You will have significant experiences.
I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of
them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh
your memory of these meaningful and significant things.
Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you.
Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some
may build upon another until they represent a lifetime of
special experiences.
- Gordon B Hinckley

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Everett Turns One...

October 10, 2010

Everett Turns One…

A Letter to my Son on His First Birthday

My Dearest Everett,

The first memory I have after your birth was lying in the recovery room, with Daddy on my right and Grandmum on my left, shaking from head to toe because I was so scared about what was happening to you.  With tears streaming down my face, I said without faltering, “I’m a mom.”  This is my first memory of you.  I say this is my first memory because we didn’t get the typical birth story that other families get.  But that’s okay.  We have our own, unique experience and while it may be different, it revolves around love, which is all that really matters.  Daddy and I didn’t get to see you right away, or hold you right away, but like all parents, we loved you from the moment you were born!

The day you were born was a cool day in October.  We were on our way to breakfast with Grandad when you decided to come early.  Our whole family waited upon your arrival at the hospital.  There were lots of tears.  Not the same type of tears as when other babies are born.  Our tears were laced with fear and sadness for you, but with those tears also came affirmations of hope and determination, of strength and of love.  We all kept repeating, “He’s going to be okay.”  You arrived in this world weighing 1 lb 13 oz.  Kittens weigh more than you did.  But packed into your little body was a will to survive and to thrive that is rarely seen in one so small.  Your name, which Daddy and I picked the day we found out you were on your way, is from one of my favorite movies.  It means “strong as a wild boar,” and that you are.  Our little fighter, our warrior, you have already surpassed all our expectations.

All children, my sweet Everett, are a miracle.  But you, in particular, are one of God’s most special creations.  From the beginning, you have broken all the molds, the protocols, the standards.  You are truly unique.  In that the doctors said you were too small and too sick to survive, you did.  We give thanks to God’s graciousness and the prayers of hundreds and hundreds of your “prayers warriors,” your stubborn personality, and Daddy and mine’s sheer determination to get you what we thought you needed.  And happily, at one year old today, the child that sits before me is full of sweetness, curiosity, happiness and love.  How you have enriched our lives!  You and you alone, have taught Daddy and me so many lessons in your short life.  I have to laugh at this because it is us who should be the teachers.  You have taught us patience, assertiveness, advocacy, tenderness, loyalty, communication, to slow down and appreciate the little things, to not sweat the small stuff, to trust in God, to not take life for granted, and above all, unconditional love.  We are better people because of you.  In you, we have all our hopes and dreams and all of our love.

In your lifetime, I hope you grow to have all the best parts of me and all the best parts of Daddy.  I hope you grow to respect others and treat them as you would like to be treated.  I hope you grow to have integrity, to know right and wrong, to stand up for what you believe in.  I hope you grow to be bold, to honor tradition, and to serve God.  I hope you grow in learning from your mistakes, from taking risks, and from striving to accomplish your goals.  I hope you grow to be happy, to know true love, and to know the pure joy of being a parent…of having part of your heart exist outside your own body.  And know that as you grow and change and become the person you are going to be, Daddy and I will be with you, supporting you, every step of the way.  There is nothing you could ever do to change our love for you, our precious boy.  In you, we have found unconditional love and renewed hope. 

Your life will not always be easy, but this you know already.  In one year, you have suffered more than most people do in a lifetime.  But nothing worth having comes without sacrifice.  And love does not come without suffering and hurting.  Because to truly love, unconditionally love, is to put others before yourself.  You will learn this with time.  Know that Daddy and I love you unconditionally.  Know that we will be here for you on your path through this thing called life. You can count on us for being there when you need support in all its subtle appearances.  A hand to hold when you attempt your first steps, to calm you when you have a bad dream, to kiss your scrapes, to pack your lunch with your favorite sandwich, to drive you to practice after practice, to mend a broken heart, to fix a broken car, to drop you off at college, to dance with you at your wedding, to give you advice when you bring your first baby home, to treat your dreams with the same excitement that you have for them.  We will be the biggest fans of your life.  We are honored to have been chosen to be your parents and we will never stop loving you!

On this, your first birthday, these are the things I wish for you.  My five rules for your life…

1)      Find something worthy of dedicating your life; for me, this is you!

2)      Respect your body; it took $4 million to get it working right :-)  You are a medical marvel, you beat the odds…don’t tempt fate, take care of yourself

3)      Grow roots and wings; fly high to achieve your dreams but stay grounded to where you came from

4)      Find someone who loves you, just as you are

5)      Be happy!

Happy First Birthday to our little Everett!  You are a new beginning, a radiant life, a blank book, yet unwritten.  And nobody can reveal how you’ll author the pages.  It’s going to be your own story.  Keep on filling the pages of your book in your own unique way.  Daddy and I will be reading along, waiting with anticipation, as each page turns.  And in each chapter of your life, we promise to love you with all our hearts. 


Mama and Daddy

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