Henry

Dear Henry,

Today we celebrate you.  As our first baby it seems fitting that your birthday and mother’s day fall close on the calendar for eight years ago we embarked on this crazy journey together.  I had big dreams and plans about what it would like to be a parent.  To be a mother to you, my first-born son.

Of course it’s completely different.  More often than not though, it’s better than what I dreamed.  We certainly have our moments, but somewhere in the middle we’ve taught each other a lifetime of lessons on extending and receiving grace.

Sometimes I wonder where that perfect mother, the mother who existed only in my dreams, went.   For I am far from perfect.

Sometimes I wonder how you and I can be so completely different and yet so very much the same.

I also never imagined how charming and loving you would be.  It is funny, being the mother of a boy like you, knowing that you operate best moving at full speed, talking always, knowing everything, and yet at same time you are so empathetic, understanding and always wearing your feelings on your sleeve.

It catches me at odd moments, just how amazing I find you to be.  Already, at only eight you are becoming a grown-up kind of handsome.  And yet almost daily I still catch glimpses of the little boy within.  I wish I could freeze those moments in time.

You are a wonder to watch in action.  You are a natural athlete, I’m not sure if you realize this yet.  You are a gifted people person – a social butterfly if you will – but this gift also brings you trouble.  Occasionally your teacher checks in with us, to mention that you are talking out of turn too often {and too loudly}, or that you are having trouble minding your own business.  And yet in the same note she can’t help but mention how delightful you are to have in class.  This is the paradox of you sweet boy.

Somehow you have managed to create a perfect storm for mothering.

You balance strength with weakness.  You are driven and determined and yet you are restless.  You are competitive and you are compassionate.  You are disagreeable, and then pleasing.  You are a mystery and yet I understand you completely.  I feel the same swing as a mother; one moment I’m teetering on the edge of “I’ve got this” and next I’m loosing my mind.

One thing is certain, I love you sweet Henry.  I’m so thankful for you, for all that makes you, you.  Your laughter, the pure joy, zest and wonder that you bring to this life.  I love you.

Happy Birthday sweet boy!  We are so thrilled to celebrate eight year-old YOU.

I want to give a special shout-out to Kristen. She has a way with words, and has served as a blessing and inspiration on raising-up boys.

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