Dear First Child,
You were the biggest surprise of our young marriage.
The gift I didn't know that I needed.
Twelve years ago from this very moment, I was fast asleep. Tucked in bed and unaware that in two and a half hours I would wake up, and my water would break.
I would call your dad and tell him to come home.
It was time.
By 6:30 that evening, after a day full of labor, you would arrive by c-section, with an adorable black eye to match your black hair.
Nine and a half pounds, and you were hungry.
Your dad and I were awestruck, as we held you; a dream come sooner than we had planned, but fulfilled in Perfect Timing.
Twelve short years ago...
Yesterday, as we walked through the piney woods of North Carolina, I was so proud of the young man you are becoming.
You wanted Kona the Wondermutt to come with us...just in case we might need protection.
You walked, with Kona, ahead of us, to swipe at cobwebs, so your sister and I wouldn't have to walk through them.
You patiently, carefully, taught your little sister how to cross the stream without falling in, or getting her new sneakers wet.
You held overgrown branches back so we wouldn't have to touch them.
You called out the muddy spots, and the dangerous spots; the places of beauty.
Some might pessimistically shake their heads and claim chivalry is dead.
They haven't met you.
Chivalry is defined as:
You are all these things, but your humble spirit makes all these qualities a hundred-fold more valuable.
Sweet Boy, you will always be my first born.
I'm tough on you.
I've learned from you.
I've made mistakes with you, but I will never forget that you are the surprise gift I am privileged to be given.
You make me proud, though I can take no credit for who you are, or who you are becoming.
Today my prayer for you is the one I prayed for you over a decade ago:
"May the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
—may he bless (this) boy. "
~Genesis 48: 15-16
I love you,
(I was thinking about closing comments today, but instead I will leave them open...just in case you wanted to wish The Boy a Happy Birthday...)