Jackson Michael, my sweet boy. These last 365 days have been the most challenging 365 days of my life. They have been the most exhausting and sometimes the most lonely days of my life. This last year has been the hardest physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have never felt physical pain like I have – from birth to the occasional breastfeeding issues to the weight of carrying you around killing my back. (My arms are definitely looking pretty good though, thanks kid). I have been challenged to mentally push past my exhaustion, push past the pain. To push through the moments of fear, confusion, and all the emotions (hormone related or not). It’s cliche to say but it’s so true, there is nothing that can prepare you to be a mom. Nothing can prepare you for all the tough that comes with allowing your heart to live outside of your chest.
Jack, my perfect little one. All of those moments are worth it a million times over. You kid, are my greatest accomplishment in life. No matter what you do or don’t do. What choices you do or don’t make, I will forever be proud of you. You my boy make all the tough easy. Being your mama is the most natural thing ever. You are my missing piece in life and bring unmeasurable amount of joy to even the tiniest daily tasks. Thank you for making me a mama. Thank you for making me YOUR mama. I will forever be more blessed by your simple presence than you will ever know. (Well, actually I hope you know it someday when you are blessed to become a daddy).
You amaze me everyday with your pure joy. With the way you take on the world, you have a no fear attitude. The way you explore and learn, tasting everything in the process (I will not miss that part). Your laugh and that smile. Oh that smile. You are stubborn and active, I mean it is none stop go-go-go. You are kind in all the ways possible. You give the absolute best hugs with the toughest squeezes for those little arms of yours. Everything about you is sweet, hilarious, fun and just amazing.
Jack, last year, I laid in the hospital bed with you in my arms and I wrote my first letter to you. Your mama is a lover of handwritten letters, so get ready for them! Anyways, and in that letter I shared my hopes, prayers and advice for you. Nothing about that letter has changed. So I’ll share them again…
My prayer for you my boy is that you will only know a lifetime full of joy, full of happiness and full of love. A life that is blessed beyond your wildest dreams. Remember to always stay true to who you are. To follow your gut! To pray about all of your decisions. To come to Dad and I about anything and everything. Your word is all you have. Your integrity and values are the core of who you are, don’t sacrifice them for anything. Be kind. All of the time, no matter who you’re dealing with and how they’re treating you. Stand up for yourself and stand up for others. Be a man rooted in God’s words and deeds. When all else fails, pray the prayer that I have prayed through my hardest days and decisions, “Your will be done.” Lay into that prayer and trust what comes from it. Believe me, that prayer has blessed me in ways I could’ve never imagined possible. You being one of those prayers.
My sweet boy, I’ll end this letter the exact same way we’ve ended the last 365 days as I lay you in your crib and say this prayer over you.
“Lord, keep him safe, let him grow big and strong and healthy and bless him with a life full of joy. I love you sweet boy!”
Happy First Birthday, Jackson Michael! I love you a million times over!
Make sure to check out all of Jack’s portraits from the past year: