Hello, sweet son-
Exactly two years and twenty minutes ago they put you on my chest, naked and sticky and pink and crying like a baby lamb. I breathed in deeply, filling my lungs with air and marveling at the roundness and realness of you. The new emptiness in my belly was soothed by the weight of you in my arms, and I looked upward through my tears at your daddy, barely believing you were here.
You were finally here, but really, you had been mine all along. Before I saw you and held you and nuzzled your soft baby skin, and before I felt you kick and tumble and wedge your wiggly little self into that spot in my pelvis that ached all through the time I grew you, and even before I knew of you at all, you were mine. You are woven into my soul because I am your mother and you are my son and there cannot be a time in the universe when that was not true.
And those thoughts, my boy, are what I work very hard to keep in my mind when I find you covered from head to toe in bright blue bath paint a whopping FIVE ENTIRE MINUTES after I pulled your clean, drippy self out of the tub. I look at the blue gloppy mess dripping down the bathroom cabinets and spreading all over the tile floor and I think, MAN that kid is so lucky that I like him.
And listen to my words, son, you ARE lucky. You are lucky that you have an adorable, impish, toothy little smile that fills my heart with sunshine because otherwise, SO HELP ME CHILD, I might have simply let the vultures have you after I found your freshly-dressed self grinning widely and sweetly repeating the phrase "sorry, Mama" over and over again while you methodically pumped all the liquid hand soap from the bathroom sink down the front of your shirt and on to the floor. And then threw the container in the toilet when I caught you.
Oh yes you did.
Someday, you will have a curious little guy of your own with chubby little cheeks and a penchant for dumping snacks on to the carpet at every opportunity and playing with the toilet plunger on the carpet no matter where it is hidden and guess what? You will NOT sell him to the gypsies, however tempting that may be after he smears your makeup all over his face and clean clothes. (Oh yes you did.) Do you want to know why? Because somehow your father didn't sell YOU to any roving bands, not even when you dragged your sister's Strawberry Shortcake stool out of her room and into the kitchen, climbed on it, and cheerfully swirled and flapped your hands into the water left soaking in the crockpot in the sink, soaking the sleeves of your clean dinosaur pajamas in spaghetti sauce-infused dishwater.
OH. YES. YOU. DID.
You will cherish that little boy of yours, Buddy, just as much as we cherish you, even when he squirts Windex into his mouth (yep, that too) or empties your wallet for the one millionth time, flinging insurance cards and credit cards and driver's licenses above his head like rice at a wedding, or if he soaks his diaper, pajamas, and sheets with baby pee every. single. blessed. morning yea, from now even until the end of time, amen and amen.
You'll love him, because he is a treasure.
You are a treasure. You are MY treasure, and you always will be. I love you to the moon and back.
Happy birthday, Mister Baggins.