Tuesday, April 29, 2014

One Year Ago.

Dear Owen,

One year ago, on April 28th, your dad and I checked into the hospital.  We had no idea, not even the smallest inkling of an idea, of the magnitude that walking through those doors would change our lives.  We walked in as a husband and wife and 4 days later, we walked out as a family of three.  It still sounds crazy to think about it that way, I mean, we had an extra human being with us when we left!  That will probably always be mindblowing to me.

When your dad and I got married, we always planned on me working until we had a baby and then I would stay home during the pre-school years.  This evolved even more when we moved down to Texas, as dad's job demands changed a bit.  With his very erratic travel schedule, we don't know when I will go back to work in a more full-time way.  When we first came home with you, this was a challenge for me.  I was overwhelmed by having two dogs and a baby who needed me 24/7 and was eating ALL THE TIME.  What I didn't know was how much of a blessing it would ultimately turn out to be.  I was able to start back to teaching my classes when you were about 10 weeks old, which has been the best balance for both of us.  You have your buddies at the YMCA Child Watch and I have an outlet that gets us out of the house and the opportunity to have adult interaction.  The amount of stress in my life has decreased dramatically.  I have ample time to enjoy you and watch you grow up.  You spend some of your day with other kids and without me, learning to assert your independence.  It was a HUGE change from working 40+ hours a week and while I had to learn to adjust to it, we are incredibly lucky to be able to live our lives this way.

Because we've had this flexibility, it has allowed your dad to focus on his career and excel.  You should be incredibly proud of all that he has accomplished this past year.  I think having you has given him even more of a purpose and desire to succeed.  He has been both lucky that opportunities have been placed in his path, but more so, his success is because he gets up early every morning and goes to work to support us.  We have been blessed this past year!  Everyone will tell you before you have a child that when you do, you will just "find" the money for the extra expenses.  It has been true for us this year, God has provided for us and losing my income has not been as challenging as we imagined it would be.

Before you were born, circumstances changed and brought your Mimzy to Irving to be closer to us.  It has been one of the biggest blessings of your arrival into our family.  We are much closer now and watching you have this special relationship with your own grandmother has healed my heart so much.  It's not that I miss my own special Grandmother any less but watching you and your Mimzy having so much fun together makes me incredibly happy.  I hope that you have the same fierce love for her that I did for Grandmother, as it was one of the most enriching relationships I will ever have.

Motherhood and being your mother, more specifically, has changed me in about a million ways for the better.  Somehow, just you being you has made me more relaxed and laid back.  I still worry about you, probably too much for my own good, but who you are has made me chill out about so many things in life.  I don't know what it is about you but just know that you have calmed me down and helped me become more of the person that I want to be.  I still have work to do on so many things but you are helping me get there.

A year later and we are still relatively certain that you have completed our family.  Not to say that we won't change our minds one day, but for now, this is it.  With each stage that passes as you move from baby to toddler, I've had a couple of moments of sadness but mostly, I'm looking forward because I believe that the best is still yet to come.

I hope you know just how much you are loved by not only your dad and I but by basically everyone who meets you.  You have an infectious smile and the happiest disposition.  You make even our worst days better.  When you had your last ear infection, you were running a pretty high fever and generally miserable but the nurse still commented on you because you were really trying to be happy.  Not many people bother to try being happy when they are as sick as you were!  I hope you always laugh as much as you do now.

Tomorrow, or really overnight at 3:06 a.m., will mark your first birthday.  One year.  This past year has taught me more about myself than I imagined possible.  There is a saying about motherhood about having your heart walking around outside your body.  I had to experience it to understand but it's true.  I still can't believe that a year ago, you were still on the inside!  Most of the time, I feel like you have been around forever.  It has been, without a doubt, the best year of my life and I can't imagine what the future holds for us!


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