a letter to Sam for his 1st birthday.

My dear sweet Sam,

My funny, inquisitive, snuggly, affectionate, stubborn little sleep-fighter. My sweet funny boy. What a year it’s been, no? In some ways it seems a lot longer than a year; haven’t I always known you, carried you in my heart, loved you? In other ways I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by. I used to carry you in the crook of my arm, put tiny socks on your tiny feet, clean your umbilical cord stump. You nursed what seemed like constantly, preferring to sleep only where you could touch me. And by “prefer,” I mean “flat-out refused to sleep anywhere else for the first 7 months of your life.” Your birth was what I’d hoped and prayed for, but our first days together were not.  Mama had so much to learn. Still does.

I loved you instantly, completely and always, but I also felt a strange, unsettling urge to distance myself from you. Struggling through learning how to nurse with you forced me to stay close to you, get to know you, re-connect with you many, many times in a day.  I think people must think I am nuts for being such a strong supporter of breastfeeding, but that’s because it was through that medium that I learned how to read you, how to love you, how to be your mama.

We had to learn together, didn’t we? I think that’s what love is, baby boy — clinging together, hanging on, learning, learning, learning as we go along together. As I got to know you more, I loved you in a fuller, bigger, deeper way.

I pray for you daily, that you’d continue to grow up healthy and strong, that you’d one day learn to channel all that intensity and fierceness with which you fight sleep toward loving and serving Jesus. I pray for protection from all the (many) times I will screw up as your mama. I pray you’d keep your heart pure. I pray you’d keep your sweet spirit and not grow bitter and cynical. I pray I can show you who Jesus is, teach you to love Him as I learn to love Him. I pray for your salvation. I know God has His hand on you, and I pray that you wouldn’t waste your life on silly things like money or a good job or being good at sports or girls.

Don’t worry about girls.

As we go forward from babyhood into toddlerhood and beyond, know one thing — your mom and dad love you very much. You are a blessing.

Happy first birthday, my sweet Samuel Ezra.

Love,

Mama

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