wearetheparsons —> family bio picture
  • Welcome to our family blog!

    we are the parsons.
    a family of five.
    which just means our dining room table has old cereal remnants crusted onto it and an over abundance of salt spilt.
    also we love Jesus.
    we are glad you are here.
    get to know us more and leave us a note.
    you make a difference in our story, and your love and encouragement mean so much.

Happy first day of school, Zion!

I hardly can believe I’m saying it, and I will probably cry about fifteen times during the course of typing this, but this morning, zion got up, put on his new red backpack and we took him to school for the very first time. All five of us held hands and walked into the therapeutic special needs school, into a classroom with little ones who are just like him, and gave him hugs and said goodbye for the day. If you have been following this journey, you know what a huge and miraculous and incredible thing this is. As of just a couple of months ago, we had been told that he needed the therapies and interventions of this school to help with his many ongoing needs. The next two years in this school would help continue to care for his CP, his developmental delays, and his medical needs in a way that will hopefully get him ready to be in a real elementary school classroom someday.

the only problem: the cost is high and we don’t have the means to send him. Or we didn’t, until you came into the story. Over the course of the past month, we have been blown away to see that person after person – friends and strangers alike – have come out of the woodwork to give to our family so that zion can attend this school and get the care he needs and deserves. Although we don’t have all the funds needed for the next two years at this school, we have enough for him to start part-time now and there was an opening in a classroom this month so we took the leap.

This is a really happy day. I keep telling myself that. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the breeze is rustling the trees. This is not a day for tears, and yet I can’t stop crying. His teacher offered for me to be able to stay at the school for awhile this morning and watch how he did from the observation room. I was so happy and agreed, but quickly realized I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

This is my baby. This is my youngest son who I held when he was three pounds, and now he’s three years old. This is the love of my life who I have held in hospital rooms and hugged when he’s sad. This is the baby I did CPR on in the back of a van speeding through stoplights on the way to a hospital because he wasn’t breathing. This is the child who I have had to restrain and be a human straight jacket for, because of his epic tantrums and serious sensory needs (yup, parenting a special needs child is really messy sometimes). This is the little one who just recently started to put words together, and some of the ones he says to me the most are, “i need hug.” his laughter is my oxygen, and his scent is my drug. He is light and life and power and presence of God to me and to our family. I don’t want to sacrifice a single minute with him.

And yet, I know I am out of my league here. There are things zion needs that we just can’t give him. We don’t have the training, the equipment, the expertise to give him. Yes, I believe fully that God equipped us to be his one and only family, and for me to be his mom. But now, because of this school, I get to just be his mom. Not also his teacher, therapist, and behavioral psychologist. I am mommy, and he is my baby.

I ended up sitting in the observation room doing an ugly cry. In one breath, I was thanking God that you dear hearts have been so generous to our family and given us a grace gift we do not deserve and could never earn. In another breath, I was hurting over our little baby going into a big world without me to hold his hand for the very first time. “why is that little kid trying to steal zion’s backpack?!” “why is the teacher pronouncing his name like that?” [sidenote, for anyone who has ever wondered, it's pronounced zion, like lion with a z.] “why are they making him drink milk? I should have told them he doesn’t drink milk..” “what if he falls backwards on his shunt in that chair while no ones watching?” I eventually, wiped my tears away, turned the sound off, and left the school. This is where he is supposed to be, and two days a week, I am going to have to let go and trust that he will be ok.

I went to the Y, and had a moment in my turbo kick class – unlikely place for a revelation – where the Spirit spoke to my heart reminding me, “I’ve got this. I’ve been the one holding zion together since day one, not you. trust me.” I saw my friend, Jessi, right afterwards. I cried again. And then she – a former special education teacher, and one of the smartest people on the planet – reminded me: “you are a good mama. early intervention is crucial. It’s proven by research to be so beneficial. you made the right choice.”

I needed to hear that. So I cried some more on the way home and now shed a few more tears on our porch as I tell you this – thank you. from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. For all you’ve given so far, for the love and compassion you have showed us, and for continuing to hold us in your prayers as we go forward.

happy first day of school, baby zion. mommy loves you, and I can’t wait to give you a hug after school is over.

overwhelmed with thankfulness, and asking for you to join us!

The morning after I wrote the post below about zion and our journey lately with his diagnosis and needs, I got an email from our dear friend, Kristin Moore, who we met at one of our workshops. She and her family felt moved to set up a fundraising site for zion to help cover the costs of his schooling for the next two years and any extra therapy/medical costs that are heading our way as we walk this new road.

