Today you turned 11 and I don’t know where the time has gone. It seems only yesterday that you were born in the middle of a horrendous thunderstorm. I should have taken that as a sign that you would always make a grand entrance…and you have.
Looking at you now, it’s hard to believe that I once carried you in one arm, snuggled against my chest all cozy and warm. You stayed little so briefly, it all seems like a blur now. I was so busy in the moment, in the daunting job of being your mother that I missed seeing you grow so quickly.
Being my first child, I must apologize to you for there’s so much I didn’t know. You were my learning curve. I had no idea how to do this mom gig. I still don’t. You were the first of many learning experiences. Some good. Some bad.
I will never forget the first time I took you out on a trip all by myself. I was scared to death. I took you to the pediatrician for a check up and all went well. We made it back out to the car. I put you in the car seat carrier and off we went. I stopped at the stop sign and your car seat rolled out into the floor. I had forgot to buckle you in.
I got out and grabbed you up, checking every inch of you. You were OK. I was not.
I cried for 45 minutes.
I would like to say that was the last mistake I made with you, but it’s not. Nor will it be the last.
Some say motherhood is about passing along your gifts to your children, but I disagree. I have learned far more from you in 11 years than I could possibly ever give you. You are such a loving spirit. One of the most wonderful lessons you’ve given me is to love others unconditionally. You see no boundaries with people. It doesn’t matter to you the color of one’s skin, their social status, their age, their religion, their handicap. To you, you see a child of God and love them regardless.
Last year, you and I were coming home from a trip to the big city and stopped to get gas off of the interstate. We encountered a homeless man. It was hot outside. You could tell by looking at him that he’s been out for several days without a shower. He smelled bad. His clothes were filthy and he had a large scar along one of his arms.
Immediately you got out of the car and approached him and said “Hi!” in your usual way. I could tell he was taken aback and he looked at me for reassurance that it was alright, and I nodded. You took your little fingers and touch his scar then looked him in the eyes and smiled, and hugged him.
And at first, he didn’t know what to do and said, “Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a hug.”
I replied, “Well, it’s been worth the wait because she gives the best.”
I was never more proud to be your mother.
Happy Birthday Grasshopper! May you continue to grow and shine your light of love on the world.