turning four

I had a dream I had a baby boy named Benjamin before Annie, before I imagined babies in my arms. When I discovered I was pregnant eighteen months after Annie I knew this baby was going to be a boy. I knew that Ben was meant to be.

Many nights I was willing myself to sleep massaging the part of my pregnant belly that Ben liked to prop his foot against. I would push it down and his heel would always return to its resting place. I could mark it with an x, he was so predictable. On one of those many nights a few words found their way to me, that strung together brought me peace. This baby will be God’s grace to me. The heavens didn’t open and trumpets didn’t blast, but I heard it from deep within my belly to settle in my heart. Grace. God’s grace.

The morning after I had Ben I turned to the bassinet I had placed him in just two hours before both of us had finally succumbed to sleep. After a restless night of breastfeeding, doors banging open and diligent nurses we locked eyes. Green and blue, calm and steady, mine and his. We belonged to each other. My dream come true. He was here to stay.

Ben is gentle. Ben is often lost in a world I want to climb inside. Ben has many imaginary friends, but he and True are the closest. Ben squeals when he’s excited. I mean, high-pitched, like a little girl, people cover their mouths to hold in laughter squeals. When he is tired or unsure his thumb is immediately planted in his mouth. Ben is funny. Ben is my reminder to live. He gets life. He used to skip down the sidewalk, arms in the air, reaching for the sky and I remember thinking, don’t forget this. This is how it should be. This is how life should be. Fun and funny and reaching for the skies.

Benjamin is grace. He’s a resting place.

My kids rode their bikes, heading home, while I walked today from swimming lessons. I was lagging behind tired, hot, and drowning in wet towels and bathing suits. Ben parked his bike at the house, helmet still fastened to his head and walked down the street toward me. He held out his hand and I grabbed it. He pressed his warm, red cheek to our hands, sighed contentedly, and led me home.

Swept Up


In Benjamin
Who turns four, tomorrow, August 19th.

On a side note: I’m sorry I haven’t been around much. I blame the summer with its sun and how it begs me to drink slushy, fruity drinks with alcohol in them. I’ve been out a lot with my kids (not drinking), so that means less time here. Fall, school and routine are just around the corner, so I won’t be far behind.

22 thoughts on “turning four

  1. Christy

    Happy Birthday to Ben! I love the way you write Heidi – what a wonderful scene you painted on that walk home from the pool! And no worries about being absent – it's the end of summer — I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts too. 🙂

  2. Kate Coveny Hood

    I love reading about your family. The little details – the flashes of emotion – the clear expressions that jump out of the computer screen making pictures simply welcome, but not necessary.

    Happy birthday to beautiful Ben.

  3. amisare waswerebeen

    Don't feel the need to apologize when you're spending your time with your kiddos. It's wonderful. I loved this post about Ben.

    I had the same thing happen to me with my last two kiddos. I dreamt of them way before I knew they were coming. I will have to post about that someday.

    Hope you're doing well.

  4. Linda Sue

    Beautifully espressed! That connection- what a gift! I had that with my baby boy- we locked on!

  5. Dorkys Ramos

    Oh so sweet!! Happy birthday Ben. I'm pretty sure none of us have to tell you to have a blast 🙂

  6. sugarlens

    I love what you wrote about your son. So endearing! Happy birthday Ben!

    Enjoy the rest of summer!

  7. FranticMommy

    You have such a magical way of writing Heidi. What a sweet story! Happy Birthay Ben.

    p.s Family First is perfectly acceptable!

  8. you gotta wonder

    Thank you for sharing. I love the birthday commemoratives you offer for your children.

    Happy Birthday to Ben!

  9. Chris

    What a beautiful post. How wonderful to bond with such a special person before birth, and how wonderful to only grow closer and be more amazed with your beautiful son 🙂

  10. Suz Broughton

    Happy Birthday to your Ben! I loved your description of him. So much of it reminded me of my Ben.

  11. LMN

    Ahh. I love your description of Ben. I love picturing him holding your hand and pressing it against his cheek. What a cutie. I love picturing his laugh. I have tingles!

    Glad you've been OUT and ABOUT enjoying things other than the blog world. It is still here. So keep on enjoying yourself. 🙂

  12. Anna See

    this is so beautiful! thanks for sharing these glimpses of grace with us. happy, happy day Ben!

  13. tiff(threeringcircus)

    Belated happiest of birthdays and birthing days to your boy and you.
    He sounds wonderful – just like his mum.

  14. kendalee

    This is a beautiful post Heidi. Ben sounds like a treasure and a joy. I'm glad you found each other.

  15. dawn

    happy birthday to your sweet, sweet boy. he sounds light filled and joyous….just like his mama. xo

  16. Cookie

    I guess I haven't been around much either… just a few days late to comment. But still happy birthday! Great photo!

  17. Intense Guy

    Happy belated birthday to Ben! I hope he had a splendid day.

    It is a real joy to read the joy you imbue each word in this entry.

    🙂

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