Knee-jerk reaction in the back of my mind: “um. I don’t think so. I don’t want to be in need. we can handle this on our own.”

the only problem with that is – we can’t. we can’t afford his school and therapy costs for the next two years, and our son has a need, a big one with a lot of zeros behind it. And in the past few days as we have talked and prayed about this kind offer, we can’t help but realize that, although it is really really difficult to accept help, it is a beautiful thing to walk a hard road knowing that we aren’t alone. God shows up in our lives in the most unexpected and peculiar ways. We are coming to terms with the fact that although we can’t change zion’s prognosis, we can love him as he is and accept the generosity and love of others to see him thrive – even in his current state. The Moore family has begun sharing the site, and we are coming to the place of just being incredibly grateful that someone would think to love our family in this way. So, it is with humility that we share it with you dear ones here.

y’all are some of our nearest and dearest. you are the people who have sat teary eyed in hospital rooms with us, cried at your computer as you connect to our story, or prayed for us in the quiet rooms of your hearts. we love you and are thankful for you, and now we need you to continue giving zion the care he needs for the next two years.

The site she has set up has a financial goal listed – this goal would cover the costs of 70% of zion’s school and therapies at that school for the next two years. Our family is trusting God to provide that and the remainder we need out of our pocket to cover these expenses. If you are interested in helping us, we say “YES!” and “THANK YOU” from the bottom of our hearts. we hope to see zion in this school and to be able to share with all of his supporters that we are seeing progress and growth and health in our wonderful baby boy, and to someday say: “IT’S ALL HAPPENING BECAUSE OF YOU!” so much thanks to the Moore family for your love and your huge hearts in joining with us on this road.

click on the image below and it will take you to the site.
and if you want to talk more with us directly about zion’s story and his needs, email us anytime at hello@wearetheparsons.com.
with love from us all,
the parsons family

eating my feelings, loving our baby, and trusting God with it all…

I’m not gonna sugar coat this, the past few weeks have added up to this being a difficult season. It’s a season of eating my feelings, and unfortunately for the first time in my life, those feelings taste like sugar and come in the form of mexican cokes (made with real sugar), ice cream sandwiches, and a bowl of golden crisp late every night. I recently turned to Jeremy around 11pm on one such night and asked, “so I guess the fact that the mascot of this cereal is actually a “sugar bear” means I might be making the wrong choice here…” He looked at me as if to say “um. what’s my line here?” and then avoided eye contact. I still ate the cereal.

I’ve found myself not only eating my feelings, but numbing them. Sometimes, I just don’t want to be a grown up and I want all the grown up things about life to go away. Remember peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when you didn’t have to eat the crust, little thermos cups filled with hot soup in your school lunch, and no bills? I do! And I want to go back! ok, maybe not really. I didn’t wear my braces and scrunchies as well as I thought I did. But oh my goodness, this grown up gig is really hard sometimes, and – despite a big piece of artwork hanging in my living room telling me we can – sometimes I just don’t feel like I can do this. Jeremy shares my sentiments often, and we both sit there giving each other “this is hard” type glances.

Don’t worry, we aren’t sitting around in my house with the blinds drawn, listening to iron and wine and writing in our journals about the dark nothingness. we don’t own blinds and who has time for music when you spend most of your free time watching Brooklyn 99 (actually hilarious), Downton Abbey (re-runs), The Following (oh my gosh so intense, we can’t hardly get through the first season!), 24 die another day (OMG, Jack is SO back), Moone Boy (amazing), and playing 2048 (the commercial for this game would go something like “don’t feel like you’re wasting enough of your precious life away on social media? well, then PLAAAYYY 2048!!!!”). Get it? numbing. numb. ing.
because in the past few weeks, we have learned a couple of things that change our lives:

Zion has officially been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Zion’s brain is testing out at a one year old level average. He turns three on monday.

There it is. The cursor is flashing here waiting for me to type something really brilliant here, but I can’t help but just let it flash and read the words, let them sink in.

We had two very opposite reactions to this news in the past couple of weeks. The first came in the form of something like “ok. well, you knew this was probably going to be his diagnosis, so does this even change anything?” the other in the form of “Oh my gosh! This is huge news! We will be praying for you and for him in this time.” To the first, I said something like “yeah, it doesn’t change much at all.” We have a son who is in 3-4 therapies per week and whose regular routine includes Children’s Mercy Hospital. We have a son who has been keeping this schedule ever since he could participate. We have a son who suffered a traumatic brain injury at birth and has been through two brain surgeries and is looking at the promise of more in his future and frequently has MRI’s and visits to his neurosurgeons office. Yeah. No big deal. LOL, whatevs. This doesn’t change a thing.

