One year ago today, you came bursting into our lives, and our worlds have never been the same. One minute I was not a mom, and the next I was. There was a before, and there is, of course, a very distinct after.
I thought that I was ready for you. I thought I knew what to expect. I thought that I would know how to be a mom the moment you were born… but none of that proved to be true.
Motherhood has been harder and more life changing than I ever expected. I’ve cried probably as much as you have, and spent so many sleepless nights feeling like a failure, because truth to be told, motherhood has never come naturally to me. I’ve had to learn every single step of the way, you beside me for all of the difficult lessons I learned in becoming your mother.
For as hard as motherhood has been, and as trying as the difficult nights were, I’ve also never experienced such joy, felt such love. Watching you grow, seeing your first smile, hearing the first beautiful laugh… these are the things that have made it all worth it.
Your funny little quirks – the way you vibrate with excitement when you’re hungry, the way your fingers tap, tap, tap on everything all of the time – make me laugh harder than I ever knew I could. At the end of any bad day, you perk me up with your toothy grins and newfound claps.
You have taught me so much in this last year. You have encouraged me and motivated me and, in your own little ways, have taught me that when things get hard, I should work harder.
Because of you, I want to be better.
Because of you, I want to do more.
Because of you, I am fiercer. I am stronger. I found my own voice while you found yours.
Because of you, I’m trying to learn to let go. I’ve learned that motherhood – life – is messy and sometimes it’s best to just roll with the punches. Frosting on your toes, dishes in the sink, and a little bit of chaos will not make the world explode.
Caleb, we have shared so many laughs, so many tears, and so many memories. I know I am not a perfect mom, I know sometimes I fumble, but I promise I will always be the best I know how to be for you.
Because I am your mom, I am a better human being. I am full of more love than I ever knew existed and I will never stop loving you. I cannot wait to see you grow more, discover more, learn more. You are stubborn like your mama, so I know you will continue to do these things on your own time… and that is perfectly okay.
Happy first birthday to you, my baby boy. I can’t wait to see what year two has in store for you.