Sunday, September 21, 2008
Three Lovely Years
In the last three years since God blessed us with your birth, you have changed our lives in ways I never imagined. As you grow another year closer to becoming a man, I want to tell you about the happiness you have brought to our lives.
When I first found out I was pregnant with you, I was completely shocked. We knew you were coming, but we never expected you so soon. I remember being thankful that I would get to be a mother. In the months that followed, my body changed, as did the amount of sleep I got. Nonetheless, as most parents will tell you, pregnancy does not prepare you in any way for parenthood, with the possible exception of all that sleep deprivation. I had no idea how much you were missing in our lives.
As the weeks passed, and the realization that you would be born soon became more palpable as you grew, I already knew that I loved you more than I had ever loved myself. I dreaded going to my appointments and having that bit of doubt enter my mind that I might not hear your heart beat. I remember breathing a little easier every time that I did. I will never forget the first time I saw you on the ultrasound. I couldn't believe I was seeing the baby I would be holding in about 7 months. Here you are at about 10 weeks - just a little bean with heartbeat.
I struggled through your pregnancy a bit at the end, and you kept surprising me right up until the end. You were due on October 9, 2005 (our 1st wedding anniversary), so when September rolled around, I thought I had a few weeks to pack. Much to my surprise, you showed up 3 weeks early on September 21st.
When we brought you home, I was so overwhelmed with the idea of being completely responsible for you, but thankfully, Dad came to the rescue and reassured me that we would be fine. I remember we were completely unprepared, so your dad had to make a run to Target for some baby essentials. After a few weeks, I settled into motherhood, and I began to feel comfortable that I knew what I was doing.
In these early months, I watched you sleep all the time, and I thanked God for blessing us with you. I wanted to hold you all the time, and despite others' warnings, I let you sleep in mom & dad's bed so I could have you close to me all night. Although we had a hard time getting you to sleep on your own, I will never regret (and I often miss) putting you in our bed. I am thoroughly convinced that co-sleeping is one of the great joys of life. I am happy to have shared that time with you.
As the months passed and you began to crawl and walk and talk, I only became more enamored of you. With each day that passed, I was more certain that there is no greater purpose in life than to have a family and love it. I still struggle with my patience, but my love for you is unwavering.
From day one, you were a very social baby. You were anxious to start talking so your voice could be heard. 'Mom' was your first word, and oddly, 'backpack' (Dora the Explorer) followed not far behind. Once you learned your first couple words, there was no stopping you. Early on, you would get frustrated when I couldn't understand EXACTLY what you were trying to tell me. Now you've learned how to rephrase or explain what you're trying to tell me when I don't understand. My conversations with you are always an adventure because you can always make me laugh.
You started off as a great eater, but at about 18 months we hit a road block. Suddenly, you wanted to exercise your independence, so mealtime became a real challenge. Unfortunately, you have your dad's appetite, so I always think you should be eating more, and he always thinks you're fine. He may be right, but if I didn't worry about what you eat, who would?
Consider yourself a well-traveled baby. In your three years, you traveled to Mexico City, Lake Tahoe (NV), Orlando (FL), New York City, and Scottsdale (AZ). Soon, you can add Las Vegas to the list. You're a great traveler, and we look forward to many more family trips with you and the twins. Here you are showing off one of your souvenirs.
I make a point to tell you 'I love you' every day, and these words never lose their meaning. You like to tell me you "love me too, too much", and these moments I especially cherish. I love how much you love your love your babies and how you always tell me how "that Maya is a funny girl". I love to watch them squeal with delight when they see you and how you can always make them laugh. I love that you want to read them bedtime stories, and you always want to help me cover them. You are such a good big brother, and I am so happy that mom and dad were able to give you the gift of family.
So here I am with this day upon us. You're turning three, and I couldn't help getting choked up while looking at pictures of your first three years of life. In many ways, you're still a baby, but I
know today marks another year gone, alive now only in our memories. Though I cannot help but mourn its passing (just a tiny bit), I'm overjoyed to have lived it with you.
But today is no different in that I will pray that God keeps you and your babies happy and healthy. For every day I get to share with you, I consider myself blessed. I hope that when you are old enough to reflect on your own life that you will remember being loved and happy. I wish happiness and freedom above all other things for you. I want you to find your own way but know that you can always lean on mom and dad.
You are loud, opinionated, stubborn, warm, kind, affectionate, intelligent, sensitive, impulsive, hyperactive, verbose, and a thousand other things. I love every bit of you.
Happy Birthday, Jameson! Thank you for three wonderful years.