But the truth is, this is a really big deal. It’s a big deal to me because I’m his mom and he’s my son and I am reminded once again that my son is not well. And if you are a parent, you know that changes some things. And sometimes, it’s just nice to hear someone respond in a way that shows me they have empathy, that shows me that they get that this would really hurt sometimes if they were having to watch their baby face so much opposition just to function and progress semi-normally. It’s nice to have someone give us space to recognize that, although zion is a little walking miracle, he still has a very broken body and brain that will not function “normally” in the way his older brother’s or his dad and mine does. It’s nice to have someone acknowledge that this is a big deal, because it feels like a big deal to me lately. And I’m talking hours of hulu+netflix and boxes of the sugar bear’s magic potion big deal.

Jeremy said it well a few nights ago… “In the course of the past two weeks, I feel like we have been thrown into the deep end of a pool and have realized we don’t actually know how to swim.” With the diagnosis and the test results came the full time jobs of parent/advocate – many more meetings, trainings, phone calls, letters written and battles fought – all trying to get our sweet boy the care he needs and deserves to have, the care that might make the difference of whether or not he grows up to function well in his world, and the care that the state / school district really doesn’t want to have to pay for. You guys, this stuff is a lot of work. And it’s more evidence reminding me of the real reason I am eating my feelings via calories and streaming megabytes:

We have no control here. We don’t hold the cards. We don’t get to call all the shots. We can’t predict the future or change the past. We can’t even change the hearts of the social workers so they want to help our son instead of just win the money battle. We can’t make $700 appear magically each month so we can send him to the school where his therapies would continue and he could be around other kids like him. We look at the sign on my wall and realize it’s not completely true. because We can’t do this. The only way we are going to keep zion alive, parent zion well, and see his needs met is if God does all of this for us and through us – moving mountains we can’t move, and giving hope we can’t find within our own efforts. Or, as we say a lot in this house:

We can do this…with God’s help. and maybe a bowl or two of golden crisp.

if you are reading this, it means you love us and you know us / our story well. we would love and ask for your prayers –
1. for zion to continue to heal and progress after his surgery this past week.
2. for the school district to miraculously change their minds and agree to contract with the special needs preschool that zion’s doctors have all said he needs to attend. (we are trying to schedule another meeting and have letters from his doctors and therapists to help our case).
3. if they won’t change their minds, that God would provide the money for zion’s tuition.
that we won’t lose heart, and will be able to see the beautiful and always gracious hands of God caring for us, here and now.

thanks for listening and for being here, it means a lot to me and to us.

half mast and triumphal procession.

The flags are flying at half mast today in the Parsons family home. or at least, the temporary Home Depot paper window blinds are. It’s been raining outside on and off all morning and it’s Palm Sunday. It is also the day before the anniversary of my father’s death. On top of that, I have been in two hospitals in the last twenty four hours. I can’t help but think that the timing of all of this is planned. I can’t help but think it because I have found over and over that God is in the details, and He rules and creates not just the overall arc of history’s story, but in the minutiae of our story as well.

Rewind about 24 hours ago, and I had just finished witnessing a birth. I had the mind-blowing privilege of watching a new person become a name, a birthdate, an heir, and a member of the human family with those of us walking this mud ball. It was all of those cliche words we use too frequently but rarely have occasion to mean: awesome, beautiful, moving, powerfully profound. There was a moment – one of those total clarity and aha! moments – when the mother was cradling her squirmy, wet, and crying bundle and she said the most beautiful phrase: “Welcome! I love you. And this is the best part! This is the part where you get to live on this earth now. And I’m going to show you so much and I’m going to be with you.” I started crying. How glorious it is to be alive! How blessed to be loved and how marvelous to be a mother, a “show-er” of what life can be. It was holy.

In that moment the Voice in my heart remind me, this is why you’re here. I get to experience the power and glory of being created, of being alive and watching the Holy Spirit flow through me in love as I show my children what life is. it’s the best “job” and I couldn’t wait to get home and hold my babies. and I did. and then I took a 3 hour nap, because birth drains you, no matter what your role, but I also wanted to be able to go to sleep at an early bedtime that night.

