Friday, February 3, 2012

On Your First Birthday

Dear Ryan,

I remember the moment I met you for the very first time, face to face. You were handed to me, crying, and I laid you on my chest... "Hi, buddy!" were my first words to you outside the womb. "He's here, I can't believe he's here!" I excitedly said to Jake, your daddy. You were so little... so beautiful... and so perfect. After so many months of waiting and preparing for you, here you were!

I remember how you pooped all over me not long after you were born. "I guess this is my initiation into motherhood," I said with a laugh. You probably would have weighed 2 more ounces had they weighed you before you exploded all over me. But it was okay... I was so happy that you were here, I didn't mind the sticky mess.

I remember the first time you nursed. You seemed to know what to do, but I was hesitant. It was a beautiful moment I will never forget, the way your little hands grasped me; the weight of your little body in my arms.

I remember the first time our family came to meet you... I wanted so much to share you with everyone, but I missed you the second you left my arms! I couldn't take my eyes off of you, not for one second.

I remember our first night in the hospital, when your daddy and I laid you, snug as a bug in your swaddle, in the bassinet. The responsibility of you... of loving you, of raising you... weighed on me heavily, but also with peace. We can't do anything without Christ... we wanted to keep him the center of our family... and keep Him the focus with how we raise you.

I remember when we took you home for the first time. It felt so strange to leave the hospital with the three of us, our little family. You cried on the way home, so I sat in the back seat with you so you wouldn't be afraid. "Mama's right here, love."

I remember rocking you or nursing you to sleep every night. It was an internal struggle to put you down. I wanted so much to hold you all the time! It just felt so right to keep you close to me.

So many things to remember.

I didn't want you to grow up. I wanted you to stay my tiny baby forever. But very quickly I realized that your growing up was something I needed to embrace and not fear or resist. It became a bittersweet thing, but mostly sweet. I was able to look back with a smile and remember all the beautiful things about your life... but yet look excitedly towards the future, to see where God would bring you.

Last night, I cried as I put you to bed. Both sad and happy tears. Tomorrow you were going to be one, and my heart swelled with happiness. You've done so much growing and changing in this last year, love... it has been so much fun to be your mama. You light up my life in so many ways. I can't express to you how much I love you.

I hope and pray that someday you will realize that there is One who loves you so much more than I do. As much as I want to be needed in your life, I want you to need Him more than me. As you relied on me for breath inside the womb, I pray that someday you will rely on Christ for your every breath. I beg God that he would open your eyes, and that the gospel would transform your life. I'm not perfect... I will mess up as your mama... but God's grace is perfect, his mercy is perfect, his gospel is perfect... please cling to Him through all things. Today and every day, I give you back to Him and ask that he would use you as He sees fit.

Little Ryan, as your first year comes to a close and your second year of life opens, know how much I love you and cherish you. I am so proud to call you my son. You have already taught me so much! I am so blessed. God has richly blessed me with YOU.

I love you,

I love you,


~Your mama


Grandpa Joe said...

Happy Birthday Ryan! This post made my eyes leak a lot! You are a precious little boy who will grow into a fine young man. I share the prayers of your mama that you will grow to know the love of Christ and you will follow his teachings. I know the love your parents have for you is immeasurable. The love and joy I have for you cannot be expressed in words. The love all your family has for you. Christ's love is so much more!

Chantel said...

Precious. Every single word.