For Big’s first birthday, I wrote him a love note and posted it on my personal blog at the exact time he was born.  I’ve done this each of the three years since and for Little’s two birthdays so far, too.  Someday they’ll look back at this blog as a record of their childhood — all the photos of them growing up, stories of what they said and did, what they loved and hated, how much we love them.  When Big turned four years old last week, I went back and revisited those messages of birthday love.

Big’s first birthday
Daddy and I could not have imagined how much our lives would change with your arrival one year ago today, but you are by far the best thing that ever happened to us. Someday we’ll tell you the story of your birth — how I waited until Daddy got up for work (four hours later) to tell him that my water had broken; how Daddy’s first reaction to that news was, “I gotta do laundry;” how I punched Daddy during labor because I thought he was counting down the contractions wayyyy too slowly; how I pushed so hard that I broke all the blood vessels from the chest up and was red for two weeks; how we had a bit of a scare when you came out with the cord wrapped around your neck; how you latched on to nurse right away like a champ; how miserable Daddy and I were, trying to sleep in the hospital, begging to be allowed to go home early; and how I pointed out to you all the brightly colored Christmas lights we saw on the way home from the hospital, while Daddy kept to himself the fact that newborns can’t see colors.

That year, we gave him “On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman and “You Are My I Love You” by Maryann K. Cusimano & Satomi Ichikawa.

Big’s second birthday
“I loved you the minute I heard your heartbeat, I loved you more the minute you were born. Then I saw your face and I fell in love some more. You were only a minute old, but I knew I would die for you and to this day I still would. When you choose to have a child you make a decision to allow your heart to walk around outside of your body.”  My life changed forever exactly two years ago today and I can’t imagine ever going back.  Being your mother makes me deliriously happy.  You make me a better person.  Happy birthday, my darling boy.  Mama loves you very much!


Little’s first birthday
You are the sweetest, happiest baby in the whole world and Mama and Daddy are so lucky!  Dearest baby, child of ours, we will love you all your life.  No matter where you go, our love will always find you.

For Little’s first, we gave him “I Will Hold You ‘Til You Sleep” by Linda Zuckerman and “Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You” by Nancy Tillman.

Big’s third birthday
You arrived exactly three years ago and my life has been a whirlwind ever since — a whirlwind of unconditional love, funny sayings and made-up words, eskimo kisses, dragons and sheriffs and spacemen.  I’ve loved every single minute of it, even those minutes when I was angry with you or one or both of us was in tears.  You love to hear the story of your birth; one of your new catchphrases is, “Yikes!  I have to do laundry!” in honor of Daddy’s first words at hearing of your impending arrival.  You are a gorgeous little boy (those eyelashes!) with a sweet heart and a silly sense of humor.  “Who said that every wish would be heard and answered?”  Mine was.  Happy third birthday to my first baby.


Little’s second birthday
Two years ago today we welcomed you.  We had no idea what a big personality you would have!  You are smart, sweet, feisty and amazing.  You’re happy almost all of the time, until you’re not — then you are MAD.  You have Daddy’s eyes and a few of Mama’s curls.  You’ve got us all wrapped around your finger and we wouldn’t have it any other way.


Big’s fourth birthday
Today you are four years old and I can’t believe it.  Everyone always says how quickly times goes by and it’s so true.  Sometimes in the day-to-day life of a three- and now four-year-old, you hear too much, “No” and “That’s bad” and anger in our voices.  But the truth is that I would love to be able to freeze you right now, at the infuriating, adorable, mercurial, brilliant, beautiful age that you are.  You won’t have to come back and read this blog when you’re older to understand how much I love you; I’m gonna grab you and hold you tight every day of your fourth year and every day for the rest of your life so there’s never any question.  Happy fourth birthday, my darling son.  You were my first wish.

The one piece of new-parent advice that resonates as most true for me?  “Treasure every moment because it goes by so fast.”  I can barely catch my breath, it goes by so fast.  I want to remember everything.



Photo credit for books here, here, here and here.





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