- I've always been a "remember Lot's wife" kind of person -- but in the moments when I do, I wonder if Tallahassee is really, right now, the place for me. 

And in those moments, what brings me back, what confirms the decision Jordan and I prayed about and cried over, is you.

My entire family made this move doable, livable, but it's this relationship I have with you that I treasure. I didn't know that when I left to go to college, I'd be coming back, be able to get to know the growing-up versions of you. I think years from now, when I remember the years -- however long they are -- that I spent in Tallahassee, I will mostly remember you. How I was privileged enough to watch my little cousins grow into beautiful and strong spiritual warriors.

We're cousins, I know. We're called to love each other based on blood alone. But I think what makes me so happy, so grateful, is that I'd love you even if we weren't cousins at all. I would still want to teach your Bible classes, to curl up on the couch and watch Gilmore Girls, to cook with you in my kitchen, to invite you to spend the night on the weekends when my husband was out of town (even if those visits resulted in 3 a.m. phone calls and brothers brave enough to be superheroes). All of those things might have been kind of creepy if we weren't actually related, so I'm glad, grateful that you're the same cousins I babysat when I was just learning how, the same cousins who called me "mom" in the grocery store so we wouldn't all be abducted, the same cousins who cry over old movies and drink smoothies and plan parties that may or may not ever happen.

I love that as a family, we talk about the things that matter to us. I love that we encourage each other to see the Spirit of Christ, that we share song lyrics and Bible verses, that we ask questions with the understanding that we won't always know the answers. 

A few weeks ago, Jordan was teasing me about my introverted ways. We read before, somewhere, that extroverts are people who are energized by others (like Jordan). They go into a crowd or a classroom or a party, and when they leave, they are rejuvenated. Introverts (like me) are the people who go into a crowded room or hang out with friends, and when they leave, they leave exhausted. (In defense of introverts everywhere, this doesn't mean we're antisocial or can't have a good time. It just means once the party's over, we tend to head straight for bed.) And Jordan was teasing me about how generally, people leave me so emotionally drained, and then it hit me: Not everyone leaves me feeling this way. Jordan -- he was grateful to know -- doesn't make me feel that way. And you don't make me feel that way. 

The days I get to see you and talk to you and hear about your days: Those are good days. I am so grateful that I, in some small way, get to play big sister not just to Chet, but to you. I'm glad the four of us are kind of like siblings, and I'm beyond grateful that now, we're connected not just by the blood of our parents, but by the blood of Christ. Getting to see you two walk with Him is a highlight of my life. 

So happy belated birthday, fuzzies. You are both so special to me, and I'm thrilled that I even get to play some small part in who you are and who you are becoming.

1 comment:

monster cakes said...

i know this all too well. i feel drained after social events, but nobody would ever know that b/c i'm generally very loud and social. i need me time, though, and i need to be better about giving myself that time, lest i turn into a scary person. haha glad you have your hubby and family to keep you smiling!

ps.i feel almost silly saying this and i'm not even sure why i feel this way, but i miss you. : )