Back to a family of four

We’ve had my sister’s son Nate staying with us the last few weeks. We took him home with us after our visit in NC, and he worked with Uncle Kirk on the airplane projects. He made fittings, and did various manly things with power tools. He also made us his special fabulous chocolate cake, and a big batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, which is sitting in my freezer at home, waiting to be baked into cookies.

Tonight, I am sitting in my sister-in-law’s living room, having hugged Nate goodbye and sent him off in my brother-in-law’s plane with Scott and Kirk flying. They dropped Nate off at an airport in Indiana, where his dad was waiting for him. Kirk and Scott are back, so the nerve-buzz of having my husband gone in a small-airplane and out of contact until he lands is worn off. And I’m missing Nate.

This young man–I think about his arrival, and how unlike Josh he seemed to me. He started out a little ornery…refused to show up during my weekend visit from grad school, and only came 4 days after I left…I remember the photo of him and Josh from that Christmas: Josh looking radiant and blondie-cutie-pants as usual, and teeny baby Nate, looking wrinkly and cross. I also remember falling in love with him just as hard as with Josh, the more time I spent holding him. I remember sitting with him on my lap, and getting head-butted so hard it may have actually broken my nose–and the fact that HE was twice as upset about hurting me as I was about being hurt. I remember his blythe spirit and funny grin. What a sweet little boy!

And now, he is 15, and he’s tall and lanky and muscle-y. He has a deep man-voice. And he is a real help with tools and airplanes. And with bread-making, chocolate cake, and cookie dough. He’s tactful and kind with small annoying cousins who buzz around in his orbit for as long as he’ll let them. He’s quick-witted and funny. He steps in gracefully and offers to help and serve. He’s passionate about reading good books, and about doing things carefully and well. He is disciplined in spending time reading God’s Word every night before he sleeps. He is an example for my boys of how to get it RIGHT as a teenage boy. He’s grown up. He’s not that little chubby toddler anymore, but still….

Thank you for your visit, Nate. I love you, sweet boy!

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