A Letter To Linden On His First Birthday
My Dearest Linden,
I don't know what shocks me more - the fact that a year has already flown by since you graced us with your presence in this world or the fact that just a year ago you weren't here at all. Now, it is impossible to fathom a life without you in it. It is awe-inspiring to think back to when you inhabited me and grew inside of me. I will never forget being induced, the excruciating pain of labour, or the buzz of energy that filled the room as we awaited your arrival. Then on March 11th, 2017 at 3:35am, in what retrospectively is such Linden fashion, you came into this world, were placed on me, and we were bonded, separate now but still one. You slotted into the space in our family and in our hearts with such ease that there was never a doubt that this is exactly where you were always meant to be.
After 12 months of diaper changes, sleep training battles, gleeful giggles, late night nursing sessions, white noise blaring, early mornings, troublemaking, and momentous firsts, it is safe to say that you have taught me a thing or two in this agonizing and amazing journey I am on being your mom. You, my sweet child, have taught me to let things be. To give a little on the scheduling and the rules, and to instead enjoy the moments that would have otherwise passed me by. You taught me the art of persistence as your determination became relentless. You have shown me the importance of slowing down and enjoying what is, not yearning for what is yet to come. With you, I have never wished away a stage or a phase because I knew that it would all pass by too quickly. You have taught me to find joy on even the toughest days, to be happy for the sake of happiness, and to give love without condition. I can't thank you enough for making me a better mom and human being.
Linden, you truly draw people in with your genial personality. There is no part of you I want to miss out on. From your tiny dimple that shows when you are genuinely smiling to the belly laugh that your sister best draws out of you. From your care-free dance moves to the face you make when you taste something you don't like. From your anger when daddy doesn't come straight to you when he gets home from work to your sadness when someone takes away a toy you are playing with. From your nearly bald head to your tiny toes there is absolutely nothing I don't love about you. You are sociable - willingly going to perfect strangers who welcome you with open arms. You are curious - taking your time to figure out how things work. You are determined - the happy kind of determined where, in the face of hardship, you continue on without getting angry. You are loving - especially towards Maelle, who you already look up to and idolize. Most importantly - you are you and you are ours and that is perfection to us.
Your dad and I hope that you are happy with whatever you choose for your life. We will teach you the best we can to ensure that you grow up to be kind to others, to be thoughtful, and brave. We endeavour to model grace in times of humility, hard work through adversity, and peacefulness in what can often be a cruel world. We are not here to create your story but rather to guide you on your own personal journey. It is heaven on earth to feel your warm body snuggle up against me, knowing that you feel safe in my arms. I know that one day you won't need my arms around you for comfort but trust that I will always be here if you ever do. No matter where life takes us, my love for you will never waiver.
Happy birthday, baby boy! You are one. How can such a small number feel so big?
With love always,