Saturday, March 26, 2016

dear maddox//three years

Dear Maddox,

Happy, happy birthday, my sweet baby love. Today you are three. Today you have lived on this earth for one thousand and ninety five days, each one more perfect and precious than the last. As we have neared closer to your birthday, I have wondered just how we've gotten here so fast already; yet I've given so much thanks for everything about you. I couldn't have imagined how much you would grow up in these past few weeks before three and even though you don't age all at once when you land on your birthday, I feel that in some ways you've done just that. But maybe that's just God's way of saying that three is going to be okay. It will be more than okay, I am sure of it; but we'll give my fragile mama heart a little break today.

I hold great hopes for you, sweet boy. I know that today you are three but you're teetering on the edge of your childhood, about to embark on your greatest adventure. I want you to be brave, be kind, be thankful, be adventurous, be courageous, be compassionate. Be all of the things that will propel you into a life worth living. Here you are at three, which sounded so old and independent when you were freshly born. I must have thought the number wrong, because the days before three are nothing like I expected. You're still asking me to cuddle you and rock you good night and rub your back and sing your song to you. Sometimes you crawl into my lap and say, "Mama? I need you." and every time that you do, my heart could not possibly hold any more love for you, but it does anyway and I marvel at the fact that my body carried something so wonderful and so precious and still holds half of my heart, while the other half beats outside my body.

It's been a lifetime of seconds since you were born. And another lifetime will pass between this moment and your birthday. You will grow older and I'll cry a little and take five thousand pictures to remember these moments forever. Your forever uncut, unkempt, unruly hair. The way you call a "hood" a "hook" and the "TV" the "TP" and it's a "basketball hoot" and you still can't say your "c's" or your "k's" and sometimes you call us "Dan" and "Mamba." I'll take everything, even when you repeat the cuss words we let slip or ask me why that man is in the woman's bathroom. I'll take the tiny bite marks in all the apples in the fridge and the sharing of three cuties between you and I when we watch TV. I'll take the hardened chunk of playdoh that will never come out of the carpet and the blue stripe of chalk on my livingroom wall. I'll take toys on the floor and the books spread out in your room and the mountains of laundry and your itty bitty washcloths in every load and your socks in every corner of the house except for a complete set anywhere and half-full glasses of water in every room and calls from your room every night for one more kiss and one more story and the need to tell me one more question, as you say.

I can't remember not being a mom, the moments before my heart was split in two and fused to yours. I can't remember the moments before you, even though they're right there but I can't completely remember them. You consume me and nothing is a match for my love for you. Sometimes I feel like my heart can't contain this kind of love because until you have your own child, you can't possibly know. And it surprises me every single day and I think that tomorrow or next week or next time you throw a temper tantrum I won't be surprised by this kind of far-reaching love that seeps into every fiber of my being and covers even the deepest, darkest parts of life. But I am. Every single time it surprises me and awakens me.

These are the moments that I know I'll miss this the most, this sacred ground we stand on. These moments are fleeting and I'll hold onto them tightly as I gently release you into three and then four and on and on until I'm only left with the memories of these best years, where my heart has burst a thousand times over.

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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