To my dear, sweet boy-
It’s your birthday and I can’t help but reflect on all our memories and moments on this earth together. We’ve had our ebbs and flow, but there is nothing that I would change. To see how you fit so perfect into our lives and how you embraced your role as a brother. It’s been a bittersweet and beautiful ride, my boy.
I will admit, when I found out I was pregnant with you I cried.
Hard, alligator tears of shame, regret, and fear.
For your brother was in the room right next to mine, just a baby himself. As I stared down at that positive pregnancy test, I couldn’t imagine. I already had a baby. How could I have another?
Those months leading up to your birth, that fear enveloped me. I was just getting the hang of this motherhood thing; how would adding a second baby to the mix rock the boat? Fears of what others would think of me having babies back to back like that. Fears of how are we going to afford two under two? It felt like we were struggling to with only one. I questioned myself as a mother, unsure how to fit two babies on my lap or in my heart. It didn’t seem possible.
Until the day you came. Leap Year Day.
I should have know you would be one to make a memorial entrance into the world.
Rare and unapologetic.
Yet, something changed the moment you arrived. Somehow I knew I did, too.
See, I was an anxious first-time mama. I survived on schedules of feedings, changes, and naptime. I made sure all the boxes were checked off. I put everyone else first and never slowed down for fear of dropping all the balls that were hanging over my head. I didn’t know how to stop or ask for help or who I even was as a mother.
But you came as a pleasant surprise and changed that all up. The second time around was sure to be different.
From the moment I held you in my arms and soaked in every perfect feature of your face, I recognized the familiar feeling of knowing you my entire life. Almost as if my heart and lap expanded with every breath you took, you became the missing link that bonded us together as a family. It seemed impossible how I couldn’t imagine life without you in it, even just a short 24 hours before.
Oh, my dear boy.
The lessons you came to teach me haven’t stopped in these short seven years. And although I may tease at how different you are from your brothers or myself, deep down I love the uniqueness that makes you, you. I am so proud to watch you step into those gifts show the world what makes you so special. Here are a few lessons that you prove for me over and over again.
You taught me what it’s like to slow down and savor each moment. To beat to your own drum. To sing and dance and laugh without abandon; without cause. It’s in these fleeting moments of childhood that I see you are the one who has it all figured out. To ask for seconds. To savor the last drop. To belly laugh so much it hurts. To beg for one more book. To wake up early to crawl into our bed. But most of all, to do it again day after day.
You taught me how to see and feel the good in everyone. Your heart is pure gold and does not see other people for their differences. You have always looked at their heart first and embraced everything else second. Most of all, you have always known when to pause and to hold someone else’s hand when they need it the most. My love, you are my greatest teacher in unconditional love.
You taught me how to find joy in the journey. To love the element of surprise and to keep childlike wonder at all times. That every day is worth celebrating, even in the smallest of moments. You have shown me that the unknown in life is a gift to embrace detours whole-heartedly.
Don’t’ you see my sweet, dear boy?
You saved me.
You came into my life to teach me; to save me from myself.
From the beginning, you, my love, healed me.
Sweet boy, you are exactly the teacher and lesson I needed. You continue to show me that life always gives us what we need, not always what we envision.
Happy Birthday, my love.
May you always know how truly grateful I am to have you in my life.
Kathryn Vigness is a speaker, author, and life coach. She is living proof that life gives us what we always need, not always what we envision. Keep up with Kathryn on Instagram or find her at kathrynvigness.com.