…about Lionel turning ONE.


My sweet L,

I’m writing this to you, my dear, sweet boy, on the eve of your first birthday. You’re down for the count in your crib, nestled up, tummy down, with your heart beating against the softness of your blanket. I know this without even peeking in at you – even though I peek in, every night, and always will – because I’m your Mama. And oh how blessed I am to be.

I remember how it all started. I can hear your father’s words of courage and comfort. I can taste the emptiness that was my stomach, famished and working so, so hard for you. I can feel how much I ached to hold your tiny body close to mine in those twenty-five hours, those thirty-eight-and-a-half weeks, this lifetime, that I waited for you.

And then, at 11:07 in the morning, there you were. Our boy.

I didn’t meet you until later – the eternal bummer of having a c-section under anesthesia – but you and your Daddy got to know each other well in those minutes. You, swaddled, lying skin to skin with your Daddy, your protector, the best role model that you’ll ever have for what a man should be.

I’ll never forget the first moment that I saw you.

You were smaller than I expected, littler somehow. You had more hair than I imagined. But oh, how your little body, warm from your Daddy’s snuggles, fit just so into mine. How you nursed immediately, confidently, determinedly, and oh, how it tingled and rippled waves of pain through my chest. How your little hand clasped my fingers while you nursed that first time – and how still, to this very evening, almost one year later from that first time, your hands still reach for mine when you nurse.

The past three-hundred-and-sixty-five days have been challenging, emotional and immeasurably sweet. I learned what sacrifice is, what it means to be selfless, what it means to love someone in such an all-consuming way that your very breath seems to depend on how long it takes to comfort your cries or how many smiles you offer up in the span of a day.

I’ve been home with you every single day of these past three-hundred-and-sixty-five. I’ve never been away from you for more than a span of a few hours. And what’s interesting, dear son, is that I can’t stand to be away from you, still. While I’m excited and anxious to start my new job this fall – to find a different sense of fulfillment that’s just for me – I will miss you terribly. I will miss our morning naps, our tickle sessions, your constant babbles, our trips to the park, and oh so much more.

It’s been my absolute pleasure and my daily, ever-present gift to watch you grow and develop. I’ve witnessed your many firsts, dear boy – from your first attempts to roll over, your first crawl, your mastery of clapping, “so big,” signing “more,” and so many other special moments. Before you were born, I knew how blessed I would be to care for you each and every day, but this blessing, this gift, has been unbelievably impossible to measure. I wouldn’t trade this past year, with you, my son, for anything in this world or another.

In thinking back over this past year of knowing you, of following your whim, of loving you ever so much, all I have to offer up to you, as a reflection of this past year, is this: thank you, son. Thank you for it all.

Here’s to another year {and many more} of loving you, my firstborn, my son. You will forever be the boy who gave me the biggest and best role of my life – Mama.

I love you to everywhere and back a million times, forever.

– Mama

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