Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Letter to James on our 7th

As I think back on the events of the last year, I can't help but tear up (yeah, the baby blues might have something to do with it). We celebrate another anniversary as we welcome our 5th miracle into this world. I have to mourn the passing of our "family building" years as I welcome a year we have already decided should be, at least in part, dedicated to reclaiming our own physical fitness. As I look back thankfully on 7 wonderful years, I am also saddened by the thought of how fast they have passed. Our first 4 babies are babies no more, and I know it won't be long before Baby Tiny is talking and walking.

This year has been filled with lows like my grandfather's passing and having to skip my sister's wedding and highs like welcoming baby Eliana, watching our children enjoying life's simple pleasures, and actually spending a night away from all of them to celebrate our anniversary.

At the end of this emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy, I look back thankfully that I've had you to lean on throughout the last 7 years. With each year that passes, you've shown me all the reasons why I've grown to love you more today than I did the day we got married. I know what Amelia means when she says she wishes she could marry you too. It's that she cannot imagine a greater man than her Daddy. Her world may still be small, but I have to agree with her that I cannot imagine a better husband or father. She is wise beyond her years.

With 7 years behind us, I look forward to what our future may hold. Of course, I pray that includes many more happy, healthy years raising our family. I mentioned the other night that I found the words of Steve Jobs about having kids ("It's 10,000 times better than anything I've ever done.")really struck a chord. I've always felt that family is the most important thing in life, so that is no revelation. Rather, I think the perspective his statement offers, that someone as accomplished as Steve Jobs looks back at life, with the end in sight, and decides that having kids was his greatest achievement is so revealing. Like Jobs, I don't want to look back at life and have any regrets about how I was or wasn't there for our family. Being the workaholic I am, I expect you to keep me in check.

I can't imagine having shared the amazing journey of the last 7 years with anyone else. Fresh in my mind are the memories of our wedding, traveling in Hawaii as newlyweds, finding out we were pregnant with Jameson, watching you sleep with each of our babies on your chest, bringing Truman and Amelia home from the hospital to meet Jameson, laughing at the surprise of Darwin's birth when we realized he was a boy, and our shock when we realized we were pregnant with Eliana. These memories just skim the surface of our years together, but they remind me how blessed we have been. My hopes for our future are simple: health and happiness for our family and time to watch our children grow and build their own families. When you think about it, it's all that really matters, and I'm lucky to share it with you.