When I was anxiously awaiting the signs of the labor I wrote this letter to the sweet, smooshed up face that would change me forever in what turned out to be just a few days.
Seven letters later, I suppose it has become a sort of tradition that goes well with ice cream cake and decorated breakfast chairs. I sit down usually the night before their birthday after I’ve tucked them in and write a letter marking their last trip around the sun. I can feel a tinge of heartache in another year passed.
There are milestones, new sights, endearing rituals, and the reminder that life is ever changing as they become their own little humans seeking out all this world has to offer, which at this stage means a mesmerizing tractor moving dirt.
Once I became a mom, my desire to capture moments went into overdrive. I worked tirelessly on baby books making sure every sweet memory and milestone was there in detail forever etching it into my heart. Yearly video montages make sure the funny mispronunciations or cookie dance won’t be lost with the passing phase. And while I know the birthday letters don’t stand a chance next to a screeching K9 unit truck, the charm is in these words that remain on the page long after batteries have worn down.
A letter’s endless gift.
It’s a private journal page meant to be shared and reread years from now when life is unimaginably different than today but hopefully just as sweet. The birthday letters are not just for me to recount what year 2 was like in two paragraphs or less, but they are for him to catch a glimpse of his young life through his mom’s eyes.
It’s a legacy. One day, albeit hopefully many moons from now, I won’t be there to share the memories that colored their youth. These will become their memories, their catalogue of what I pray will be a life of health, happiness and purpose.
It keeps them little. The letters are worthy attempts at making time stand still if just for a moment. When they are older, the letters will be a sort of time machine back to the lands of endless hugs and kitchen helpers when I was their number one. Hopefully they will enjoy reading about their little nuances and big dreams when they, too, are bigger.
It’s a wholehearted wish. Sure, the candles invite a wishful delight, but my letter is a hope I have carefully crafted adorned with the trimmings of my love. I envision these wishes changing shape and size as time flows on but it captures my heartfelt, candle-blowing wish for them on that particular day.
Today calls for another birthday letter…
Happy Birthday, sweet boy of mine.
While easygoing tends not to be your demeanor of choice these days, that lone dimple on your right cheek can still erase the aftermath of any melt down. It’s not the rough and tumble spills that make you cry. It’s most always your feelings that are as soft as your still baby skin. One firm no or redirection and you are a ball of tears. When sister corrects you, your cries reach a new octave. After all, you study and then do your best to mimic her every slight movement or phrase, so her disapproval stings, I can tell.
You add a new word every day and it swells my heart hearing your sweet voice. This week it’s “peel-low” for pillow, “Finn-eee” for your sister and “tool” for your beloved stool that you carry with you from room to room so as to not miss out due to lack of stature.
Your dad and I are soaking up your last bit of baby. I can still pick you up with relative ease and lay you down in your crib although those days are closing in. You’re anxious to leave your sippy cup behind for a glass matching sister’s.
You favor your Far and Uncle Erik especially when I spot you with your arms resting on each other behind your back or scooting the Tonka truck piled with mulch around the playground.
Every day you are learning and growing, and it’s such a blessing to be your mom cheering you on. May your heart be filled with laughter always having the courage to try even if you know you might fall.
Would you enjoy a birthday letter idea sheet to reflect on your kiddo’s next birthday? Here it is: Birthday Letter Idea Sheet.