My baby boy, Happy Birthday!!!
You were days old yesterday it seems. And yet here we are, one whole year into this journey. What a year it has been!
The first morning of your life was the last time we’d know you as the perfectly typical little boy we’d been expecting for so long. You challenged us to become stronger… braver… better people on day number two. In less than 24 hours you made me question everything I thought I knew. All that I had planned. I remember when we brought you home. Daddy put your carseat on the kitchen table and went back outside for a minute. You and I, we watched each other. I thought to myself with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat so big I could hardly breath, my God, I thought…. now what?
Twelve months ago I didn’t think I’d be good enough to be your Mom. Can I be honest? I thought this extra chromosome had ruined everything. Mmmmm… I hate to write that. But I was so very wrong. When the doctor looked at you still in my belly through a fancy ultrasound and told us ‘you’d be just fine’, he was spot on. And when your Great-Aunt Judy held my shaking hands in the hospital and told me that soon I wouldn’t even care about any kind of diagnosis. That you were my son and soon that would be all that mattered… there were never truer words spoken
And 12 months later, each which moved faster than a speeding train, here we are. My sweet boy, surrounded by light. With your blue stained fingernails from your love of blueberries. Your dangling legs kicking with excitement from the grocery cart. Your squeals at the first sight of your Daddy. You wake up giggling! And that smile. Mouth wide open, tongue sticking out, eyes barely a squint. It could mend a broken heart. It did.
On your very first birthday, still so tiny and new, I can’t help but think ahead to years down the road. Your life will be a good one, full of joy. We’ll spend the rest of our lives seeing to that. But the many, many things we cannot control, those still keep me up at night. And so I wish every single day that the universe will be kind to you. That the road ahead will rise up to meet you.
I wish for you opportunity. Whatever it is you’d like to pursue in life, I hope people give you the chance, because I know you’ll be great. I wish for you good friends and the love of family. Because I’m not sure where we’d be if we didn’t have them to lean on this year. And I wish for you courage. Some days it’s all we have. Some days are still sad and some days are still scary. Some days the thought of the future makes your Mama’s heart race and her hands clench. But you’ll win them all over, Pace. You will change the people who are lucky enough to know you. ‘You’ll be just fine.’ I believe that.
To the little boy who made me a Mom, at the end of the most fulfilling year out of my 30, you must always remember this. You are the most important person to us. You are our greatest accomplishment, and the brightest spot in our future. Thank you, my love, for being exactly who you are. We cannot wait to watch you grow. We are the lucky few.