Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy First Birthday to our Sweet Tyler

Just popping in, in the middle of my blogging break, to celebrate our little man's first birthday. Enjoy!

One year ago today our lives were forever changed when we entered the incredible world of grandparenting. We became Poppa and Mia, our carefully considered grandpa and grandma names. (Well, I carefully considered them anyway!) We, the parents of four daughters, held a baby boy who was our own flesh and blood for the first time. And we began to get an inkling of an idea how precious it would be to love our very own grandson.

On that day, one year ago, I had no way of knowing that we would be celebrating our little man's first birthday on separate continents. I'm so glad we didn't know that then. But I'm sure I never would have believed it anyway.

Today I am not going to focus on the sadness of being apart. I am going to celebrate the life of a little boy who has brought us so much joy. A little boy who makes us act like total and complete fools. A little boy we would do anything in the world for. Because we love him so very much.

Because of our experience, I have met many missionary and military grandparents over the internet. We all ask the same haunting question. How can I make sure I am remembered? We lie awake at nights worrying about what we can do to make sure our grandchildren never forget who we are and how much we love them. So as I thought hard about what to give Tyler for his first birthday present - that was the question I had in my mind.

I didn't want to just buy him a toy. Anyone could give him a toy.


Since it had to be mailed, it had to fit nicely inside a 12 inch by 12 inch by 6 inch high box.

I didn't want to send money . . . money doesn't mean much when you are one year old.

And then God gave me an idea.

Tyler always loved when I read to him. He loves books. How about if I made him a very personal book telling him our love story? The love story we share even though we are so many miles apart.

So I went to work. I bought a small photo album used for scrapbooking. I found lots of colorful paper and stickers. And I started printing photographs of us. Our whole family got into it and it became something we all enjoyed. Everyday the progress of our book was measured.

Finally, it was finished and I wrapped it up and put it in that very expensive package I mailed to Peru. It had a sticker on it that told my daughter - DON'T OPEN UNTIL MAY 19!!!

So today this is what my sweet little boy will be holding in his hands:

You can click on each picture to make it larger.

I can't believe he was ever this small!

His mama has always called him a little monkey so naturally he has lots of monkeys to play with! So naturally I had to use some monkey stickers.

Sweet Miss Ava Claire and Tyler spent lots of time together before he left. They still enjoy visiting over skype.

The first half of the book told about all the things we did before he left for Peru. The second half of the book tells him all the fun things we will do together when he comes home!

I LOVE Disneyland - and we always told our kids that when they have kids WE get to take them on Disneyland. They can go anywhere else they want to! I never imagined I would have the privilege of taking TWO grandbabies the same year! I CANNOT wait for this day!

What you can't see in this picture because of the glare - is the birthday cake we made for him. We had our own little party for Tyler - and then I mailed him the party hats and horns in the Peru box so he can use them too.

Today we will skype with our sweet boy and he will laugh and wave and reach at us through the computer. We will gaze at him, and tears will fall, and more than anything in the world we will long to hold him and kiss him and just feel him. We will read him his book over the computer and tell him how very much we love him and how glad we are that God blessed our lives with him.

And we will go to bed tonight looking at the same moon that will be shining down on our sweet boy in Peru and thank God for thinking so much of us that He would give us such a gift.


Anonymous said...

Robin, The book was so sweet! What a special treat for Tyler and something to always cherish! Great job Mia!


M&M_Mama said...

What a perfect gift! Thanks for tears in my eyes. I thought I would make it through your post with just tears welling up in my eyes, but the last few sentences got them flowing down my cheeks. You are such an amazing grandma!

Becky said...

Oh, Robin! I do not know how I missed this when it was posted, but I did.

I just love that book. I knew that was what you were doing for him. I just knew it. But I never imagined how beautiful and sweet and lovely and PERFECT it would be.

And the fact that you can skype and read it to him in your own voice with your own faces in the screen is just amazing.

Imagine if he would have been born and whisked off to Peru 10 years ago. Or even 5. The world gets smaller and smaller every year.

I know that it will never replace the snuggles and kisses that you get in person. But he will not forget you. That you can be sure of.

Michelle said...

What a wonderful, precious, unforgettable birthday present!! That book will be treasured for years, I'm sure!

We Skype with Joe so I understand how wonderful that is to be able to do...I'm glad you're able to use it as well!

Happy 1st birthday Tyler!

Dawn said...

Has this been up for two weeks, as the date says? I've been checking often, so don't think so.

It is so beautiful - just wonderful. I hope you can go to Peru one of these days to see them.

I woke up thinking of you this morning - thought of calling you at work to see how you are doing.

Barb said...

Oh Robin, you couldn't have possibly come up with a gift that is more meaningful and full of love. I just choke up when I read your posts about Tyler because I so understand how much you love him and I can't begin to imagine how hard it is to be separated from him.

I know exactly what you mean about giving careful consideration to your "grandparent" names - I did the same thing and we're Nana and Papa. And I know exactly how exciting the birth of a grandson is when you raised only daughters - did that too.

This brought tears to my eyes - the emotion just seeps through the computer and the miles and I feel it. Happy birthday to your sweet baby boy.

gail@more than a song said...

THE perfect gift! Made with love and I bet he'll enjoy it so much....a book like that is very special. I'm glad you shared it with us!
Skype is so nice to be able to do but I know you must miss them like crazy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Robin,

I thought about you this week, and I am so glad I finally came to check out Tyler's birthday gift. I am sitting here reading this with tears spilling over.

We also had all girls and then a grandson, who was born here, then went back to the field at two months old. I don't know what I might have done for his first birthday had they all remained on the field, but it wouldn't have been as wonderful as this. And having a party for him--SO great.

You have a real gift with words and caring. I know that Tyler will indeed know you as he grows.

I pray your blogging break is helping you toward the peace you need.