To read more about “Life Day” and the backstory to these photos, see Part One
Should I go ahead and add this day to the “Top Ten Memories” file in my brain?
Yeah, I think so, too…
After spending Sunday night and all day Monday with his sisters at Grandmother and Granddaddy’s house, my parents dropped Gideon off at our shed and went driving around with the girls so we could have a moment alone with our son.
And our photographer friend.
(Told you I have a sickness).
It was a sweet reunion. Gideon was simply happy to be home. We, on the other hand, were about to burst with excitement!
“Why can’t we go inside the house?” he kept asking.
“Just because…” I kept hedging.
Finally, we sat down with him and Mr. Gore explained all about his “life day” and that we were celebrating the gift of Gideon with a special surprise.
Gideon likes surprises.
We prayed and thanked God for our boy, and I somehow managed to keep from bawling like a baby…
And then it was time for the blindfold. We wanted the puppy to be a secret until the very last minute…
My job was to keep him from peeking and to make SURE he couldn’t see!
Before we took his blindfold off, we let him feel his gift to see if he could guess what it was. Our calm little doggy kept so still and quiet. Good boy!
Gideon told me later that he thought it was a stuffed animal. He still had no idea what was on the other side of that blindfold…
When we took the blindfold off, he was, in a word, dazed. As a 4 -year-old, I distinctly remember him asking as he surveyed a pasture full of cattle, “Why did God make all these animals and not give me any?” This boy has been waiting a LONG time for a pet of his own…
I noticed when I looked back at the pictures that his little cheeks were flushed with excitement (be still, my heart)…
and for sure his “eyes were waterin'”.
Gideon’s eyes water a lot. He gets that from me.
p.s. I love this picture. (and all the ones after it).
“What do you want to name him?” we asked, gently recommending the name ‘Huckleberry’, the name of his first stuffed animal, a little white puppy from FAO Schwarz, or ‘Jake’, his most favorite name for as long as we can remember.
“Jake” he said, confidently.
Even though we were secretly rooting for Huckleberry, we were pretty happy with that, especially since “Thunderfire” is his second favorite name.
In retrospect, I don’t think I can fully express how fulfilling it was to watch my son receive this gift. What a joy it is to care for someone so deeply, to know their deepest wishes, to understand their heart like no one else, and to bless them accordingly…
and so I think that experiencing this day with Gideon brought me a little bit closer to the heart of God; how our Heavenly Father must love us! We don’t give Him enough credit in our crowded, complicated, grown-up worlds.
So that just left one last thing…
After giving Gideon a moment to get acquainted with new best friend, we called my parents and told them to come back to the house. Gideon and Jake hid in the shed so he could surprise his sisters with our newest family member.
“Close your eyes!” we told them, “Gideon has a surprise for you…”
(Betsie ALWAYS peeks).
I’ve never seen the whole lot of them so excited about something. It was a full-out dog party in our yard, and our household has consequently been abuzz for DAYS…
I have so much more to talk about concerning pet ownership, about the similarities between puppies and babies, about how this little pup has stolen our hearts, but for now, I’ll just leave it at this…
Welcome to our family, Jake.
We’ve been waiting for you for a very long time.
I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge Benjamin Grey Photography once more for these precious, precious pictures. What a gift it is to have talented and generous friends who will wake up early to minister to your family before a long night working the late shift. You blessed our hearts, Ben and Leslie, more than you’ll ever know. Thank you.
And special thanks to the sweet family who sold us this puppy and took such good care of him for us. You were a joy to work with! (and our daughter has already put in a request for a GIRL puppy on her 6th “life day”…)
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