Wednesday, May 5, 2010

One Year With You

My overdue 1st birthday letter to Christopher.

Dear Baby Christopher,
I've started and stopped this letter so many times.  There's so much to say.  My heart overflows.
While you were still just a prayer in my heart and had yet to take root in my womb, I knew you would change my life.
Your sister had...your brother had...I knew you would change me too.
What I didn't know is how you would change their lives.  I mean, it's granted that the addition of a family member changes the dynamics for everyone...
But they got more than a new brother out of the deal - they got a new Mama and Daddy too.  And your impending presence spurred on these changes that took place within us.  Without you, who knows?  I could still be the shrewish mother prone to emotional outbursts at the drop of a hat, and your father could still be the insecure man striving to keep up with the Joneses that he was.
Taking our family from 4 to 5 was a giant leap of faith for us.
It meant I had to quit finding my identity in my accomplishments in the career world and start finding my identity in the Lord and His purpose for me.
It meant prioritizing what was of utmost importance - our family, you kids - and trusting that God would honor those priorities with His Providence.
It meant letting go of what I'd envisioned my life looking like and [Carrie Underwood reference in 3..2..1] letting God take the wheel and drive my life, our lives.
While a mother doesn't have favorites among her children, they do each lay claim to unique niches in her heart, solely for them to possess.
You, my dear boy, are the embodiment of faith and God's promise [and fulfillment] of restoration to me.  You were borne out of the restoration God worked in my relationship with your Daddy, conceived in our re-commitment to the Lord and renewed love for each other.  That alone makes you special to me.
But then there's you.  The reason for your being is endearing enough, but your actual being, your essence...personality...whatever you wish to call it... those things that make you you... I treasure them just as much, if not more in my mother's heart.
You have, since birth, had the most expressive face of the three of you kids.  It's your eyebrows.  You furrow and raise them so adeptly that one need not see the rest of your face to know what emotion you're currently wearing, but add them to your soul-gazing eyes, only to dress your face with that ever changing wardrobe of smiles, grins, frowns and everything in-between, and you have a very telling visage.
You are intuitive, even at this young age, and seem to know that as my last baby, I need you to stay little, to cuddle lots, and generally be content.  In all seriousness, you are a peanut (just like your brother!) you do love to snuggle, a trait which I am all to happy to oblige, and you have been a very easy baby.
Maybe it's because you have two older siblings, or maybe you're just brilliant (methinks a bit of both), but you seem to already play with other children, as opposed to the commonly seen playing among other children type of play early toddlers embrace.
Your primal glee smile, the one with the mega wattage, is a sight I never grow weary of - even if it is while you race up the stairs after I've told you no a hundred times.  I remember Kelsey smiling this way, but Colton never really did - he always had a gleam in his eyes when happy that never quite made its way to his lips - so I'm glad to see the return of a smile that lights a room up in you.
I love watching you learn new things - like connecting the dots that an up and down motion of the wrist makes people smile, wave back and talk all sorts of nonsense to you, except when you do it to me at 5:00am in my bed, as you've done the past two mornings.
You love animals.  LOVE them, and you have a special animal sound when you see anything furry or feathered - though I think it is an attempted bark [i.e. woof woof] it comes out as 'who who,' and is generally chorded such that I begin to sing the theme song* from CSI.  Every.  Time.
These things that make you you, son, are just the beginning.  Your list of you things will grow as you get older and acquire more proprietary characteristics, and I can't wait to get to know each and every one of them.
Happy first year, baby.
Love, 
Mama
* I'm well aware that the Who would probably cringe at me identifying their song as "the theme song from CSI" as it's raison d'├¬tre, that the song existed long before the show; however, my son probably will not make this distinction if he ever reads this letter in the future.
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