Tuesday, February 9, 2010

To my Son, on his first birthday...

Dear Little Bird,

When you entered the world, I hardly realized that you would arrive in the same manner in which you would live your day to day life. You came at just the right moment. Your birth was full of joy and desires fulfilled. You arrived in just the way I hoped--you came quickly (too quickly for the doctor to arrive!) and without influence of medication. I remember when you were born, the single cry to let me know you were well, and then the quiet calm that came over you as settled into this new place with me and your father. I remember the quiet gaze, steady in spite of my giddiness over your arrival. The relief that swept over me as I held you in my arms, nursed you, bathed you, watched you--so proud of both of us and overjoyed at your positive perfection. You continue to amaze me at the way you peacefully, happily move through life. Your first night was a taste of our beautiful life with you in it.

As a baby, you barely cried. I remember how often I felt glad you were my second, with none of the colic or sleepless nights of your sister. It made me appreciate all the more how sweet and mild you are. You would wake up from your naps or your nights of sleep and coo softly to yourself--sometimes I wouldn't even know how long you had been awake, and so I took to checking on you every few minutes so you wouldn't be left alone. I had to check your diaper just as often because you never fussed unless you were hungry, ignoring even dirty diapers.

You were, and are, so patient with me. Being a mother of two was a learning process, and you taught me to be a better mother. You taught me that love grows infinitely; it knows no bounds in number or in force. You taught me to sacrifice and to let go of fears. You taught me to live more deeply and to be more honest with myself.

Just days before you were born, I remember a sense of panic at the change I was creating for your sister. I was worried that I might be taking something from her. And then a thought from the Spirit came into my heart and I realized something. I had known lots of only-children who had wished for a sibling, but never a child with siblings who wished to be an "only." I realized then that you were a gift to your sister, and I know that she has been a gift to you. I am grateful for the fact that when I and your father are gone, you will always have one another. I think your sister recognized this in the instant that she met you. When we brought you to our home for the first time, she carefully, one by one, brought all of the things she loved most in the world and laid them near you--her blankie, her teddy, her puppy, her pillow, and more--to put you to bed in your new place. She may not always share as well now, but I see in her actions towards you--her desire to pick you up when you cry, to feed you, to call you to play--that you are the biggest blessing in her life. I see that she will love you deeply and fiercely into the eternities.

You are wild about your father. Your love for him makes me love him deeper and harder each time I see it. From the time you were just a month old, you knew when he was due to come home and were desperate if he ran late. Nothing I could do would appease you until you had been held or tossed or snuggled by your daddy. At the sound of his voice now, you come running from whatever room you are in to search him out. There is nothing but pride and love in him when he looks at you.

Over these few months, you have grown in the heartbreaking way that babies do. You learned to crawl (before you could sit up) at 7.5 months. Although you cruised for many weeks, you really began to walk on your own in your 10th month, and were completely independent in the week we moved to Idaho. You grow independent, sometimes getting frustrated, but ever willing to accept help and guidance as you try to learn new tasks and communicate your needs. You danced for the first time today. You point at everything now, a skill you've only just picked up. When I say "touch" you mimic and reach a pointer to touch to mine (our secret family signal for "I love you"--a tradition started well before your dad and I even married). You giggle (and always have) at positively everything--your blanket, your sister, the animal pictures in books, wearing shoes, getting a bath, music, food, LIFE. There is nothing that doesn't bring you laughter.

You are, above all things, exuberant. You have from the first week of your life smiled readily. You love nothing more than to be smiled at in return. Your smile makes me laugh a deep laugh that comes from the wildest places of my heart and lifts me. I held such fear that when your first teeth came in, it would "ruin" that perfect toothless grin--but as your teeth have arrived (from 8 months on), I have realized that it is simply your spirit, the expression of your soul behind that smile, that makes the world pause in awe when you light up. There are many, many days where that smile has saved me. You are joy made manifest.

I cannot imagine what I must have done in my previous life to be so deserving of you. I cannot imagine, but I am endlessly grateful for it. You are proof that my Heavenly Father loves me, and I only hope that I can be the type of mother to you that is worthy to have such a soul in my home.

I love you endlessly--up, down and through the ages-- my Little Bird.


1 comment:

  1. Papa of "the mister"February 10, 2010 at 8:43 AM

    Wow, what a great commentary on being a mommy. Little Bird is a unique soul, can't wait to see him and all you this weekend. Keep up the good work, it is inspiring and fun to read. I look forward to new posts cause they're fun, thoughtful and informative. BTW Your big box escapade was hilarious. Just glad everything came out alright for squirrel.


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