In April, my life turned upside down and inside out when my son was born. As I described new motherhood to friends during those first few months, "I feel like I got punched in the face on the day he was born and have been left dazed and staggering, trying to regain my senses."
Dazed in a joyful, overwhelming and awesome way -- in the truest definition of that word, not the current 21st century abuse of it.
As I ponder what this new year and future years will bring with this new tiny person in my life, here is a letter to my son who right now can't even say "Mama," but who I hope will have a lot to say and do in this world.
Welcome! I wish our world was a little more worthy of you right now, but I'm hoping you will play a part in lifting it up. It's going to be such a fun ride, seeing the world through your eyes without fear, bias or ego. With such love, hope and abandon.
You're like pure joy -- distilled and raw. Everything is wondrous and new. How can I keep from messing you up? From spoiling such perfection? But I know, in a strange way, I have to. It's my job to protect you from and prepare you for the dangers of the world. The bad people. The safety hazards.
For myself, I pray for the strength to bear your first rejection, hurt and heartache so I may offer you wise counsel and loving reassurance. I pray my best will be good enough, even when I make mistakes or I'm "ruining your life." (Gosh, I just can't WAIT for those teen years... not.)
For you, my love?
I wish you empathy, so you can do right by people and reach out to heal and comfort wherever you can.
I wish you confidence, to stand solid in your own light while generously listening and building others up without feeling threatened.
I wish you courage, to always try to do the right thing and help other people (and animals) in need.
I wish you grace, to deftly handle adversity, arrogant people and impossible situations -- and do it better than your parents sometimes do.
I wish you hope, to always approach life (and people) with the highest expectations of a positive outcome. Attitudes do indeed become actions. And I wish you resilience when you exercise that hope and still get let down.
I wish you self-reliance, to become your own person and make your way in this world so you're not relying on us (or anyone) beyond the time you should. But I wish you a trusting spirit to let others help you when and if it makes sense -- and to do it with unabashed gratitude.
I wish you a strong sense of commitment, so you will honor your promises, compete bravely, and simply "show up" when it matters most.
I wish you awareness, to understand that your actions have consequences, whether toward other people, animals, and the environment or in the countless deeds no one else may ever see.
I wish you a quick mind and even quicker wit. Chicks dig that. And, frankly, everyone does.
I wish you a discerning heart, to choose friends and a life partner who is worthy of your time and attention.
Most of all, my love, I wish you the secure knowledge that you are special -- but so is every other person and creature on this planet. May the silly phrases that adorn your baby clothes right now: "My Family Adores Me," "Mommy's Little Champ," and "I'm So Loved" somehow permeate your senses so you will accept these as basic truths without question, deep down in your soul.
Merry First Christmas, my sweet, sweet boy. Know this, whether during your highest high or darkest day: You are loved. You are loved. YOU ARE LOVED.