Wednesday, April 24, 2013

To My Son On His First Birthday

My dearest son,

Today you are one year old. Let me tell you something, this past year has been a whirlwind. This year has gone by so quickly so I thought I'd take a moment to jot down some of my thoughts on this day. Okay? Okay.

Your Papa and I, we can't get enough of you. We can't get over you. You are this magical little ball of energy and light. You make us laugh and laugh. But in the beginning, when you were quite new, we spent most of our time in silent awe with tears streaming down our faces. No, not from sadness, but from joy; from the deepest, soul-peircing joy there is to be had. We made you, child. And you made us parents. The joy of that is what I am speaking of here. Becoming a parent is one thing in this life for which there are no adequate prose to describe. Perhaps that's just as it should be.

I birthed you. I birthed you at home, and caught you with my own two hands. I felt as if I could envelop the entire world with the strength I was showing and the love I was feeling that day. Birthing you gave me the courage to be your Mama. That's what childbirth is for, really. Because being someone's mama is a great big undertaking and there is no opportunity to practice, no re-dos, and no manual. I needed to birth you in order to begin my new life as Mama.

In the days and weeks immediately after you arrived, we all began to adjust to our new selves. We were Mama, Papa, and Child: Family. Long hours spent nursing, sitting up in bed while you slept, and wondering who you were turned into weeks, weeks into months. Things I noticed in the enormous amount of time spent staring at precious you: beautiful hair (you had lots), crooked mouth when you yawn, monkey toes, amazingly strong neck and head, wise eyes, deep connection, clear communication, warm body, growth, my eyes, Papa's cheeks, uncle's feet, your own hands. Quick succession of syllables like "AEIOU" or "pepperoni" made you giggle. More time passed and you were rolling over, crawling, making your own syllables like "up" and "mama". My heart grows bigger along side you.

I am sure you are the best part of me. I am sure you scare me and inspire me more than I have ever been scared or inspired in my life. I am sure being your Mama is something I will always feel privileged to be. I look at you and wonder how I got so lucky. My world, and dare I say the world, is a better place with you in it. I want you to know that. I want you to know what a blessing you are. I want you to know that, no matter what you end up doing with your long life in the long run, you have made many hearts leap simply by being you. You are loved by so many people - already! You have a village at your side now and as you continue to grow. And that is my gift to you. It is likely the best gift you will ever receive. It is the same gift my Mama gave to me. It is a gift of love, comfort, and home that is woven into the fabric of your life even now. Treasure it for it treasures you.

With this first year of You behind us, I am very proud. In fact, I beam with pride when I think on this past year's journey. Not because every bump in the road was sailed over, but because they were handled with grace. That's all we can really expect from one another, I think. Being your Mama has helped me enter the world with grace; with humility and empathy, too, but mainly with grace. I will forever be grateful for that. Son, today you are one year old. Today is your birthday and my birth day; you were born and I birthed. You became child and I became Mama. Today starts year two of this miraculous life as parent and child. I cannot wait.

Love always,

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