Sunday, May 11, 2008

April 7, 2004

Allan entered this world 4 years ago on April 7th. I will have to say that none of the books I read, or advice I was given prepared me for what becoming a mother would do to me. You can't explain the feeling that comes when they place the little guy up on your chest for the first time and you realize this odd little creature belongs to you. Becoming a parent for the first time is tough - but he was the perfect child to break us in. Probably too perfect! Everyone warns you that the years pass so quickly but now I know it's true. Sleeping newborns become alert babies who become giggling toddlers who become talking machines who become best buddies. And here we are four years later - I'm so happy for a healthy, happy, moldable child who has brought so much laughter and is being a blessing to others.

We celebrated at Poppop and Gramme's house with a teddy bear cake (he wanted another train cake but I thought three out of four years was enough - we'll give the trains a break). We bought him the Little Bear series of books and so it went right along with the theme. We also spent the morning at the zoo and had a wonderful time until some (stupid - was what he called it) goat reached out and ate his zoo map. For whatever reason this distressed him to no end and he wished all kinds of horrible things on the poor creature. His main wish was that "I hope it gets really sick for eating my map." So though everyone around him was hilariously amused he was crying bitter tears. Oh, at the end of the video clip he gets a very alarmed look on his face - the wax from the candle splashed on his fingers and it surprised him.

His physical and verbal development are normal but what I've enjoyed watching most is his spiritual development. The other day Philip was taking one of his mentorees out to lunch and when Allan found out his daddy was leaving he ran out of the house, down the steps to the driveway hollering that he needed to pray with his daddy before he left. Philip stopped and then told me later that Allan had run up to the car and said, "I need to have a word of prayer with you. 'Dear Heavenly Father, Give daddy and Mr. Joel a safe trip out to eat. Amen.'" Where he heard that or learned is a mystery to us but we found it fascinating.

Several nights ago our family devotions were late so Daniel was already in bed when we gathered in the living room. Allan popped off his seat after we read the Scripture and finished singing asking, "Are we done?" Philip told him that we had to pray yet and was there anything that we needed to pray for. His response was, "Yes, we need to ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins." Since he's never said anything like that we affirmed that it was important to do this and Philip then asked him if he had any sins he needed to confess. Interestingly his head dropped and in a lowered voice he said yes. Philip and I both perked up and we questioned him what it was he had done that needed forgiven. "I'll tell God but not you" was his reply. Philip quickly reminded him that we tell mommy and daddy everything (in our house we have surprises but no secrets) and that the Bible says we're to confess our sins to one another so that we can pray for each other. He looked at us with such sad eyes and said, "I've been taking toys from Daniel and God told me not to do that." My mommy's heart was leaping for joy now knowing that God is talking to my little boy even when I'm not there to train and guide and his conscience is tenderly listening.

He's anxiously looking forward to starting school in the fall (we're homeschooling) and questions periodically how long he has to wait until the wonderful day arrives.

So though this is late...Happy Birthday Allan! We love you and are so thankful God gave you to us!


Martha C said...

What a sweet post! It is always a delight to read of the spiritual development of young men!
I recently attended my first BJU graduation ceremony - WOW! Impressive "pomp and circumstance!"

Toots said...

To hear of tenderness toward God thrills the heart, and there's no greater joy than seeing it in our children, is there?! May God bless you as you work to disciple your little guys.
Happy Birthday from our family to Allan (a little late now.)

Kelly S said...

What a precious little guy! Jacob just celebrated his 4th B-day also. What memories we have of going through our pregnancy together! Only it was my third and your first - I think maybe the first is the most difficult.

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated birthday to one of the bright spots on campus! You're right, Allan truly is a blessing to those around him. Thanks for being such godly examples as a family. You are needed!!

Charity said...

Aren't children amazing? I'm excited to hear about the boys' development, especially spiritually. We can't wait to hang out with you guys! BTW, I found a neat store today. A bit $$ because of the good quality, but they had tons of Melissa & Doug toys. I thought of you ;o) And I got lots of ideas for Christmas...

April said...

Mariann, so good to find your blog. I would love to see you again and get to meet the little people in your life. We are living in Marion, OH now. How are your parent's doing? Tell them hello for me.

kayla said...

Congrats on having your very own four year old. It's a great age.
I remember the first time one of mine told that Jesus had spoken to him about something. It brings such a sense of relief and affirmation.
I'm loving watching your sister-in-law grow. Looks like you'll be an Aunt very soon.

Tara said...

I enjoy catching up with your little family through your blog sometimes. This was a great and "newsy" one!

I remember a few posts ago Philip questioned anyone's experience w/a program called K12. We used it for several years...if you're interested in knowing more, I'd be glad to share my thoughts on it.

Blessings on you all!

Marianne Brown said...

Martha - It is impressive isn't it! I really thought it reflected accurately the amount of work I put into earning my degree from the university.
Toots - There really is no greater joy that I've found!
Kelly - The first is difficult in that you have no idea what to expect. The rest are difficult because you know what's coming! I marvel at Jacob and Allan. Jacob seems so quiet and Allan never is quiet!
Sonja - Thanks for the encouragement.
Charity - I love Melissa and Doug...practical and usable.
April - SO good to hear from you...I'll have to pass your blog on to my folks.
Kayla - I'd love to see Tonya...It's always nice to see someone who's always so skinny join the ranks of the "preggies"
Tara - I'm very interested in hearing your input. Just e-mail me at We've pretty much decided on a base curriculum that will serve as our scope and sequence but there are additional things we want the boys to learn that will have to be supplemented and so we're always looking for what is best. I've enjoyed reading your blog and getting ideas.