The people we meet these days. You. You! You bring so many new people into our lives. We are living in a country that delights in children, and you just happen to be a child who delights in people. What a stunning combo this can be when we are out and about. Your dad and I have learned to slow down and plan an extra 15 minutes for all the cheek pinching, hand clapping and arms-outstretched-to-hold-you that happens. We, as your very biased parents, think that it’s because you are handsome and funny and sweet and adorable and the best there is around. We, as unbiased wonder-ers, think that it’s because you have a special spark in you that just triggers a response in those looking for a bit of light and hope in their days.
I know I’ve written this to you before, Lou, but your middle name ตะวัน (when told to Thai or Lao people) is 85% guaranteed the response of ไพเราะ. And I love it, my dear boy. I love that your name – bright sun, light of the day – makes people smile when they slowly repeat it. And then with much gusto, they say it again to you, and you break out with a smile of your own. (Sometimes, your dad and I shout out Taawanh! to get your attention if Louis isn’t cutting it.)
This was further evidenced on our trip to Chiang Rai. You became fast friends with our fellow passengers on our flight to and from the north, with the cleaning ladies at the airport, with the staff at our resort, with the owners of the resort, with fellow guests, with Aso and May (an Akha tribe couple, who we met because of their coffee plantation), and even with the taxi driver who brought us back home. Your dad and I talked about this last night, when we were sprawled out on the living room floor instead of unpacking — we talked about how incredible it is that God has given us this opportunity to watch you become you.
And our hope – our prayer – is that this love for people in you stays pure and beautiful. That you would continue to seek out people and know them because you will see value in life and see the worth in relationships. We pray that this special way of connecting to others and wanting to connect with others does not get twisted into something ugly where you find your value in the opinions of others or that you use your powers to manipulate those around you. We hope that we can be the kind of parents who model kindness, graciousness and hospitality to you in such a way that you will want to carry yourself in like manner. And that we will guide you in your life to be who you are and who you are meant to me in the truth of Abba’s love and goodness.
We get front row seats to your life. We get to be like sideline coaches and those crazy, cheering marathon spectators who run right alongside you giving you words of encouragement and advice and bursts of refreshment and energy when you need it most. We are fans of you, Lou boy!
P.S. You are 28 inches long and 21 lbs sturdy with 2.5 teeth.