Happy 8th birthday, little man.
How has so much time passed? It seems like yesterday that I first laid eyes on your perfect little face. I can still smell the scent of your soft skin when you nursed for the first time. Even though its been forever, my heart still skips a beat when I remember the way your tiny little hands would rub the skin on my chest as I rocked you to sleep each night.
I remember the moment it hit me. The very instant I realized that I was a mother & I was going to be one forever. You were 4 days old & it was the first time we had been alone since you were born. You were sleeping so peacefully in the bassinette in the NICU. I sighed & realized that you did too at the exact same moment. It took my breath away then & still does today. We were a team. It scared the hell out of me. Even so, I can't help but smile. Scary or not - being a mommy to you is amazing. It gives me a feeling of fulfillment beyond words. Although I'm not sure I am always the greatest mother I take comfort in the fact that you think I am.
Every milestone of yours has been a personal victory for me. Your first smile, your first word, your first step. And in later years -- your first day of kindergarten, your first bike ride without training wheels, your first tee ball game. Each one of them a miracle to me.
In a card I received for your baby shower there was some advice written by your Grandma Pam. As the years have unfolded, I've realize the meaning behind her words: "Parenting is the hardest job you'll ever have." I have struggled with the messes you made, the tantrums you threw, and the other millions of naughty/mischievious things you did. I have agonized over many of the decisions I had to make when it came to discipline. I have had many disagreements/arguments with your dad on how to handle situations. But in time we learned to parent as a team. We still have our differences of opinion but we've learned to listen to each other. And now that we've mastered that balancing act, I relish in the other half of your Grandma Pam's advice: "But it is also the most rewarding job you'll ever have." She was right. You are my greatest accomplishment.
I became a hypochondriac the day you were born. We spent countless hours in Dr. Sauer's office, only for him to send us home because "everything was fine". In your first year I spent more time on the phone with the Ask-A-Nurse than any othe person in my life. I lost count of ER visits somewhere around 6 months. A nasty cough, ear infections, thrush. Is he breathing right? Why's he making that sound? But, more often than not, it was nothing to fret over at all.
Time has passed & I have learned to take things in stride. I know you're resillient and healthy & in the event that something serious does happen, I know our little family can handle it. I understand that as long as I love you and provide for you --- it is unlikely that I will break you. I've conquered the midnight fear of fevers and stomach bugs. These things aren't scary to me anymore. Rather, I spend my time worrying about new scary things. Things like, "Will today be the day he tries to walk home instead of climbing on the bus?" "Will he handle a confrontation with a school friend in a way that is appropriate?" "Is he happy & does he feel like his life is GREAT?" "Will he be bullied on the playground or (worse yet) BE the bully on the playground?" I know I have a lifetime full of 'new worries' ahead of me. But these worries come paired with joyous celebrations too ... for that reason alone, I welcome the worry! And, at the end of the day, in the tender moments when I don't know when enough worry is enough ... your 1000 watt smile has a way of helping me to remember that in the end, it's all going to be ok.
You've made my life. I have learned so much from you ... How to forgive, how to love unconditionally & not expecting anything in return, how to be innocent, how to enjoy the small things in life, how to be carefree. I hope, in the end, you'll be able to look back and say you learned from me too.
I wish you a life full of wonderful things. I wish your heart to be happy, your dreams to be reached, your goals achieved, and most importantly, all the love you give to be returned to you tenfold. We live our life in phases, son. When one ends, another begins. Change is constant and life is short. So seize the moment and live life to the fullest --- have no regrets.
You are my angel.
All my love - now & always.
8 Years Ago
Through the years ...
And now ...
8 Years Old