Happy Birthday

In Family by Allison Byxbe

Dear Samuel Reed,

Two years old today.

Did you know that the night leading up to your birth, your Nana, Aunt Erin, and Aunt JJ all waited at the hospital for you to be born? Did you know that Aunt Mary and Aunt Lisa pretty much stayed up all night talking on Facebook, waiting to hear the news that you’d made it? Everyone was so excited to meet you.

And I can barely breathe, barely see through the tears welling up, as I think about the boy you are becoming. As I remember what it was like to hold your tiny, tiny body, swaddled in a cotton blanket, looking just like your daddy. These emotions, these remembrances, are as swelling and full-bodied as the waves brought up from the depths of a storm.

I need you to know how much we love you, your daddy and me. Our hearts have been stretched to a fuller capacity, a different shape, a new pulsing. You are not the little boy I imagined before we knew you. You are so much more. Know that you are loved and accepted and wanted simply because you’re you.

Buddy, we’ve faced a lot together already. And we’ve stared down monsters and come up against mountains that most parents earnestly pray they never have to encounter.  But look how much stronger we’ve become. Look at how much more grace we know. We are just common, ordinary vessels that God has filled up. The Light in us slays the ugliest monsters and guides our path across those mountains. We are not lost. We are not broken. We are not alone.

You, sweet boy, have gifted us with all of this. You’ve been the vessel through which God has orchestrated all of it in our lives. Sometimes, I’ve shied away from this gift; other times I’ve stomped my feet and clapped my hands over my ears, pretending not to see it. But every day you are the reminder that God’s grace is sufficient for me, for you, for us.

I suppose some people might wonder at me writing such a heavy letter to such a small boy. But this letter, these words, are simply a reflection of the other gift you’ve given me. You’ve given me something significant to wrap my heart words around. For that, I will always be grateful.

Love you so, so much.