happy 1st birthday, sam!
I remember it as though it were yesterday.
I had been in labor for almost 40 hours and was expecting to have a two-day old baby in my arms. My epidural had failed me. I was begging Jesus to return. And I couldn’t wait another minute to meet you.
I had spent three years waiting and asking the Lord for a child- oftentimes doubting if he would ever answer. But he did. He was merciful and he heard our cries.
I sing God’s praises for many reasons- and you, my son, are one of them.
Old age will not erase the memories I have stored away in my heart and mind of when I laid eyes on you for the first time.
The clock read 10:05 AM. Your eyes locked with mine and it took my breath away. You were finally here and you were mine and I would have given my life for you that very instant. All the emotions of that moment come rushing back to me every time I hear the song we played in the delivery room.
When the doctor put you on my chest, something inside of me changed. I would leave the hospital a different person than when I walked in.
Deep longings to be a mother were now fulfilled. My priorities shifted. My perspective changed.
Love for another human being had never felt so unique and deep and intense before. I didn’t have to fall in love with you, that love was already there. It was as if it had been hiding deep in my heart for twenty-seven years and your birth brought it to life.
All I could say was, “I love you. I love you. I love you”. Those were the first words you heard me speak to you. They are as true today as they were then. Even truer.
The past year has been the happiest of our lives. It has also been the most challenging and life changing. Since we welcomed you into our family it has changed the way we sleep, eat, shower, drive, plan our future, budget, clean the house, and schedule our days.
Having you has changed the way I see the world. I look at bugs differently because of you. I take the time to stop and gaze up into the sky and watch planes fly over our heads. Flowers, trees, leaves and dirt have taken on a whole new meaning. I love seeing the world through your eyes. I have felt like a child all over again this past year.
The first year of your life has been so incredibly beautiful. And messy. And long. And extremely fast.
It has been a year of tears and sleep deprivation and late night feedings.
A year of bassinets, cribs, swings and slings.
A year of smiles, dirty diapers, spit up and bath time.
A year of contagious giggles, reflux, multiple outfit changes, and nursing.
A year of stroller walks, plane rides, late night car rides, and bottles.
A year of baby carriers, cuddling, hugs and kisses.
A year of holidays, family pictures, new traditions and opening presents.
A year of holding your head up, finding your hands and eating your toes.
A year of exploring, trips to the pediatrician, ear infections and growth charts.
A year of sitting up, rolling over, crawling and walking.
A year of anxiety, unbelievable joy, faith and prayers.
A year of singing “Jesus Paid it All” before bed.
A year of nighttime blessings, books, hymns and prayers.
A year of finger foods, sippy cups, booties and snow hats.
A year of onesies, bibs, bathing suits and nap schedules.
A year of organizing baby clothes and packing small ones away in boxes.
A year of peeking in on you while you sleep to make sure you are okay.
A year of measuring everything in firsts…
First smile, first tooth, first bite of food, first giggle, first fever, first step, first birthday…
A year of swaddling, pacifiers, lullabies and costumes.
A year of Seuss, nursery rhymes, trips to the library and silly songs.
A year of play groups, trips to the pumpkin patch, farmers market, and ECFE.
A year of wooden blocks, board books, art cards and Red Balloon Story-time.
A year of climbing, waving, clapping and squealing.
A year of baby dedications, sleep books and homemade baby food.
A year of milestones and new discoveries.
A year of cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles.
A year of little friends and babysitters and new toys.
A year of making Christmas ornaments, picking out a Christmas tree, carving pumpkins and dying Easter eggs.
A year of laughter and dancing and singing and playing.
A year of cheerios and baby wipes and diaper rash cream.
A year of sleep training, comforting and crying.
A year of blessing and love and learning patience.
A year of transition. A year of adjustments.
A year of rocking and whispering prayers in your ear as you fall asleep.
A year of losing your great-grandfather and meeting your new cousin.
A year of melting your mother’s heart and delighting your daddy’s soul.
A year of asking the Lord to save you and make you his own.
A year of two parents thanking God for their child.
Every single day.
Happy 1st Birthday, Samuel Jonathan.
We love you. With all of our hearts- we love you.