It was hard for me to accept that you were on your way. The air was crisp with the smell and feel of fall and scores of trick-or-treaters were out and about. It was time for you, but I could not wrap my head around the fact that I would soon transfer you from my belly to my arms and be able to look into your eyes. Your grandmother and I left for the hospital, cheered on by superheroes, witches, and pumpkins.
There you were and here you are. You have grown so much, but you are still so tender.
We could not ask for a better day today, your birthday. The air is again crisp with the smell and feel of fall. The skies are blue and cloud-free. The temperature is perfect, a concoction of the bright sun and shade of the oak tree we sit underneath. The tree holds windchimes and they provide a soft musical number, guided by the gentle breeze. The water is serene and still, rustled only by the wakes generated by ducks and turtles.
You have decided to take a break from wandering around and join me on the white cotton blanket, spread about on the grass. You sit in my lap, enticed (and bribed) by the applesauce snack. You practice your pointing and your words--"duhs," "buhs," "cuhs." I believe that the dogs and birds and cars are just as delighted by your presence as you are by theirs.
I am glad that I forgot my camera; it is good to see you experience this without a lens between us. I hope that my memory will keep the pictures readily available for retrieval.
It is hard for me to believe that you run to me, loving me like no one else. The feeling is quite mutual, darling. I love your smile and your smell. I love seeing you when you wake and love holding you while you sleep. Though I will never fully comprehend God's love for me and for all children, I believe that you have introduced me to a dimension of that love.
Here, at the park, the term "overjoyed" keeps coming to mind. I have decided that the term's meaning is joy's rush to the forefront of one's emotions, overtaking fear and sadness and anxiety. In these moments, I try to enjoy the joy and leave the others behind.
You see, little one, there is some fear in your caretaking. You are a blessing from our God--a marvelous, unique creation, with a path and a purpose. Your steps may be directed, but I feel responsible for providing you with shoes--the right shoes.
As purposed as this honeybee, as warming as these rays, as calming as this fresh air, you are and you will be.
As lovely as these wildflowers, as pleasant as these tones, as drawn as this scene, you are and you will be.
You are wholly and deeply loved, my child.