My darling Henry,
One year ago today, you were placed in my arms for the very first time. Many of those first moments—honestly, those first weeks—are a blur now, but I’ll never forget seeing you for the very first time and feeling your tiny little body curl up against mine.
It was surreal.
You. … Mine.
This past year has taught me many things. I’ve learned how selfish I am. How much I crave time alone, but yet how much you require me. How much I can love even when I feel emptied. How much I long to still be me, while also learning who I am as a mama. How to be a good team with your daddy. How to be silly and have fun in a way that can only happen with kids. How quickly I can memorize a board book (turns out, very quickly). How to comfort a person who can’t talk. How to catch vomit in my hand. I’m very good at that.
I’ve grown in many ways. In a very literal way, you have too. It’s so much fun to remember that you were just over 7 pounds with pretty much zero muscle strength when you were born. Now you’re about 13 pounds heavier and crawling, standing, climbing, moving all the time. You used to squeak and cry; now you jabber and laugh and squeal when we tickle you. You’re taller and stronger and a hundred times funnier. Oh, how I love you so.
I often joke that you’re doomed because I’m going to be just like Beverly Goldberg, which you’ll hate, I’m certain. (She’s a character from a current TV show; when you’re old enough to read this, you’ll have to look it up on Hulu or whatever streaming app is available by then.) And the thing is that even though it’s a joke (sort of) and Beverly Goldberg is over-the-top, there’s something very true about who she is as a mother. She loves her kids fiercely. She’d do anything for them. Literally anything. She smothers them in kisses and calls them “snuggle monster” and “schmoopie”. She makes up house rules like, “Rule #5: Mandatory hugs every time you walk through the door.” She promises revenge on anyone who has wronged her kids (“Are you crying? Who hurt you? Tell me and I will hurt them tenfold!”) and watches her kids sleep. (I totally do this too.) But she’s a mother. And as a mother, she only wants the best for her kids. I’m not talking about the best wardrobe, the best toy collection, or even the best education.
Of course I, as a mama, want to give you the best of everything, but ultimately, I want to create a pathway for you to become the best person you can be.
A kind human. A gentle soul. A generous heart. A sincere spirit. An honest voice.
That is what I want for you.
Out of all the choices you’ll have in life, I hope you will always choose kindness, gentleness, generosity, sincerity, and honesty.
I love you, my sweet child.