Tyler has been sick for almost a week. it started minor, developed into strep throat, then a cough three days later (despite being on antibiotics for the strep infection), and as of last night around dinner time he was at an all-time low. He hadn’t willingly eaten in days and he had a high fever that would not go away. A helpful talk with a doctor from our church revealed that his respiratory rate was over double the normal amount and with a high fever not responding to meds she was concerned. She suggested I take him into the childrens hospital ER and so I did.

as we’re leaving for the hospital:

him: where are we going?
me: I have to take you to Emergency Room at the hospital.
him: zion’s hospital?
me: yes.
him: Oooh COOL! I have never been there for myself before!!. . .
me: tyer, I love you. Is it ok that i take you and not dad?
him: Oh yeah! There’s nobody else I would rather take me! just you!

(insert heart explosion, and thoughts of “oh my goodness, I love be a mother.” here)

His x-rays revealed something in the lower lobe of his left lung. That sounds familiar, I think. Then, a pit in my stomach. At this point, I am going on 3 hours sleep in a forty hour period – remember, labor and delivery the night into morning prior. And I realize that in just over a day, we will be remembering the anniversary of the day my dad’s life on this earth ended. because of lung cancer. because of a bad cough that turned into a doctor’s visit that turned into “we think you might have pneumonia” that turned into an x-ray revealing a mass in the lower lobe of his left lung. I didn’t text my mom from the ER. It was late. If it felt like Déjà vu to me, it would have felt too much like it to her, also. The tests revealed that tyler had pneumonia. Relief. The antibiotic he was on for strep may have helped it from getting more out of hand, but they weren’t strong enough to fight the infection in his lung, so they prescribed the antibiotic with “prison rules” guaranteed to kill this infection once and for all. We got home after midnight and went to bed.

It makes me wonder, the question that I have dared to ask in the late hours when no one else but God is awake: what if my dad would have just had pneumonia? what if he would have been treated and then started to feel better in a matter of days? If I were writing the script here, I would have written that in. But try as I may to be a writer, God keeps reminding me He holds the pen. So I pray thinks like ‘um, if you could NOT do that right now, that would be a huge help to me.’ I would write it differently, almost every time. And yet, I don’t know anymore. My dad’s death led to perspective in our lives. It led to dazzling hardship and brave struggle and magnificent changes in our family, our marriage, our business. It led to a workshop that we host in the mountains of Colorado where lives are revived, repaired, and restored. It led to us finally facing our fears and deciding we weren’t going to run anymore from the pull in our chest to adopt. It led to Zion being our son instead of someone we would have spent our lives strangers to. And Zion has led us to. . . oh my gosh, if you know us, you know how impossible it is to chronicle it all. In some ways, this catastrophic loss that I would write out of the story has simultaneously been a kiss on the cheek from God.

I don’t mean that in a stupid, Christianese, “when God closes a door he opens a window” kind of way. I hate that shit, and yes I swore there on purpose. I have never seen empty placates bind up any broken hearts, and Jesus is about binding up, not covering up. I don’t like admitting it because I hate the loss. I hate the pain and the oceans of tears that have been shed in the past four years. I hate the fact that I still catch myself reaching for my phone to call or text my dad and feeling the cold sting of death realization that I can’t. I hate watching my mother, Elizabeth, as a young widow who lost her soul mate. I hate that I had this astonishing father, who would give me a “best day” each year where he would show me the world and my beautiful place in it, this father who loved me so completely and so well, this father who never knew a stranger and had genuine Holy Spirit love flowing through him, is gone. I still doubt the Writer. I still question what He was doing and why He had to let it happen this way. And yet, I can’t bring myself to not trust Him because I see the beautiful implications of this playing out in my life.

me: where are we going?
Him: into the valley of the shadow of death.
me: but I have never been there for myself before. . .
Him: Ashley, I love you. Is it ok that I take it from here, and not your dad?
me: yes. There’s nobody else who would be able to carry me through, just you.

I doubt The Writer, but as he was dying, my father never did. And in his last private entry of his journal four years ago before he died, he wrote these words I am sharing with you below. So on this palm sunday, I offer these words as my waving palm branch, these words as my “hosanna” as my crying out to a loving and mysterious God, “Save us!” and thank Him that He already has. It will be so good when the “best day” really comes. Lest we forget, friends, this is not actually the best part. The best part doesn’t involve half mast flags or window coverings or cancer or children’s hospitals. The best part is coming, and each breath we take, we are getting closer to that triumphal procession. . .

my father’s last journal entry:
Day 348
A “Best Day” coming on!!
Psalm 99; Leviticus 5:15 – 6:7, Isaiah 3-4; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
These readings today are precious.
Psalm 100; Leviticus 6:8 – 7:38, Isaiah 5, 2 Corinthians 1:12 – 2
It feels like with having E’s care, the meds and everything else, that my body is living up with God’s perfect plan for my life.
Lord, I love following you and discerning you anew and afresh each day. I feel your presence with calm & rest. I love you.
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere.” 2 Cor. 2:14

P1000696 from WE ARE THE PARSONS on Vimeo.

the wonderful wake-up call of my disappointing children.

