September 3, 2012

My baby is 4 today!

Today my little boy turned 4 years old. I seriously can't believe it. Four years is really a long time! It is the number of years between leap years. It is the number of years we will wait for the next summer Olympics. It is the number of years we attend high school. Just think of how much can happen in 4 years! But at the same time that I am astounded that it has been four years since he came into my life, I can't believe that in just four years I have learned so much from him.

This little boy has given me so much in his 4 years...

On that wonderful morning reading that little plus sign on the pregnancy test, he gave me the greatest joy I had felt up until that point in my life.

In those first several weeks of pregnancy, he helped me see that "morning" sickness is probably the most misnamed term in the English language.

Through my entire pregnancy, he taught me how much you could love and fear for someone you had never met.

That first time I felt those amazing kicks and wiggles, I learned just what it feels like to have a life growing inside you and depending on you.

During my labor he sent me through more ups and downs and scares that I had ever before experienced.

The first second I saw him he showed me how just when you think you can't love someone more, BAM, everything changes.

During that first attempt at nursing him I felt that first sting of defeat as a mother realizing that maybe it wasn't going to work for us.

In those first twenty minutes I ever spent away from him while the nurse bathed him he showed me just how much you can miss someone when they are just steps away.

That first successful nursing session showed me what it means to persevere and use your stubbornness and absolutely unwillingness to accept defeat or compromise for good.

When I had to readmit him to the hospital for jaundice he gave me that first deep, deep ache in your heart of your child being sick and there being nothing you can do about it.

With his first smile he showed me how no amount of work, frustration, or lack of sleep can compete with seeing true joy on your child's face.

On that first day of work after having him he instantly gave me that drive to start making myself a stay at home mom so my days could be spent caring for him.

His first steps gave me that crazy mix of joy in my child's achievements mixed with fear of their failure.

When his speech developed to off the charts levels and I was receiving compliments for how well spoken he was, I got that first amazing pride at knowing that I had done right for my child and that I done best by guiding his natural abilities.

When I learned that he had a motor skill delay I felt that absolute devastation at knowing that I had failed my child at nurturing him to develop him in the areas in which he most struggled... but as we worked on these delays and he became stronger and more able I saw the unmistakable signs of a child who refused to fail at something and felt true achievement in becoming better at something by working at it.

When I saw his excitement over meeting his baby sister I saw from a third person perspective that link and bond that you only find between siblings.

As he grew and started to play more with other children, I felt his sting of rejection as children with whom he wanted to play were intimidated by his extremely friendly and outgoing demeanor. As he found kids that more matched his personality and enjoyed interacting with him I felt that joy of his acceptance.

Watching his care and compassion for others in pain reminded me of how important it is to have concern for people with whom you have no personal stake.

I have been reminded through his play of how wonderful it is to allow our imaginations to take us to places we may never actually go.

As we prepare his first day of preschool, I feel that pride in knowing that my child is ready for this next big step in his life and the sting of knowing that this is his first formal step away from me and toward an independent life.

Jameson, you are such an incredible gift in my life. You are such a compassionate, smart, determined, amazing little boy. You have given me such joy. You will always be the little boy who made me a mommy and taught me more about life in four years that I learned in the previous 23 before you were born. You give me constant joys, laughs, challenges, and overflowing love that I never knew were possible all rolled into one. I won't always be a perfect mommy, but you will always be a perfect son whom I will always love, even if I don't love your choices. I pray that you are able to achieve everything you want in life and that God will grant me the wisdom to be whatever you need your mommy to be.

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