To The One Who Will Always Be My Baby,
Seven years ago tonight our long, strange trip began. I don’t remember much about the Birth Day, that’s not my strong suit. Talk to dad for the details. He’s good at that. Probably has something to do with who had to manage the pain.
I know you were born shortly before whatever time Friday Night Lights started because guess what we turned on the hospital television when they took you away for tests? Yep, you and Tim Riggins go way back.
Through those early years, where we were tired and broken, I kept telling myself someday it would be worth it, but secretly I wasn’t so sure.
But here we are, seven years later, and the truth is I had no idea the magnitude of the payoff for those early days. For all the difficult nights that were, today you give us beautiful days in exponential proportion. You are sweet, and kind, whip-smart, and funny. Man are you funny. Living with you is like having our own resident stand-up comic around whenever we want him, and sometimes when we don’t.
From the minute you were conceived, I knew you would be my last. After your siblings were born there was still a feeling that something was missing, but the moment I knew of you, I knew our family was complete. You made us a party of five. You make us whole.
You are a gift to each and every one of us. You are Baby Brother with no competitive edge to The Girl. You are Little Buddy to The Middle One, who sometimes needs reminders that he is both a hero and a punk. You give him both…daily. For Daddy, you’ve given him the sports fan he hoped to raise. Your interest in all things Redskins and Caps warms his heart more than you’ll ever know.
And for me? Oh, sweet boy naming all that you are to me might be impossible. With you, I earned my Mama Skin. Full of challenges, and mystery, raising you has given me perspective, patience and pride. I found my voice learning to speak for you. I learned to really listen when you learned how to speak for yourself. I’ve honed my instincts, polished my negotiating skills and most importantly embraced the power of slowing down.
You. You did all that for me.
Yes, I had two babies before you, but they didn’t demand that I grow the way you did from the very start. Your sister made me a mom, but you gave me the courage to embrace the title and all the power and poise that comes with it.
I love you more than you can possibly know my Baby Boy. I can’t wait to see what else you have left to do and the gifts you have left to give. I am certain your life will be grand.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.