I have a vision of me coming to an early death. somewhere, somehow, something kills me unexpectedly and micah comes to our family blog. (needless to say, I might not be an optimist) In this vision, micah comes to ye old family blog looking to experience the inner voice and the love of his mother and he will read these words.

insert lol here.

oh, micah. maybe we will both laugh about this story someday. and if I’m not around to laugh with you, just know i love you big. really, really broken, but big. and I’m laughing.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

it was micah’s birthday in november. he was turning ten and we wanted to give him a gift that would mark the passage from little boy to pre-adolescent of double digits. it’s been our plan all along – when our kids turn ten, we will give them an experience or gift they can look back on as a mile marker, a real shift from baby boy to big kid. we love this boy so very, very much and have always been quite enamored with him. for one, he’s smarter than us, more organized than us, and probably already knows what we should have for dinner tonight. He has always had such a kind heart, a tender spirit and an incredibly sharp, type A, wit. . And today, before I’ve even wiped the sleep out of my eyes, he will probably be wondering what I have planned for the rest of our day. He won student of the month last week at his school. For self-control, nonetheless. I’m thirty two years old and still feel like this character trait is my white rabbit. He is being recognized by his teachers and peers for mastering it at age ten. He is the one teachers cry about at parent-teacher conferences because “it’s just such an honor to know your son.” He’s the one, we jokingly say, will take care of our retirement. He notices when I “look pretty in that new shirt!” and he comes up to give a hug and say “love you” just because.

in other words, micah is really, really easy to love.

and this past couple of years, he’s been completely obsessed with Harry Potter.
like, read book after book (before seeing the movies) and was harry potter two years in a row for Halloween.
this year, tyler finally joined in as ron and zion, as hedgwig the owl. (yes my heart is STILL exploding, duh)

it’s a big deal.
so, when we found ourselves days before his birthday with a crap ton of airline miles about to expire, and realized we could cash those in for four free plane tickets, we decided that for his birthday we would surprise him with a trip to Orlando Florida to stay at his favorite hotel chain and go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
or as the boys have referred to it, “Harry Potter Land.”
we would take the brothers, but leave the baby at home, because zion takes a good majority of our time and attention and we knew micah deserved a little uninterrupted time to celebrate him.

to give you some context, we had just come off of the busiest travel season we have ever had in our professional lives, and one of the busiest in our personal lives as well.
In the five months leading up to his birthday, we had boarded 22 different airplanes, had 43 hospital and therapy appointments with Zion, hosted 5 different houseguests, sent 1068 emails, and the number of days spent on the road were exceeding the number of days at home.

we had sucked at being parents.
we had sucked at begin present.
and damn it, we were going to spoil our boy to make up for it.

we did our research, booked the tickets with every single airline mile we earned that year, reserved the hotel room at the lovely Embassy Suites and then, finally made his “letter.”
In the books, each child invited to Hogwarts gets a letter from the owl post. it has the hogwarts seal on it and invites them to come to the school.
So I made one.
in photoshop with photoshopped photos of owls and a quill and old-timey writing saying something very official sounding from Dumbledore. and then, in desperation, I dripped wax from a candle onto the envelope and used a nickel to make an official “seal.”

yeah. I’m amazing. (insert slow clap here)

all the while thinking, “oh my gosh, he is going to love this soooooooooooooooooo much!”

I wrote my BFF, telling her the grand plan . .
he would be promised a small party, and we would have dinner with his grandmothers and auntie&uncle and then we would give him the envelope before his friends came over for cake.
she wrote back
“NO. WAY. He is going to freak! Please please please get it on video! And tell him I said happy birthday!”

oh, don’t worry, devon.
I will.
and it’s going to be e p i c.

