Thursday, November 29, 2012

A first birthday letter to my child

My child,

Happy birthday sweet boy. Today you are one year old. What a wonderful milestone for you. For me. I have so enjoyed watching you grow and learn and blossom from a tiny newborn, eyes closed, serene and fragile to a precocious toddler, eyes wide, curious and energetic.

Of the hundreds of photos I have documenting your firsts this year, my most special memories don't reside in a photo but in my heart. In our everyday moments. The moments we've spent learning from each other, exploring the world hand in hand, holding you for hours as you sleep, in the quiet of our 3 am's, in the giggles over breakfast and in the kisses before bedtime.

I cherish each one of these moments and every night before I sleep I pray I will be blessed with another day making memories with you.

I burst with pride as you explore your independence. And ache with sadness as I watch you slowly wander further into this world and away from my protective arms. Your awkward toddle will eventually turn into confident strides, your inflected babbling will eventually turn into articulate conversation, your tight grasp around my finger will eventually loosen and you'll discover this beautiful world waiting for you. But not today. Today you are still my little boy. Today you still need me to hug you after a tumble. You still need me to teach you the right words to say. You still need to hold my hand. And even after you've grown up and don't need me as much anymore, always know I'll be here for a hug after life's stumbles.

You've grown into such a sweet, smart, funny child. I love being your mother. It has given me more purpose than I knew I could have. If I do nothing else, this life will be full because of you.

Of course there have been hard days, cranky days, sick days, long days, tired days. But even in those days, just one gapped tooth grin, one whispered mama in the darkness, one hug with your chubby fingers round my neck is enough to fill my heart with joy. Enough to get me through a lifetime of hard days.

Today we celebrate you my child. We celebrate your year of life. And how you've irrevocably changed ours.

I pray you continue to grow healthy and happy. I pray as you grow, you will always feel our love and God's grace in your life. I pray you will cherish your everyday. Just as I cherish mine.

I love you my sunshine.

To the moon and back,

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Tale of Two Car Trips

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

The whining started shortly after we pulled on the interstate commencing the first leg of our road trip towards our new home. Being a seasoned traveling mama, I was prepared. Snacks: check. Favorite nursery rhymes: check. An arsenal of toys in the front seat in case one gets dropped (or in The Kid's case hurled from the backseat towards my head): check. Bring it kid. Ba-ring. It.

I passed The Kid his snack cup. Crunching and babbling replaced the whining for all of 10 minutes.

I turned up his nursery rhymes cd and jammed out to itsy bitsy spider so hard I almost didn't hear the whining getting louder. Almost. The Kid has a pair of Stephen Tyler-esque lungs on him.

I passed back his favorite monkey. Monkey did a stage dive directly back into the front seat. I passed back his favorite board book. Squeals of delight filled the car. Yes, mama winning! Five minutes later Goodnight Moon smacked the back window. As my arsenal of toys dwindled, anxiety slowly washed over me. I glanced at the clock. Twenty minutes in a 3 hour drive, we're never gonna make it there with my sanity intact.

In desperation, I passed back my iPhone only to feel it slip between our hands at the last moment and hit the car floor with a deafening thud. Game over. Screaming commenced.

And continued through the towering city buildings and moonlit pine. It continued through the small college towns and over the hum of the busy highway. It continued after our lunch break and all the way to the driveway of my parents house.

He brought it. Nerves shot and dreading the second even longer half of the trip the next day, I headed directly to Walmart and bought a portable DVD player.

Second leg: sweet glorious silence for 3 1/2 hours. Quiet through the backwood roads and crisp cotton fields. Silence pass the lonesome houses dotting the country roads and as the air slowly turned salty as we made our way closer to the shimmering coast.

Only intermittent squeals of delight, sighs of a sleepy little head and The Man in The Yellow Hat broke through the quiet.

Portable DVD player inventor, you win at life.