As your first birthday creeps closer and your little legs get stronger, your appetite for all foods grows and your urge to explore is insatiable, I watch you with wonder, admiration and a love so strong it takes my breath away. The year has flown, the days have disappeared, the hours have melted away, the minutes have fled and everything is just a big whirlwind, a colourful storm of your first breath, your first cries, your peaceful sleeps, your sneezes, your smiles, your drunk-on-milk snoozes, your many firsts, your wet and slobbery kisses, your cheeky bites, your infectious belly laughs and displays of excitement and love as soon as I walk through the door. My heart runs over with emotions when I think of you, my protective instincts have gone into over-drive and my joy and panic of watching you grow up are messing with my head so much, I sometimes struggle falling asleep.
Before you were born, I wondered how I could ever love another child as much as your sibling. It seemed impossible. It seemed such an abstract thing, it was out of reach. Yet, when I first held you, born at home, with the most wonderful team of midwives and the support of your extraordinary father, my heart got pulled into directions I never knew were attainable. As hungry as you were for milk, as hungry was I to explore that love, that ridiculously all-encompassing love that has gripped me ever since. If I could describe what goes through my mind when I hold you, pick you up, cuddle you, give you milk or food, watch you play, explore and thrive, I would – but I can’t, because words for such a love were not invented and never will be.
There are testing times, too, where I struggle with patience, as tiredness and exhaustion eat away at me. Another sleepless night, another bug, another snotty nose, another tooth trying to fight its way through – your little body has to cope with so much and you want to make yourself heard. Even when I am pushed to my limits – physically and mentally – I love you more than you could ever imagine.
They say that the love a mother has for a son is special, and I agree, even though my love for you is no more in both quantity and quality than the love I have for your sister. I love you more than anything in this special way, and I love your sister more than anything – in a different special way. It’s hard to describe, so maybe, it’s better to say that my wishes and worries for you are the same. What I want most for both of you is that you are happy and loved and safe and that you are able to see the world in all its glory, beauty and mystery. I wish that you never stop wondering, querying and asking questions, that you never stop learning and growing as an individual.
I imagine you as a toddler, a child, a teenager, a young adult, a grown man. I don’t want to wish time away and I don’t want to see into the future, but these images fill me with great joy. It excites me that your whole beautiful, young life lies ahead of you. It makes me happy that I will be by your side, cheering you on, helping and guiding you all the way. I will be there with you, through the good and bad. I will be your source of what values you learn when you are little. I know this carries great responsibility. I know we will clash, I know we will fight, I know we will have our problems. But know that I will do my best to raise you as a kind, caring and tolerant human being, one that is so full of love and passion, so you can shine through life and inspire people with your infectious smile.
You, my little man, have truly turned my world upside down, all for the better. You have made my life richer, busier, brighter, louder, more chaotic, and colourful in the most exhilarating ways. Please don’t ever change, keep that boisterous gusto and appetite for life and that wonderful curiosity for anything you don’t know, that obnoxious persistence to achieve your dreams and that fabulous belly-laugh that can heal any sadness. I am grateful for you my little angel, my world, my little boy.