Sweet Ezekiel Baby,
You are one today. In my mind, I just cannot grasp that idea. Though, as I sit here at type, I can look above me and see the garland hanging across the ceiling, the birthday presents wrapped on the window seat, and I know that there are goodie bags on the kitchen table and fondant leaves on the counter, all just waiting for your birthday party in a couple of days…and so, it must be true. My darling baby boy is officially not an infant any longer. You are an entire year old.
We are so thankful to God for blessing us with you. One year ago, today. Early in the foggy, dark morning, quietly nestled in the farmhouse, we were given you. Even though today is your birthday, I know I can never give you as great a gift as we have received in you.
I cannot possibly put into words how incredibly blessed your daddy and I have been to have you as our son. To have such a handsome, smart, and truly joyful son like you. The one thing strangers have always commented on (other than how beautiful your eyes are), is how joyful you are. “Is he really always this happy?!” they ask, incredulously. “Yes,” we always tell them. You are an entire bundle of joy. I have never seen one little person make so many strangers smile, with just one quick eye connection and flash of a toothless smile from you. You are so happy; I try to learn from you. I try to remember to just smile at strangers, like you do. Because maybe, just maybe, I can make them smile and bring them a hint of joy in their day, just like you always do for people.
Throughout this year, you have brought so much laughter into our home. You have taught daddy and I how to enjoy the small moments in our day. You’ve brought us down to the ground in the best way possible – to play with you. You love our attention and long for us to get down on your level and play with your toys or wrestle you, or sing a silly song to you. You have taught us to be kids again and to not care how silly we are acting. You have made us laugh over the small things, like ripping packing tape, making animal noises, bouncing balls, and scooting in a little car. You have made us appreciate even the little things in life, like how you’ve gone potty like a big boy, or when you sit still for a hair cut, or when you eat your entire bowl of food. We’re always so proud of you.
Right now, you are completely in love with your mommy. I have savored this year as much as I possibly can, because I know someday soon, daddy will be your favorite (at least for a time). He’ll take you hunting and fishing, canoeing and swimming, camping and hiking and all sorts of other manly activities. He’ll teach you how to be a great and loving man, just like he is. Hopefully, you will learn from your daddy’s example of how to be a man after God’s heart. A man who loves his wife and family more than anything and would do anything for either of us to make us happy and take care of us. A man who is an incredible husband and father. Someday soon, you’ll want to be daddy’s tag-a-long and want to be just like him; you’ll want to be just like your hero, in the same way that daddy wanted to be just like his hero, your grandpa, when he was little. But for now, I’m just going to enjoy you. For now, I’m going to take it all in, while I’m your favorite. While I’m the most important woman in your life. While I’m the only one you want when you need comforting and soothing. While I’m the only one you want to cuddle with when you wake up from a nap. Because I know that some day, you’ll have another favorite woman. And I pray, even now, that whoever you find and choose to marry, that she takes care of you and loves you as much as your daddy and I do. That she serves you with her whole heart, because I know you will serve her with yours.
Although it is bittersweet and makes me sad to think about, I cannot wait to watch you grow up even more this year. I can’t wait to hear your voice and hear the words that you say (and I will try to remember this, during the times in the future that I wish you would be a little more quiet!). I can’t wait to see you take steps and gain confidence in walking, and someday soon – running. I can’t wait to see what new things you will learn how to do this next year. Or how your personality will develop even more. I can’t wait to see what characteristics you have and what your sense of humor will be like. What jokes you’ll tell, or crazy stories you’ll come up with. I can’t wait for more memories to be made with you this year. New funny moments or special moments to come, that we can share with you years from now and laugh about together.
Though I know I have much, much more to learn, you have already taught me so much in just a year’s time of how to be a mother. You changed my life drastically, from the very moment you emerged into our world. Please have grace and patience with me, as I will not ever be a perfect mother. I will make mistakes. I will let you down. I will fail you. But with all of my heart, I will love you the very best that I can, and I will try every day to make sure you know just how loved you are. How cherished you are. How precious and how much of a blessing from the Lord you are. If I fail at everything else, I pray that you learn from me that you are a child of God. That you are His son and that He loves you, more than mommy and daddy ever could. That’ll He’ll always love you and forgive you, even when you’ve been disobedient or have failed. That you have great worth and will be used for wonderful things for the Lord, if you let Him use you.
You are an incredible son, Ezekiel. We are so lucky to have you in our family.
Happy 1st Birthday, Monkey.