I love traditions. It is important to me that I have special traditions with my kids and we have them as a family. Throughout my life, my mom has written me poems on special occasions sharing how she feels at that particular moment. I have kept every one, cherish them, and read them often. I don’t know whether N will feel the same, but I want to give him the opportunity. So, I decided to write him a letter every year on his birthday. I plan to share what the last year has meant to me and some highlights of watching him grow, develop and become who he will ultimately be. So without further ado, here is the letter from his first birthday in October.
Photos in this post were taken by the wonderful Ginger Haddock with Fern Bird Photography.
One year ago today, your dad and I were given the greatest gift. Throughout the last year, you have brought us so much joy and happiness! Much, much more than I ever could have imagined. I have been surprised by the way your little giggle or smile can instantly melt my heart. And how when you are sick or in pain, I would do anything to make you feel better. It is true that until you are a parent, you will never know the love that a parent has for a child. It is utterly indescribable. I hope, if you choose it’s right for you, that one day you will experience this love. For, I have never known anything like it.
As I think back over the previous year, it has gone so fast and you have changed so much. When we brought you home, your 9 pound 2 ounce, 22 ½ inch body was curled and still tiny in my arms. Today, as I nursed you, your body and legs wrapped around the side of my body and only your head, shoulders and upper torso rested on me. You were so sleepy at first; we had to wake you up to eat. Last night when we were playing, we crawled and walked in circles under my work desk and around your playroom for hours. You have quickly turned into an active, little boy. You have reached so many milestones. We pretty much think you are the smartest kid ever! Your baby book tells you all about your firsts: when you smiled, walked, and talked. I want you to know I will hold all of these moments close for the rest of my life. When you are a teenager who thinks your mom isn’t cool and when you are an adult man beginning your new life with your partner, I will be remembering these moments as some of the best of my life. There are many, many wonderful moments in life. But, I have yet to feel any quite like the ones that include you. These moments and feelings are deeper, stronger, and sweeter.
Selfishly, part of me already wants to slow time down. But this is for me, not you. I can’t imagine only having you with us daily for 18 years. Before you, 18 years seemed so long, and the second you were born, it seemed too short. Dad and I will do our best to teach you and help you grow into a boy and man that is respectful; confident; loving; thoughtful of others and yourself; appreciative of his blessings; and a contributor to society. While teaching you we will encourage you to be who you want to be and to live life to its fullest. Being happy and taking in pride in who you are, are two steps to a fulfilling life. We will, undoubtedly, do many things wrong. But, I promise you we WILL do our best. We have already experienced many things that you will throughout your lifetime, and we will try share our stories and experiences openly and freely, but also let you learn and experiment on your own.
There are really no greater gifts in this world than love and family. You are a product of the great love that exists between your dad and me. Everything in you is made from one of us and that is an incredible thought – it amazes me daily. It has been a blessing watching and learning about you. There are already qualities I see in you that so resemble your dad and others that come from me. And something that’s even more precious, I can see qualities of Grammie, Papa, Nana, Pops, Grandmother, Grandad and your cousins. You will keep us young and our legacies will live through you as it does with family.
Already, you have taught Dad and me so many things about life and each other. We have experienced new challenges and frustrations which have brought us even closer and taught us more about the importance of communication and working together. We are a family and we will see different challenges and frustrations throughout our lifetime together. I promise you we will fight for you and for each other always. I believe we have been picked for each other and we are bound for eternity.
I will love you always,