9 years ago I launched this blog. Actually this isn’t the one that I launched. It started over on blogspot.com, it was named something different. Over the years it has changed and moved to where it is today. All of that really isn’t important. I bring that up because I created this blog 9 years ago to coincide with the upcoming birth of our youngest child. I thought it would be a good way to catalog all that was happening for family out of town. Today, our youngest, our “baby” turns 9 years old.
When I look back over the blog, I’ve written several posts about “the boy” here, here and here for example. I’ve also written posts for “Princess 1.0” here, here and here. It’s funny, but I haven’t written many about the one that was the reason this whole crazy blog started. It’s not for lack of love or to slight her in any way. There is no shortage of love or admiration for “Princess 2.0.” Not one bit. I thought today I might start to even the score a bit.
Early on in our marriage, whenever the topic of children was discussed, the number my wife had in mind and the number I had in mind were different. She comes from a large family (5 children). I came from a small family (2 children). Once we had a son and a daughter, I thought we were set. We had one of each. The number was even. I always knew that my wife would have more. She loves being a mom and I think God might have created her for that. So we decided to have one more. I’ll never forget the words of a friend when I shared my concern about a larger family.
Love doesn’t divide, it multiplies.
The week that our new bundle of joy was due happened to coincide with a certain team that I bleed blue for playing for the National Championship. The Sunday before the Championship game, the ongoing joke at church was that I would miss the game due to the birth of our child. Because God has a sense of humor, my wife thought she was in labor about 3 hours before tip off on Monday night. We spent all but the final 3 minutes at the hospital that night. When we pulled in the garage, the game was tied with 3 minutes to go. I got to see the final 3 minutes and celebrate another banner for the Tar Heels. We didn’t deliver a child that night, but if we would have her name would have been “Caroline” or “Tara” to commemorate that event.
On that subject, some of you will remember this, but only her doctor and I knew what my wife was having. She didn’t want to know. I did. She was kind enough to allow the doctor to tell me at her ultrasound. For all those months, I carried that secret. I never once let it slip. About 10 minutes before my Brynn Joy entered the world, I actually let it slip. Our son was having a tough week. He was uncharacteristically out of sorts. Earlier in the week we had to put our dog down. As my wife and I discussed his behavior (right there in the birthing room), I said
“he’s had a tough week, he lost a dog but gained a sister….”
Immediately I couldn’t believe I let it slip. Talk about fumbling the ball at the 1 yard line. I had carried that secret for 99 yards and dropped it right there. To this day she says she didn’t hear me. That’s an example of her grace. Luckily our attention was quickly diverted to the birth of Brynn Joy Conrad. If you’re wondering where I got the name, it comes from a reality show on MTV called “The Real World.” I loved the sound of the name of one of the people on the show. I had never heard it before. She was a little crazy and tried to stab a guy with a fork on the show, but the name…I loved the name.
I will never forget the moment that Brynn Joy Conrad entered the world. There are those times in life when you swear you hear the voice of God. No one else does, but there is something so real and clear about a word that you sense or hear or feel. At that very moment, one swear I heard one word…
At that moment, our family was perfect. No, WE are not perfect. Far from it actually. We have the same struggles and failures as everyone else. But all of my anxiety about adding another child to our family calmed with one word. All of my fears about imbalance (I’m a little OCD) and switching from “man-to-man” defense to “zone” defense were erased. A boy and two little girls. Perfect.
Each day for 9 years Princess 2.0 has been the final piece of who we are. Her laughter and her enthusiasm fit her middle name (Joy) to perfection. She is the comedian. She is the dreamer. Left on her own, she can create just about anything. She can make friends with anyone. She has a compassion for everything from her stuffed animals to her little mouse/gerbil creature (still not sure what that thing is) “Lily.” She holds as much of my heart as the other two. Just as my friend said, love multiplied.
Today we celebrate the birth of Brynn Joy Conrad. I personally also celebrate the day that God whispered “perfect.” Thank you for completing us Brynn. Thank you for your heart. Thank you for teaching me to find the joy in the mundane. Never lose your smile. Never lose your joy. Never lose your ability to “dance like no one is watching.” Happy Birthday my love. I love you.