My darling boy,
There are so many words waiting and wanting to pour out of me on this, your first and most important birthday. You see, it may not actually be your most important birthday, but in this moment, the moment you inch that much further away from being a baby - from being my baby - it feels like the only birthday I'll ever care about. A year ago, one little year ago, I still held you in my tummy instead of my arms. You didn't especially care to leave, truth be told, and as you know we had a bit of a rough go on the whole getting you out deal.
Twenty four hours was exhausting, but really, it was nothing when Daddy and I had been waiting so long for you. Hoping and praying you would join our family and fill the space that was waiting for you. How desperately I wanted you. How my breath caught when I saw your face for the first time. How easily you held my heart in those tiny fingers and healed the cracks in my soul as they placed you on my chest.
In so many ways, this year has been difficult on me. From day one, I felt like I was already a step behind because my body couldn't keep up. You nursed every two hours for, like, ever. It may only have been eight months, but I tell you: those were the longest eight months. You are a pretty rough customer on the ears, what with all the screaming. And you've certainly decided that I'm your mom, and by heaven I'd better do exactly what you want when you want it. Or else.
And you know what? You are completely worth it. Every second. Every moment. I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world or the next.
As much as I want time to slow down, I absolutely adore the little person you are turning into. Your humor, your vocal insistence on getting your way, your tenacious resolve to conquer every hill that you encounter. Your fearlessness - even when you're too brave for your (my) own good. The way you adore your big sister with everything in you. Watching you stand alone. The show you put on pushing dining room chairs from one end of the kitchen to the other. Listening to your laugh. The way you chime in when everyone else is laughing, as if you totally get the joke.
You are such a boy in so many ways, but it is your sweetness, your tenderness that define you. And you know what? Boys who are tough and tender rock. Even better if you can figure out a way to make the girls laugh. I mean, don't grow up too fast, but remember mommy's advice when you do.
My beautiful boy, I know so little about the path that is in front of us. But I tell you this with all my heart: I will cheer you on. Today, tomorrow. When you throw the ball and break a window. Oh, for sure you'll be grounded, but I will secretly be applauding your awesome fastball as I make you mow lawns to pay for the replacement.
I love you. I love you, I love you. I can't write it enough to make it as big as I feel. I can't wait to watch you grow. You amaze and inspire me, my wonderful son, and challenge me to be better and love bigger. I am so, so lucky to be your mommy.
With love and gratitude,