It’s the day before my boy’s 11th birthday and as the kids eat their breakfast I take out his baby scrapbook. A letter I wrote on Jay’s 1st birthday falls out. It is sealed. I tell him I remember writing this but don’t remember exactly what I said. Jay asks why I wrote it. I cannot put into words exactly why I did write it, instead I decide to open it and read it to him. The last few days have been rough ones. Perhaps the words will remind him just how much I love him and always have.I know in my heart that we both need this, to hear what I wrote before there was ever a diagnosis or even a thought of ever being one. So with unsteady hands I open the letter and start to read:
March 8th, 2002 Today my baby turned one!
Everyone always tells you how much you will love your child and how quickly the time goes by. Even with their warning, I don’t think I was really prepared for the overwhelming emotions I felt the first time I laid eyes on you. That love has continued to grow stronger every day.
You have grown and changed so much over this past year, and I have grown and changed right along with you. We are learning together! There have been many times when I wished I could just pull back on the reigns of time and freeze the moment. I could sit for hours and just watch you play. It doesn’t take you long to figure things out. I know all moms think their baby is cute and smart… but you my son, really are!
As I stare down into your sweet face I try hard to image what you will be like in a year from now, in 5 years, as a teenager, as a man. I pray that you will keep your loving nature.
Do you know I watch you sleep? I love the way your little chest rises up and down. You look so peaceful. What do you dream about my baby boy? I would do anything to make those good dreams come true. And when you cry out in the darkness because the dreams turn bad, I ache for you. I would slay a dragon for you my precious son. There is nothing I would not do to protect you.
So years from now when you read this, know that your mommy was so proud to be your mommy. I will always be proud to be your mommy. There is nothing you could ever do or say that would change that.
It is a little sad to think that the tiny sweet baby boy who fit in the crook of my arm is no more… but that sadness is quickly replaced with the excitement of what the future will bring.
Happy Birthday my precious little prince!
I Love you… Now, Forever, ALWAYS! MOMMY
I finish reading and wipe the tears that are now streaked all over my face. I slowly look up to see if my boy is still listening. But when I look up he is no longer sitting in his spot at the breakfast table. He is now standing in front of me with his arms out ready for a hug. I wrap my arms around him and comment about how big he is and how I now can rest my chin on his head. He says nothing and just hugs back. Hubby breaks the moment with a reminder that it is time to leave for school and we all quickly fall into step of our regular morning routine. I walk the kids to school and am about to turn to leave when my boy comes back out to give me another hug. He looks up at me and mouths the words…
I LOVE YOU MOM
Then he turns back and races to his class to start his day. As I walk home I think to myself how far we have come and yet in so many ways it is still the same.
I still love my boy with the same fierceness as I did when I wrote that letter, if not more. I still would slay a dragon for him and on many occasions have (Just ask the school). I still watch him sleep at night and wonder what he dreams. And I am even more proud of him today then I was then.
My son if you are reading this know that when you feel pain… I feel pain. When you feel joy I feel even more. Just like I wrote when you were a baby… there is nothing you could ever say or do that would make me not love you! I love you for the perfect person you are now. You don’t ever need to change. What ever I do is to help you, to make you hurt less, to prevent the dragons from attacking your lair in the future! But you don’t have to face those dragons alone my boy. I got your back!
Happy 11th Birthday My Precious Little Prince!
I love you Now, Forever, ALWAYS! MOMMY!