Happy, Happy 2nd Birthday my sweet boy. Where in the world shall I begin? Let me start off my telling you just how exctied I was about you when you were in my belly. You were already the best little boy (though Mommy didn't know you were a boy then). You never once made Mommy feel sick, and you didn't even move around much while you were in my tummy. But you did make me eat a whole whole lot. While you were in there, I used to think about all the fun stuff we were going to do together... like going to the park, taking walks, going shopping... stuff like that. I couldn't wait to show you off to the world.
When the time came for you to come out and meet everyone, you took a little longer than expected (Mommy thinks it's because of your big head), but whatever the reason, you finally arrived on this day- May 14, 2009. You were absolutely perfect. No kidding- as beautiful as they come. But very slowly we realized that the road ahead of you wouldn't be so perfect. In these past 2 years, you have had to face obstacles and challenges that no human being should ever have to face in a lifetime. Since the first day of your life, you have had to deal with pain. And within the first few months, you starting struggling for each breath you would take. Before you were 6 months old, you had a feeding tube, a tracheostomy, were covered in bandaging to protect your skin from blisters from the neck down, and had been in and out of the hospital so often that all the doctors and nurses knew your name.
Each month, week, day... always brought on something new. Either a new blister, a new infection, another corneal abrasion, a plug in your trach... I could go on and on. But you, little man, took every new issue like a complete champ. A lot of times you would have to put Mommy back in her place. I would be so sad and down about something that you were going through, but you would always show me that things were going to be okay by either showing off a new trick you learned or just flashing that "melt my heart" smile of yours.
You got your trach put in before you could even speak your first word. I dream about the day that I get to hear you speak for the first time... whether it is when we are in Heaven together or whether it's here. I wish you knew how many lives you have touched just by being you. You have already spoken to so many people and taught them so much about life- without even saying a word.
This year's birthday is definitely another milestone. As will every other birthday from here on out, since the doctors said you wouldn't live past your first birthday. But as your Mommy, I must say that times like these are bittersweet for me. Of couse I am overjoyed that you have turned 2 years old... but I'm also the one who has watched you turn blue and lose conciousness struggling to breathe. I'm the one who pops each blister as they form and grow, the one who places you in the bathtub and cleans your sores while you scream, the one who has to put pressure on a raw finger or toe to stop it from bleeding, or the one who lifts your head off the pillow in the morning when it was stuck and starts bleeding. I'm the one who sees every ounce of pain and witnesses every minute of suffering on a daily basis. So while it's easy for me to say that this is a great and happy day for me- it's also a very sad day. I wish so desperately that you could have a normal little boy life. I wish you had your eyesight. I wish you could speak. I wish you could wear normal clothes without bandages. I wish you would lay next to me and cuddle without me worrying about giving you a blister. I wish you could wear shoes. I wish you could go outside, ride your bike, go to the park and slide down the slide. I wish I could throw you in the car and go get a snowball together. I know all of these things don't matter to you, because you don't know any better... but I can't help think about these things every day when I look at you.
You know what gets me through? You.
You are my HERO.
You cry when I pop a blister, and then in the next second... without missing a beat, you are smiling and "clicking your tongue" to the music. You are more than satisfied in your own little world. You take what you've been given- and you deal with it. And some people may say, "Well, he's only two... he doesn't have a choice." But I don't believe that for one second. I do believe that you have a choice to fight or give up. And I know that you are a fighter. That's the reason that you turned two years old today. You make me want to be a better person. You make me a stronger person. You make me a kinder person, a more thoughtful and selfless person. The way I live my life changed when you came into this world two years ago today. I owe my life to you. And without a thought, I would give my life to take all of your pain away.
I want to tell you some of the things that you are doing right now. You are nothing short of musical genius (I'm a little partial... but I think so:). You LOVE music or anything that sings or makes noise. You have every drum and musical instrument ever made and you can listen to a song once- and beat to the tune of it perfectly on your drum. Though plenty of times, you get aggravated with us and you "fuss" us when we try and get you to show off. If it's not YOUR idea, you don't want to do it. You can't stand the word "love." You don't "love" your Mommy, Grammy, MeMe, your shaker, your drum, or ANYthing. You shake your head "no" the second you hear the word. But you will say that you "like" your Mommy or your toys, etc. Just don't mention "love." You have three rectangular storage ottomans that are shaped in an "L" that you walk back and forth on. There are two baskets full of toys at each end. You're a pro at finding what you want in those baskets, even without being able to see. You know exactly what each toy is the second you touch it. And if you find something you don't want, you just throw it. Some of your favorite songs right now are: Elmo's ducks (and you make the sign for "duck" each time the ducks quack... it's the cutest thing ever), Rubber Ducky, Shoo-Fly, Don't Bother Me, She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain, Rise and Shine... and plenty more. You either want us to be singing to you or your cd's on singing almost all the time. Right now when you are rocking or laying in your bed, you either want to hold your duckie or a "shaker." And when you're really tired, you usually drop one toy and hold your blankie.
There is absolutely NO diciplinary action whatsoever in this house. You do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want and with whoever you want. And that is the God-honest truth. I love every minute of it. And you deserve every minute of being as spoiled rotten as you are.
There are big big plans in store for you, my boy. And each day that you are here, I believe in my heart that you touch another life. You have so many people across the world who are praying for you- people who have never even met you but write me and tell me that you inspire them. You wear some big shoes, buddy... shoes that many of us could never dream of walking in. And you sure wear them well.
You are what I live for. What I started living for 2 years and 9 months ago... and what I will live for the rest of my life. What in the world was my life like without you in it? I'm so blessed because when I think my day was rough or that I have it bad... I have you right in front of me every day to remind me that I need to count my blessings and that I need to step up my game.
I love you more today than I did yesterday-
and I will love you more tomorrow than I do today.
Happy Birthday my little miracle.