Six years ago today, I saw the wrinkled little face of my boy, Joshua Littletree, for the first time.
I had never seen anything so beautiful.
Our bond was formed, that has lasted over sleepless nights and sunny days, and more diaper changes than I can count, and falls and scrapes and hot chocolate and lemonade, and fresh paper and crayons. It has endured public tantrums, and thrashing in car seats, and thrown mud, and soft, gentle hugs.
It has included wrestling and laughter and baking pumpkin pies and screaming at the top of both of our lungs.
It has included gut-wrenching agony and tears when watching him realize he was not the only baby in his Mama’s life.
And the slow joy that built when he realized what fun it was to be a big brother.
Joshua, you have taught me:
- Why it is important to stop and look at bugs on the sidewalk, even when you are late to school.
- Work is never, ever more important than giving full attention to those you love.
- Art takes time.
- Sometimes, it is important to have ice cream for breakfast.
- I, too, am an engineer. Legos have directions, and 1000 piece monstrosities are assembled two pieces at a time.
- The world is a fascinating place. Mummies and pyramids and penguins and science experiments are vastly more interesting than cartoons.
- Animals talk.
- It is ok to miss someone dearly. They come back.
- Anglos are always rushing.*
- You can fight like cats and dogs with your friends, but that doesn’t mean you won’t long to play with them tomorrow.
- Mothers are nurses and therapists and coaches and cheerleaders and disciplinarians. But mostly, we are warriors. No force, person, idea, natural disaster, emotion or circumstance will ever quiet the fierce protection I have for you in my heart. Beside you, I can accomplish anything. In front of you, I can overcome any obstacle.
I have loved you every minute of your life, even when you have pushed me to my emotional and physical limits.
Thank you for being my wise teacher. I can already see the kind man you will become.
And like you always tell me about the story of your creation, thank you for looking down from that star and choosing me and your Dad as parents.
Happy birthday my sweet boy! I love you.
* for those of you who missed the original context for “Anglos are always rushing,” this is something Josh said to me one morning as I was trying to get him out the door to school. I thought it was hysterical. And, as some of my Anglo family has told me, not ALL of us rush, just some of us. 😉 Here is the post where I talked about it.