February 17, 2013
My dearest son,
On your first birthday I can’t help but reflect back on the magnitude of this year and its many blessings. You entered this world one year ago today. And one year ago today, my heart filled with more loved than I ever knew was possible. You completed our family. You were what we had been waiting for.
When I married your father six years ago, we knew we were destined to be parents. But I knew I was not ready. I knew I could not bring you into this world until I was healthy. Before I could take care of you, I had to learn how to take care of myself. Through much heartache and tears, I kissed your father goodbye and left home to heal. I put life on hold and dug into my past so that I could move forward and start our family. My days were long and grueling, but you were always with me. The thought of holding you in my arms fueled my desire to recover. And on the really rough days, I would rock alone on the front porch, writing your name in my journal. I dreamed you up on that porch.
Even when my mind was clouded in uncertainty, you were the one thing I always knew to be true. You were meant to be mine and I was meant to be your momma. I continued to work, continued to peel back the layers and discover me so that eventually I could be yours.
And as I sit here on you birthday, I can’t help but smile. I always wanted to be a mother, but I had no idea the amazing lessons you would teach me. You are my proudest recovery miracle and my best teacher. Thank you for teaching me…1. It is perfectly acceptable (and sometimes necessary) to just curl up with your blanket and cry yourself to sleep. 2. Playing with your food isn’t all-bad. 3. Sometimes you just need to shut it down and go play with blocks. 4. A belly laugh can cure any bad day. 5. Listen to your body. 6. Make sweet eyes at strangers. You never know who might walk into your life and change it. 7. Discover something new everyday. 8. Fresh air and a walk around the block can heal any “booboo” 9. Naps are necessary. 10. Don’t be afraid to try a new food. The worst than can happen is that you spit it on the floor. 11. Use your voice. Loud and proud. It’s why God gave it to you. 12. Bubble baths just make good sense at the end of a long day. 13. Never stop believing. Believe in Santa. Believe in magic. Believe in yourself. 14. Pet therapy is therapy at its best. 15. When all else fails…cry it out. 16. Love your belly, because belly buttons are kind of amazing. 17. You are perfect just the way you are.
Thank you, my precious son, for loving me and for teaching me something new each and every day. Thank you for being with me on this journey of motherhood. I am sure to make plenty of mistakes on this journey, but we will grow and figure out this road of life together. I certainly can’t promise perfection just my love.
Happy Birthday, my sweet Manning.
I love you to the moon and back and back again.