A first birthday letter
So my littlest man, here's a letter from your adoring momma:
I am utterly amazed at what God has brought us through this past year. As we get ready to celebrate your first birthday, I can't help but feel like this is more than a celebration of birth. Your birthday is a celebration that deserves more than just one candle, more than a great themed party, more than balloons and a smash cake (which my sweet son you'll have to patiently wait longer to enjoy), more than a few friends or some new toys. Your birthday marks a moment in our family's history similar to reaching the moon, witnessing your first shooting star, graduating from high school, or maybe reaching that 100th jubilant anniversary.
While mothers tend to inflate reality with loving bias, I am quite certain more people than you have ever come in contact with this year would agree with my description of your special day because they've lovingly prayed for you these last 365 days.
I can't begin to thank God for your life. Looking at your traumatic entrance into this broken world with your frail and broken body, I can only speak to the miracle that you are today.
Your life has been anything but typical for an American infant. You never nursed or took a bottle. You were swaddled maybe twice in your little life. You didn't take a full bath until the age of about 8 months. You have never soothed with a thumb or pacifier, nor did you cry more than a whimper until around 6 months of age. That was also around the time I first saw a glimmer of a smile. You have never crawled, but your beginning to laugh more every day, which I think is by far more important than crawling. You've said nothing more than an infant's coo, but your beginning to speak through repeated gyrations, so I know we speak the same language. You have spent almost equal the amount of time in our home as you have in doctor's offices, but you are probably the most easy-going patient I've ever met. I can tell how much you love and appreciate being alive, and baby boy, the feeling is mutual. It's taken a village to pray and treat you into the growing boy you are, and we can't begin to express our gratitude to everyone of those people.
I cannot wait to see what other miracles our Heavenly Father has in store for your life because it's already been extraordinary. As hard as the hard days have been, it's made the sweet days that much more sugary. I know I can be impatient at times, and watching you continue to get frustrated with your limitations is heart-wrenching, but please know that I don't ever want our lives to be "normal." Remember where you've come from. Remember that once upon a time you had an oxygen tank, heart monitor, regular injections of steroids, a dictionary worth of medications, legs casted to your diaper, your hand in a permanent splint, and IVs covering your body.
Levi, we all love, adore, and praise God for you. Happy Birthday bubba! I love you!