I think the general law of good storytelling says that at this point, I should insert the life-filled, wonderful, Disney-commercial-ish video so your eyes can well up with tears as you see the thankfulness and joy that two little boys can have. There’s happy music in the background and everyone gives a big hug at the end. But I can’t show you that video because it doesn’t exist. In fact, I haven’t had the heart to watch the video I did make those three and a half months ago because it still just tastes that bitter going down. So I will give you the cliff notes version.

he opened his presents from the grandmothers . . lots of toys he asked for.
he opened his present from tyler . . a lego set he wanted.
then we told him the letter was in the mail.
he went to the mailbox, brought it back, and our angelic little boy instantly transformed into a detached, emotionless, spoiled little brat.
he opened up the letter, read it aloud (because, remember, I had to get an awesome video to impress you all . . .ahem, I mean to remember this magical moment) and then set it down and asked,
“ok. so is that it?”
“is what it?”
“is that all, or do I get more presents?”
um. . .buddy, you get to go to Florida on a plane with mom and dad and tyler TOMORROW and we get to spend three days at the Wizarding world of harry potter!”
“well, do I get to buy something there?”
“wow. oh my gosh. . . ”
at this point, my world is crashing down, my heart rate is rising and the various family members around the table began to chime in, letting him know how lucky he is, that he’s always wanted to go, that kids his age would kill for this chance, etc.
he shrugged his shoulders.
I started crying.
the ugly cry.
I couldn’t help it. I had built this thing, this gift, this experience, this kid up in my mind to be perfect and I was being disappointed.
I asked him to come talk to me privately. He started crying because he was afraid he was in trouble.

um. you think?
we did just give you the most extravagant gift we’ve ever given anyone in our family and you’re being a little shit.
(didn’t say it. just thought it.)

I told him how sad I was, but that we didn’t have to go if he didn’t truly want to.
“no, I want to, I just didn’t know what to think because I’m not ready for a trip tomorrow and I wanted to get more presents.”
type A.
and wired differently than me.
and spoiled.
so not wired completely differently than me.

I tried to explain the concept of this trip itself being a present, that it was going to be awesome, that the pictures of this place look so so cool.
he eventually gave me a hug and, with a frog in his throat and a genuine tone in his voice, said, “I’m sorry, I am excited. It’s a really nice present.”
We had given him the greatest gift he could imagine at this age, and he wasn’t even thankful.

I went upstairs to pull my emotional mess of a self together. and I realized something.

“It’s so difficult to love him right now.”

and in the back of my mind, out of freaking nowhere, I heard the still, small voice of God speak to me.
“you are exactly the same as him but I love you without restraint, without expectation, without wavering. you are going to have to forgive him, and you are going to have to go to Florida tomorrow and show him how much you love him.”

I hardened to the idea. but he didn’t deserve it! he wasn’t even thankful! he was the opposite of thankful! and he wasn’t being the micah that I know and love.

But he was proving that all of us, from the thirty-three year old to the ten year old, are not lovable. Maybe we can cover up our ugliness a bit better than a ten year old, but let’s be honest..the inside of my heart doesn’t look like an instagram post. Yes, we are all beautiful and remarkable and made in the image of our Creator. But without God himself stepping into our world to rescue us from ourselves, we are all intensely selfish, spoiled, detached ten year olds being handed our dream trip and shrugging our shoulders, wanting another lego set instead.

Here’s the moral of this story for me:
There was and is one perfect son. His name was Jesus. Micah can’t be Jesus. He can just be Micah. And the is great, because Jesus was a perfect ten year old in Micah’s place, never unthankful, selfish or hurtful.
There was and is one perfect parent. His name is I Am, God, Father, Creator of the universe. And he was perfect in my place, never angry, disappointed, resentful, or calling me a little shit in his mind. In fact, he knew just how far I would push him away that he killed the son for my rebellion. He who knew no sin became sin so that we – you, me, and micah might become the righteousness of God.
mind. blowing.

So I forgave my ten year old. God showed me the treason of my own heart, and as it always does, the gospel opened my heart to love my son. my imperfect, selfish, and also beautiful, God-made ten year old. and we celebrated and had cake and then we went to florida and because God is kind and has a wonderful sense of humor, it was one of the most dear times he and I have ever had around each other before. because I wasn’t holding the babies hand, micah would reach out and grab my hand and hold it all day long, as we went around the park from ride to ride. we swam in the pool at the hotel. we ate junk food. we watched movies at night. and I was able to see him in a whole new light, in the most real light – that my baby boy/oldest son is a sinner just like me, in need of the same Jesus to impart a perfect record for him, just like me. and we all got to talk about that together on that trip.

Oh God, thank you thank you thank you for the wonderful wake-up call of my disappointing children, and for never being the type of parent that I was on November 15, 2013.