To Henry, On Your First Birthday
I have this tradition of writing letters to Eli on his birthdays to tell him how much he amazes me each year, and how happy I am to get to be his mom.
Now, it is your turn.
You are one! This has been the fastest, wildest, hardest and most wonderful year of my life.
To see what you have gone through in your first trip around the sun while still managing to be happy and easy going is humbling. Your strength and bravery is inspiring. You smile during blood draws, you wake up from surgery with a smile on your face. I never knew an infant could be my hero until I met you.
One of your many echocardiograms this year.
After your adenoidectomy and ear tubes. You did so well!
You make me a better person every day. I am more patient, kind, grateful and happy because you joined our family.
You have also helped your brother to become an even more caring person. I remember the night we brought you home, trying to read a book about brothers to Eli. I couldn't get through it; I cried on every page. I was sure that you wouldn't have that relationship with him. But I was wrong. Eli loves to celebrate when you do something new and when you "lick" him goodnight. He loves bringing you a toy when you're upset, feeding you in your high chair and trying to teach you how to say "ma-ma" and "ba-ba". Last night, before bed, I read Eli that same book without tears. I am so excited to see the two of you grow up together.
Your dad said to you the other night, "You aren't the baby we expected, but you're exactly the baby we needed." You fit into our family and make it even better effortlessly. You really are the most perfect baby for us.
Your first birthday party. Eli cracks me up in this one!
There is a scene in the movie Tangled where Rapunzel's parents release a lantern into the sky. Once their light goes up, the lights of all the people below it also begins to shine.
To me, you are that lantern.
You make the world a brighter place, and I am eternally grateful that you have chosen us as your parents.
Happy Birthday, Henry!