Birthday season has now passed us by for another year. In addition to newly 2-year-old Lydia, Joshua turned four on Sunday. In some ways it seems like yesterday that I became a mom, in others that I have been doing this all my life. But either way, I can't imagine my life without him.
Joshua, before you were born I had moments of worry about how I would take care of you, or the ways you would change my life, or if I was ready to always be thinking of and responsible for another human being. I even worried if I was strong enough to get through the process of bringing you into this world.
And then, as I started having complications the week before your birth I knew I could and would do whatever was in my power to keep you safe and out of harm. Labor was different than I ever imagined and yet when they placed teeny-tiny you into my arms I knew instantly it was all worth it. Every second of uncertainty, pain, and worry faded into the perfection of your little body, 10 fingers and toes, bright blue eyes, and a sense of connection I'd never experienced before with someone I'd just met.
These past four years have changed and stretched me in ways I'd thought it would and in so many ways I never envisioned. I always thought the role of a parent was to guide and direct a child into the person they would become, but I've learned that it is just as much the child teaching and refreshing the parent and shaping them into the person they were meant to be as well.
You've come so far these past four years and I feel like you've crossed from little boy to mini-man recently. I cherish the moments you still call me "Mommy" and want to snuggle or make sure I tuck you in and give you just one more hug and kiss, and yet I'm so proud of you when you step out and do things on your own, or want to try something for yourself, even though I know if means you need me just a little less.
Having a conversation with you is often enlightening and nearly always humorous! You have so much to offer and I love to watch you make connections and put the world together. You are driven, inquisitive, and confident, but at the same time so sensitive and so concerned about what you can't plan, understand or control.
I see so much of myself in you, and I hope I can use that empathy to encourage you to step outside your (our) comfort zone and yet I'm guessing that I will find that you will be the one showing me that the first step is always the hardest, but that the rewards for trying are well worth the risk.
Every day with you is a blessing and I feel so priveleged to have been in your life these past four years and look forward to the next year (and the rest of your life) with you too, and no matter how big you get you'll always be my baby.
Happy 4th Birthday, baby boy!