As the last but not least, youngest but no longer a babe, and sweet son we cherish, Oakley Andrew fills an essential role in our family.
Oaks turned four last week. Four! Four is dangerously close to five which leads to way big stuff like six, seven, and eight, and is so separate from little kid stuff like two, or even three. I was in so much denial I asked Awesome Aunt Nat for 3T Christmas jammies. Unfortunately for me, and Nat who had to negotiate a return, Oakley’s leg length was 4T long before October. I simply hadn’t noticed due to summer shorts as his only style.
Now that I’m on board, mind set and heart happy even, I am writing the Oaks bday blog. 10 days late.
Oakley, as Osborne kid number three, not much is new for you. Daddy and I have been parents before, Eli and Andi have been siblings, and all our baby stuff was worn in well by the time you slept, sucked on, or sat in it.
Here are some only Oakley things I celebrate and remember for you Oaks:
- Planned on purpose. You’re the only baby Daddy and I decided to try for, waited for, and for whom we welcomed a positive pregnancy test without great surprise.
- I did not have a c-section with you after having one for both deliveries of Eli and Andi.
- You took to trains. You are our only kid who has enjoyed playing with trains. Thanks for introducing us to Thomas. Surely we would not have made it through parenting toddlers without that friendly tank engine?
- Life’s realities came fastest to you. Eli and Andi cared about you and loved you. Andi especially enjoys intentional time with you. However, since they are four and six years older, you got life handed to you a little faster. As a much younger kid than E or A, you got: candy, movies, Kidz Bop, tackles, Nerf guns, your own room, language( “What the heck in the world?” and “Boom! Heck! What?!” you say as a three year old.), and an 8:30pm bedtime.
- Closest to cousins. Oaks, you’re lucky to be only two years older than your closest cousin instead of the nine and seven years Eli and Andi spread between June. I’m grateful you’re loving all your little cousins (June, Wilson, Vienna, and Henley) now and know you’ll love being their littlest big cousin and friend.
- I enjoyed you all by yourself. I love that Eli and Andi were close in age and feel like life with both of them at once was my best parenting. However, I cherish and celebrate the solo shot I got at having you, later, on your own. I liked being older as a woman and more experienced as a mommy which meant I got to give you some of my best too. (**see number 4 for how I gave you not the best sometimes)
- Most intense medical history in our first decade of parenting. You went to the CMH ER for stitches on your ear in February 2014. Nothing worse than ear infections for Eli or Andi!
Oaks, it’s because of you we are doing the Gap Year. I loved my days home with you but wanted Eli and Andi to have the same chance to enjoy you as I did. I wanted you to get to know them really well, to play with, fight with, and learn with them.
Oaks, it’s because of you we get to laugh, slow down, be amazed and enjoy the little things through your eyes in a way we would miss if you didn’t share so well with us.
As you grow up, we will celebrate your uniqueness and affirm your connection to a life bigger than yourself. You are blessed Oaks, to be a blessing. You have strength and sweetness, words and great ideas, humor and energy that can make a difference if you’re kind, intentional, grounded in Christ, and brave. I believe you can do big and hard things, and I promise to watch, process, and help as I can.
“It’s a good thing we have Oaks.” Amen. For sure.