Dear Grayson, A year ago today you rocketed into this world, shattering life as we knew it. Amid a long, sticky heat wave we melted together, you to me and me to you, getting to know one another, both a bit terrified and uncertain about this new experience, but knowing that unshakeable love would see us through if we were patient and stuck together. And now, a year, a whole year has passed since that day and we are still beautifully and wonderfully melted together. For one who considers myself a word person, I am coming up incredibly short trying to describe what your birthday feels like; what this last year has meant. I rock you and gaze at you and kiss you and try to swallow the truth that time is passing, that you are growing, your wild and wonderful personality is blooming and you are mine, my son. Everyday I am amazed by your love for me, your joy in seeing me, your affection for me, your jealousy when I kiss daddy. Everyday I wonder how it is you do not see how unworthy I am of your love and of being entrusted with the great task of shepherding your soul. You have taught me so much this year and have been so gracious to me as I stumble my way through this motherhood thing, learning and failing as I go. You have taught me how to keep giving, to keep going when I have felt like there is nothing left to give and no more energy to spend. You have taught me to slow down and breathe deep the moments, because they are passing far too quickly.
You've taught me to see what you see in your daddy, his love, his joy, his playfulness and because of that I love him all the more. You've taught me to function on far less sleep than I'd prefer. You've taught me to let go of what I think my body should be and to instead embrace it for what it has done, the life it has created. You've taught me a new level of respect for my mother-in-law, who let me marry her firstborn son; and you've taught me to be more gracious with my own mom, who did so much of this alone, a task I can barely imagine. You have taught me to be patient in the process, in the stretching and sometimes painful growing process of parenthood. I'm learning that being your mother is not a task to complete, but a lifetime of love to savor. I could go on and on, baby boy, the ways you've changed me and grown me are endless, as is my love for you.
You are our Gravy baby, our GrayGray, our Snugbug, our Baby Love, we love who you are and who you are becoming. So I guess that's what I want to say to you on this first birthday and what I never want you to forget: you are deeply loved, you are treasured, and the mark you've made on our lives in just one year makes me all the more excited and thankful for the years to come. Cheers to you baby boy, and many more. Love always always, Mama