Tag Archives: birthday

To My Sons On Their 5th and 3rd Birthdays

fishys

AMOS

Happy be-lated 5th birthday my first born!  You are so peculiar in your interests, but that’s what makes you, you (and more interesting, as your mommy would say).  You’ve moved on from your love of cactus and mannequins to an obsession with sweets and baked goods.

  • You eat them with such relish (one of my top highlights with you that I can remember is when you came with me to “help” me shop at Costco and I got you that frozen yogurt swirl for us to “share” that you love and you would keep smiling so deeply as you shivered, made funny faces, and gorged yourself).
  • You would ask after every meal time if there would be any “special treats” (that your mom and I try to limit to one serving every couple days).
  • You borrow dessert cook books en-masse from frequent trips to the library (and were so excited to discover that the adult section cookbooks had far superior pictures than then the children’s section).
  • You draw desserts with impressive design and detail and were even inspired to make a dessert cookbook by writing out the names of all your favorite dishes (brilliant move by mommy by the way to practice your letters).

I know it hasn’t been all sweet though.  I know we’ve been hard on you and Daddy has gotten so mad at you more times than I like to admit. To be honest it scares me how much the negative aspects of my relationship with my dad comes out.  It’s also scary and humbling to me to see how much you’re like me in my brokenness. I’m sorry Amos.  I hope you can forgive daddy.  I know you’re trying to listen and be a good brother.  I’m trying to learn to be a better daddy from our Heavenly Father.  I want to learn to be present to you, not just functional.  I want to learn to take time to enjoy the moment, not just impatiently wanting you to move on my timetable.

I love the silly faces you make and your intense funky dancing.  I love the way you take your time to wonder at the beautiful things in this world.  I love the way you notice the details in things that most people look right past.  I love you.

NATHAN

Happy early 3rd birthday my chubby cutie.   I am so blessed by your generous spirit and your smiling eyes (that you’ve inherited from your mommy).   Through you we’ve learned that each child is so different, even though I don’t think mommy and daddy have raised you any differently.  As opposed to Amos, who is into things that are still, you are all about movement.

  • You love dinosaurs, monster trucks, cars, planes, animals: in that order.
  • You are always busy talking about things that move, moving the things that move, moving around from toy to toy, from activity to activity.
  • You are a workout to dress and undress as you frequently just want to run around “may-ked” (aka naked) as you say.
  • Your nose is frequently flowing with some sort of ooze.
  • You carry around your muslin towel everywhere frequently stepping on it as you go.
  • You easily make friends and just as easily are fine without them

Mommy and I joke that you are 90% joy and 10% rage (which we say comes from your mom).  When you get into one of your moods, usually if you are under-slept and often for the most ridiculous requests…like insisting that we read you a book WHILE you sit on the toilet, there is no consoling you.  We don’t give in but we let you chill out.  And then you’re back to your happy go lucky self.  My prayer for you is that you would learn to communicate what’s really going on for you beneath even what you are saying.

I love the way you freely and more easily adjust to your brother’s demands.  You are often the first to share.  I love the way you just light people up by just being you whether its singing ONE line of a Christmas song repeatedly in the middle of summer, or when you roar at people and are simultaneously afraid of the very things that roar, or when you wake up at the crack of dawn and tell me “Daddy, let’s wake up”, or when you just randomly come up and hug me and say “I love you Daddy”.  You are a precious gift from God that reminds me He just gives us joy whether we deserve it or not.

Nathan Jin Kitani

you were supposed to be born in march like your dad and your older brother but you weren’t about to get your birthday lumped together with us, so as soon as midnight marked the passing of march into april you let your mother know you were ready to come out…pretty emphatically, actually.  within 30min of arriving at the hospital you surprised even the nurses when you started crowning before a doctor arrived or anyone could give your mom medicine to dull her pain.  she wasn’t sure if she could do it…but we prayed.  i’ve never seen your mother in so much physical pain before but thank you (and God) that you made it easier on your mom when you pretty much came out with only a couple pushes.

 

you entered into this world on 4/1/14 at 3:02am, on a late night with an unexpected but much needed spring rain, weighing in at 7 lbs 13 oz and 20.4 inches tall.   you were drinking mama’s milk within an hour of arriving.  right from the get go it seems you knew what you wanted and went straight for it.

 

so, as you know, a lot of people pull all sorts of pranks on your birthday.  in fact some people weren’t sure if your birth was a joke someone was pulling.  it seems like you tricked your parents really good because they got all relaxed when you gave your parents two false alarms in the earlier weeks before your birth.  i hope you don’t get discouraged if people don’t take your birthday seriously, because, son, your parents consider it a really significant day.  we are truly privileged to be your parents and excited to see your life unfold.   God makes every good and perfect gift…and He knows what He is doing.

 

in fact, did you know that’s what you first name means?  NATHAN means “gives” as in “he/she gives” or “God gives.”  your mom really loves your name as it’s the name of a really clever prophet in the bible (you should check out his story…not just because this prophet totally puts a guy with your dad’s name in his place) and wanted it for you very early on.  i wasn’t so sure because i had friends with sons named nathan and i wanted something more original.  but God woke me up early one morning to pray for you when you were still in the womb and that is the name He kept brining to mind.  later, i asked God what he wanted for you and i got this vision of an owl flying up into the sky then overlaid with gold on a coat of arms.  i asked God for an interpretation and this is the one i sensed i got: the owl meant that you would be wise and insightful (which reminded me of a word God gave to our friend gustavo, that you would be intelligent).  flying up meant that God will lift you up to interact with powerful people and powers.  gold meant that you would be honored in this role.

 

the coat of arms leads me to your middle name, JIN.  like your older brother, that name is a one syllable name that could work in japanese or korean, reflecting your mixed parentage.  there are different possible meanings for that name depending on the chinese characters you use to make that sound.  when we read “blade” as one possible meaning we laughed and mom said that’s the one that stuck out to her.  the more i thought about it, it seems fitting to the pointed nature of your arrival and even with nathan the prophet and his approach.  nathan was not a blunt instrument that just declared king david’s sin but was a blade that artfully and effectively cut to his heart.  with a story as a parable, nathan stirred up the king’s sense of justice and at the right time pointed to david’s culpability to deliver the conviction effectively, whereas with a blunt approach david may not have been able to objectively see the gravity of his sin and unjust act.

 

son, i pray that you would confront the powerful in an effective way, giving people the word they really need to hear from God.

nathan

 

“Here I will make a horn grow for David
    and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
I will clothe his enemies with shame,
    but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”

– Psalm 132:17-18 (the psalm God led us to and that we read together a couple hours after you were born)