Three years ago today you made me Mother, bestowing wider hips and thicker thighs and an eager crying impulse. You culminated all the growing, delight, anticipation and horrific pain into one glorious moment – one moment in which you commanded Heaven to touch the Earth and she obeyed with joyful submission. You came like a lightning bolt. You set my world on fire, sweet one.
And the last three years have been a cursed blessing in which I have before me all the treasure of this life, but find myself so unworthy of it, so ill-prepared to guide you through this world. You deserve so much more than me, darling. You deserve a mother who doesn’t fix her eyes on screens when you are more than captivating. A mother who doesn’t lose her cool while you test boundaries that need discovering. One who doesn’t yell or sigh or gruff in frustration with your pace. Instead you got me.
But if it is any consolation… you also have me. I am not a perfect mother, but I am crazy about you, kid. I will give you baggage to carry into the world, I’m sure, but you will also carry my heart. You will carry a part of me I am coming to like most. You’ll carry into the world all the very best I can muster in a tenderly wrapped package that I will expect you to open when you get to where you’re going. My hope for you to be better than me, my commission to outgrow your example.
And I expect you to keep teaching me, lovely – because you do already, make no mistake. The last three years have been a re-education. You have cracked the walls, little lightning bolt, and caused me to build a new house on this foundation. Now love is breathing. It’s talking to me and dancing to Disney songs. And just like that I understand what I never could. How the God who calls himself Father could do what he does because you don’t cherish anything like you cherish your children.
So happy birthday, Little Love. We thank God for you in ways that can only ever feel insufficient. You have flooded us, you have impressed us with a divine mark, you have been our deepest Joye and an altar to our greatest Hope. We love you so much and more.