Sweet Lydia

imageToday is Lydia’s third birthday. This year for the first time, I realized how close her birthday is to Sanctity of Human Life Day. I love that. Although no one suggested we abort our pregnancy, the attitude expressed by many makes it clear that they think she should never have been conceived. Having six children has opened my eyes to some glaring inconsistencies among those who claim to be pro-life. Many of the same people who celebrate the sanctity of human life, who vote against any bill that allows for abortion or assisted suicide, and who would never dream of getting an abortion or suggesting someone else get an abortion are the people who make rude remarks to me about our family size, who make it clear that they think we’re crazy, who tell us that they would never have this many kids. These comments don’t seem all that significant. On one hand I am used to them, and it’s fairly routine to just make some sort of polite reply and move on. But on the other hand, it stings every single time. The smile freezes on my face into something fake and forced and I immediately begin trying to bring the conversation to a close and run for the nearest way out. I hate comments like this. I absolutely hate them. I look at Lydia, and even Silas and Samuel, who shouldn’t really have been born either by most current standards, and I wonder if the people realize that they are saying these three beautiful children should not exist. And yet they would claim to be pro-life. Well, here’s the thing: you can’t be part pro-life. You either value life or you don’t. And if you only value some life, you aren’t pro-life. We are so much richer for the six little lives God has added to our house. Sanctity of Human Life Day is first and foremost a day to soberly commemorate the tragedy of Roe v Wade and to encourage the efforts to end abortion. But it should also be a day to celebrate life. All life. Babies who were born instead of aborted. Kids with Downs Syndrome or other disabilities who were allowed to live and thrive. The patient with terminal cancer who refuses to voluntarily cut short her life to eliminate her pain. The man with Alzheimer’s in the nursing home who recognizes no one and remembers nothing and can do nothing on his own. And sixth babies, born into a culture that automatically thinks their families are weird, but who bring sunshine into the lives of all who know them. So we celebrate Lydia today. Lydia, who has magnified the joy in our home so much that life without her is completely unthinkable. Lydia, who would convince anyone to be pro-life with just her smile and giggle. Happy birthday, sweet Lydia. I wrote the letter that follows a couple months before your first birthday, and it still expresses my heart today. I am so thankful to be your best sweet mom.

 

The Beautiful Ordinary

Sweet Lydia,

Sometimes I look at you and wonder what you will think about being the sixth child. You may wonder, as you grow older, if maybe we wish we had stopped at five, or even sooner, for that matter. And in fact, many people would think, and some even expressed to us, that you should never have been born at all. You are an anomaly, it seems, a sixth baby. That just isn’t done anymore, we don’t fit in with the culture around us because we have more than the accepted 2, maybe 3, kids–so we’ve been told. Moms have asked me how I manage with so many. And it’s true–I haven’t written very many posts about you, not nearly as much as about your siblings. I don’t have a journal for you, either. I haven’t even begun to put your pictures into an album, and I don’t remember…

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