Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dear Maddox//two years

Dear Maddox,

Happy, happy birthday, my sweet baby love. Today you are two. Today you have lived on this earth for seven hundred and thirty days, each one more perfect and precious than the last. I want to begin each birthday letter to you this way, even when you are no longer my baby and when I have to break out the calculator to check my math. It seems silly that I'm already writing you this letter that will fail to convey my love for you. It seems like we just celebrated your first birthday and three days later, here we are. Time has no concern that it is moving us at a much too rapid pace. And yet, here we are at your second birthday.

I marvel at you from the moment the sun peeks over the horizon until the moon comes out each night. You are a kind of brightness that I never knew was missing. You and your personality that is somehow a perfect combination of your dad and I. You're rarely patient but you like to share and you're a big fan of orange juice and you would repeatedly bang your head on the ground for a single piece of candy. I see you and I marvel at you because you are a tiny human. Yes, that is what you are. You're no longer a baby or the beginnings of a toddler. You're a tiny human with a personality and opinions and you make choices and flat out tell me "no," when you're opposed to anything.

And yet, I made you. For nine-months I carried you under my heart, your heart beating away in tandem with mine. And for nine-months I worried that I couldn't be a mom and that everything I had to give you wouldn't be enough. And in one split-second there you were, in my arms and I was a mom-ready or not-and you were suddenly outside my body, holding my heart because my chest had definitely exploded. Nine-months wasn't enough time to prepare me for the kind of love you can feel for another person. A full year of your life wasn't enough. I love you more today than I did yesterday. And I'll love you more tomorrow. And more, of course, all the days after that.

As if time could have been even more inconvenient, your second year has passed us by even faster than the first. I feel slightly torn by the fact that I am saddened by this but I am also gloriously praising each new thing that you do. Every single mom has repeated the words, "Each new stage is better than the last," and yet I never listened until I heard it from you. Don't think that I wouldn't trade 100 more triangle haircuts to go back and relive your newborn cuddles. I would endure the sleepless nights again and again because I can still feel the weight of your seven pound, three ounce newborn body curled against me and I never want to lose that memory. And yet, here you are galloping through the house (when you're not running), and saying a handful of words that only your dad and I can understand, really. You ask me to come with you and you excitedly yell, "Mama!" when I walk into a room. You give hugs and kisses and high fives and bumps and you finally, finally say "boom" after a fist bump. I could not have pictured this phase of our lives where you are so preciously balancing between baby and little boy but it is unconditionally pure and uncomplicated that I selfishly wish you could stay at this age forever, where I can protect you from everything obscene this world will throw at you.

We have dance parties in the living room and we jump on the bed and every single couch. We pile pillows and cushions in giant stacks and leap into them. We read books and play chase and throw the ball back and forth. You love peek-a-boo and you like to hide behind all the corners and doors and jump out at me as you yell, "Boo!" I didn't know that motherhood--with all of its bumps and bruises and tears cried in the shower after a long day or the pain of just putting you to bed at night knowing that it's going to be a great many hours until I see your sweet, toothy grin and kiss your pouty lips--would be this full. You have completed a piece of me that I didn't know was missing until every single day when the only words I have to describe it are, "Yes. This."

Today, at two twenty seven in the afternoon, you are officially two. It has been two years since the doctors wheeled me into the operating room, joking about their bad driving as they nailed my bed in the wall and bounced me off a corner. Even if they had not physically split me in two as they brought you into the world with modern medicine and casual conversation while my insides were outside and I felt like my lungs were being crushed, I would have been split in two the moment I saw your perfect face.

I held another little boy recently. He was a few months younger than you but it hit me as I propped him on my hip that he wasn't mine. You're mine, my own flesh and blood. I carried you for nine-months and I've continually carried you for another twenty four. You wrap your legs around my waist and your arm drapes my shoulder. Even if I dare to adjust you, you're yelling, "No! No! No!" because you never want to be put down. You're mine. And I never noticed before, the way you are home to me. Your long legs and the smell of your head and your squirms. They're yours but they're mine too and I cherish them because someday you'll be too big to fit in my arms. All I will have is the memory of your weight on my hip as I hold you so you can see and be included in everything.

That day will come but that day is not today. And so today, as you turn two, I will carry you around and bounce you on my hip and hold you close to my heart. You are my heart and I love you with every ounce of my being. I'm so blessed to be your mama and to hear your laughter all day long and to be the one you want when you're upset or you've bumped your head or you just need an extra cuddle. I will cherish every single day of your life because you are my joy and I love you with all that I am.

I will forever be turned inside out. Because you are my son. 

I love you, I love you, I love you.


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