But we both also wanted another boy. We prayed for a boy. The Lord had different plans.
Lindsey and I weren’t alone in wanting another shot of testosterone in the mix. Ben REALLY wanted a little brother. In fact, telling B mommy’s pregnant with a girl was one of those, “How are we going to break it to him” things. He was devastated. He just didn’t understand why God chose for him to have another sister. He slept in our bed that night, which only slightly assuaged his heartbreak.
Here’s a letter that, in due time, I hope will help my 4 year old little buddy understand how important his roles as brother is.
You told mommy and daddy for weeks that you want a baby brother. You wanted to tackle and play guns and Star Wars with him. That’s why it was so hard for us to tell you that mommy is having a girl…another sister. I know you love your sisters. Even though you get frustrated when Caroline messes up your neatly engineered train tracks or Nora Jane steals your drink when you turn your back, you love them. I see it. And they know it, too.
Like you, I thought about how much fun three Mitchell guys could have together and all the things you’d want to show a little brother. Even now, it’s hard to think that we won’t have another little boy. But mommy and daddy trust that God knows what’s best for our family and for His family.
When I saw mommy’s super mommy announcement picture telling everyone “IT’S A GIRL!”, I had a deep sense of gratitude. I was grateful that God gave us a boy first. I’m so thankful He gave you to us, little buddy. I love being your dad. I love that you’re my son. You have mommy’s eyes and face and hair, but you have the lack of a rear to prove that you’re mine too. You don’t like loud noises, and I never have either.
It’s amazing how much influence you have with your sisters. Nora Jane wants to do WHATEVER you’re doing. When she runs into the living room so proud that she has your far too large pajamas on, I melt. She adores you. And she protects me from your light saber attacks and sniper shots. When you have a great attitude and are obedient, Nora Jane follows suit, and I think Caroline will do the same very soon.
You have been entrusted with a great deal of responsibility, buddy. God is giving you three girls to look out for, to set the pace for, and to help point to Jesus. I can’t fathom now how much your walk with the Lord as a young man will color how Nora Jane, Caroline, and baby girl view Jesus. That’s why mommy and daddy pray with you everyday, for your heart to be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit and for your wife to be a godly woman from a godly family (preferably one we know and love).
I had a lot of theological ideas about the love of God several years ago. But you put flesh on those otherwise heady, lifeless ideas. It rocked my world to hold my boy, to give you a name and call you my own. And that’s what I pray the Lord does in your life–that He calls you by name, adopts you as His own son, and you walk with Him in obedience.
Love those little girls well, buddy. I’m going to need your help at school because they’re going to be drop dead gorgeous, just like mommy.
There’s no boy I would rather call my little buddy than you, Ben Mitchell. There’s not another one like you.
Love you with all my heart,