Good grief. I'm already crying.
One year ago, your Dad, giddy with joy, videotaped me as I waddled into the emergency room, thirty-seven weeks pregnant. Fifteen hours later, we met you for the first time. We were there when God gave you your first breath while simultaneously taking ours away for a moment. Time stood still and in the blink of an eye, we two became three. The couple became a family.
We weren't exactly sure what was in store for all of us. Parenting was a new thing for us and, as was predicted, it held its fair amount of challenges. We expected that. But, what caught us off guard was the joy that was in store for us as well. No one could have told us enough how much joy you would bring to our lives. Your Dad laughs more than I've ever seen him laugh. You are his delight. You've brought more smiles to my face and more tears of joy to my eyes in this past year than I've ever experienced before. And trust me--I'm a crier. So that's saying something! :)
Over the past year, your Dad and I have watched our names morph into simply "Cub's parents" and we are so proud to hold that title.
When I think of how you've changed over this past year, my mind is overwhelmed with the enormity of it. Watching you open your eyes. Watching you smile. Seeing you roll for the first time. Watching your little finger wrap around mine. Seeing your little head pop up in the crib. Watching your personality burst through and keep on bursting through as you continue to grow. I remember all of the milestones--sleeping through the night, sitting up, drinking from a sippy cup, taking solid food, crawling, and now, walking. You took eight steps yesterday and four more today, several times. I can't believe it.
But, when I think about your first year, what I think of the most is, again, that joy. This past year we have walked through some huge challenges. We've passed through moments of pain, fear, and rejoicing. Life felt inconsistently unpredictably frustrating at times, but you were still our happy baby boy through all of it. God showed His overwhelming love and faithfulness during those times. And we're so glad you were here with us, too.
God is so good. And He loves you, Cub. Oh, He loves you.
You are friendly, timid, bold, and cautious. You are quiet but full of joy. You are independent but are an amazing cuddler. You are meticulous yet boisterous, small and sweet. We've seen this from the beginning and you continue to show it as you grow. We still remember your first giggles and belly laughs. I'm pretty sure our hearts melted. They still melt.
You aren't the only one who has undergone growth this past year. I've always been a sister, a friend, a daughter, and now later in life, a wife. But you gave me a new title: Mom. Being your mother has been the most empowering experience of my life. Trusting God with your growth and your life has grown my faith and grown my confidence. I'm bolder now than I've ever been. It's hard to explain, but the person I was before you were born and the person I am now are a little different. And I like this new person more. Being your Mom has truly changed my life.
Cub, I can't imagine my life without you. Your Dad and I both can't. We don't remember what life was like before we met you and we don't miss it. To imagine you out of our lives is unthinkable. In fact, it is something that, for a while, would grip me with fear. I couldn't bear the thought of ever losing you. And then, one morning, God calmed my fears. In a quiet moment, He gently pushed me back to joy. The joy that is you. And I realized that no, we can't ever imagine life without you. But, what I do realize, is the life that we've had with you. The fact that we even met in the first place. Those late nights and the cuddling and the laughter and the joy. Those moments are gifts that were never promised to us and yet, in His grace, God chose to allow us to live them. And nothing can ever take those moments away.
So, here we are. It all started a year ago and now, thousands of diapers, lots of late nights, millions of little laughs, TWO teeth and ten steps later, we stand at one year, looking forward to the moments of joy ahead, and not forgetting the moments of joy that brought us here. We love you, Cub.