Special moments should be written down - and I had one of those moments with Tanner today. He wanted to join me for an office/errands run this morning and we were having a Mommy/5 year old discussion in the van on the way to the office.
"Mommy, I love you. You are so pretty." he says from the very back of the van. Now this phrase I hear at least 10 times a day. It started about 2 weeks ago - and I'm pretty sure it's straight from the Holy Spirit as I have been walking through my identity lately. He is constantly reminding me he loves me and that I'm so pretty. "I love you too sweet boy." I say. "Courtney said when I was born you had tears of joy. Did you do anything else?" he asks. "No, not really. But I named you." I replied. "You did? Why not daddy?" he says. "Because I wanted to, you are my special buddy." I said. Then he asks, "Why did you name me Tanner? What is a Tanner?"
It took this mommy a little bit to compose my response. Why did I name him Tanner? At the time I didn't have any particular reason aside from I loved the name and Eric tolerated it. So I told him "A tanner is someone who takes an animal hide and turns it into leather." I'm not sure he understood that at all. And then this came out....... "a tanner takes something dead and broken and turns it into something beautiful and useful."
It was a mighty, Holy Spirit, AHA moment for me. Now, I do know why I named him Tanner.... God gave me that name for him, because that is exactly what this little, amazing boy has done for me. He has replaced the dead emotions, broken dreams and sad places with joy, love and wonder. I no longer remember most of the brutally hard memories of Andrew's childhood, I believe a gift from God. But Tanner is replacing all those "cleared memories" with new ones of all the milestones, affection, and moments between a mommy and son that I was unable to get from my little boy with Autism. I'll be honest, a 3rd child was not in my playbook - I was too afraid - I was absolutely petrified of going through any of the previous 8 years again - but God knew what was best for me. God knew "my Tanner" would bring healing, restore the broken places and most of all teach me how to love again. He cuddles, and kisses, plays with my ear lobes, and strokes my face. He lays with me each morning and tells me he loves me incessantly. He is EXACTLY what my mommy heart needed and I know, without a doubt, he wasn't named Tanner just because..... he was given that name because he came into this world to an emotionally dead and broken mommy and helped my heart into something beautiful and useful.