4 years ago, my life was changed forever.
Almost 2 years prior, after years of infertility, we brought the most precious baby girl into the world, and my heart was so full it could burst. She was everything I had ever dreamed of and more. I always knew I wanted to be the mother of a little girl. I had so much to teach her, to show her…and it would be so much fun.
What I didn’t know as how much I needed and wanted was I was about to receive. You see, when Eden was only 13 months old, I found out I was having another baby. Boom. What took years before happened in the blink of an eye (well maybe a little longer, wink), and I was shocked. I didn’t expect it to happen so soon, but I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to bring a sibling into the world for my little Eden Grace.
I wasn’t one of those who could wait and be surprised on the gender. No way. I wanted to know as soon as I could so I could plan! I mean, it is still a surprise, no matter when you find out! Am I right??
Well, anyway…I went in with all the nerves I could imagine, not knowing what to expect. I just wanted to know. I remember having to pee so very bad, so each little move of the wand made me feel like I was going to explode. And then she said it. That sweet ultrasound tech said that I was having a little BOY. Wow. A boy. I felt so full of joy, but then I felt so scared at the same time. I knew nothing about raising a boy. I knew I could raise a girl…I mean, I am one! But a boy? All of the sudden I felt inadequate inside.
I was beyond thrilled to be able to have a boy and girl both. I grew up with a little brother that was the exact same distance apart as Eden and her soon to be brother, and I knew the fun times that we had and the bond that we shared…but it was a whole new world for me to raise a little boy. What a responsibility. I would be helping raise someone’s future husband, future dad. A lot of what he would expect from a woman would be because of what he learned from me and his father. Would I be enough? Would I be a good enough wife to show him how he needs to be loved, what he should look for in a wife? Would I be a gentle, yet stern enough mother to help make sure he makes those hard decisions with boldness and grace, yet be gentle and kind in the face of adversity?
Thoughts were endless as I prepared for my baby boy. And then, the day arrived. He came into this world like a blaze of fire…yet struggling to survive. I was too out of it to even know what was happening, because my epidural didn’t take and I had to be put completely to sleep, so I didn’t know to be scared to death at the time…but everyone else did. He was taken by c-section, and he was not breathing and had to be brought back to life. He had fluid all in his lungs and a touch of pneumonia. He spent the next 10 days in the NICU, where he proved to be such a fighter. He was perfect in every way and completed me in a way that I didn’t even know I needed completed. He ended up being able to go home as a perfectly healthy little guy. Our miracle.
Little Blaize Griffin Riley was now here, safe and sound. He was my son. He was as handsome as I expected him to be, just like his dad. He was already stubborn, but I could tell he was going to be the sweetest mama’s boy ever….and he is.
As he celebrates his 4th birthday tomorrow with his Paw Patrol birthday party, I feel compelled to write out a letter to him. A letter that I hope he will read in the years to come and always read it and feel my love as my words come off the page.
To my Dearest Little Guy,
Four years have flown. You came into this world like a blaze of fire, and you have not stopped blazing yet. You live up to your name every day of your life.
You have grown into the most handsome, precious boy I have ever known- and you have brought this family more love than you could ever understand or imagine, especially me.
As your mother, there are so many things I want you to understand and know as you continue to grow and mature.
I want you to always know how special you are, no matter what the world may tell you. You are smart, kind, and a light in a world of darkness. Shine bright.
You are created in the image of God, so always live on purpose. Make each of your decisions knowing who you stand for and who made you.
Always show kindness to everyone you meet. You are no better than anyone else. Everyone is on a different path in this life, but our ultimate journey is still the same.
Never lose your boyhood imagination. You amaze me with your creative mind. You are so full of joy and your imagination runs wild. I hope you never lose that vigor for life. I know it may seem impossible at times, but you don’t have to lose that as you grow. Sure, you will mature and change, but you can always be fun. Laughter and imagination is a vital part to our existence. It will see you through a multitude of hard times.
Always keep your tender heart for others. As tough as you pretend to be at times, you have the sweetest, most tender heart. As your mother, it melts me…and I just pray you hold onto that all of your years. I hope you always want the best for others and see the best in others. I hope you put others needs before your own, and always have a heart for making others happy.
I hope you never forget how strong you are, and how capable you are of doing anything you set your heart to…no matter how far out of reach it may seem. You can do anything, son. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and have such potential. You can do BIG things, if you never give up and never lose heart. Don’t settle. Keep reaching.
I hope that as you grow, you learn from me how to treat a girl…how to treat her with kindness and gentleness and compassion, even when she seems to deserve anything but that. I hope you learn that although girls are so different from boys, they can be your biggest compliment in this life and you need them, just as much as they need you…and when you find that right one, you treat her with the utmost respect. You show her that she is to be cherished.
But most of all, my precious Blaize, I hope you always remember how much I loved you with every fiber of my being. How much I loved being your mother…the mother of the best little boy that God ever sent this world (in my eyes)….the mother of the little boy who stole my heart in a way that I hope to never get back. I am here for you all of your days. I am a listening ear, a quick chat (as I know in my heart that is all I should expect from a boy), a favorite home cooked meal, a hand to hold and a heart to always love you through the darkest of days that I know are sure to come at some point. I am your mother…your biggest fan.