Today we celebrated our little Ethan’s first birthday. So many things have been running through my head leading up to this day…and as I sit here I still cannot believe it has been 365 days. I wanted to write something truly inspired…something that encapsulates all of my intense emotions about Ethan and this particular day but I kept drawing a blank. How do you possibly put into words, the extraordinary love you have for your child? I guess the conclusion I’ve come to is you can’t… so instead of writing about Ethan and how much I love him I will write TO ETHAN, in the hopes that one day I can share this with him:
My sweet little man,
The last 12 months have easily been the most intense of my life. I cannot believe the roller coaster of emotions that I have been on since welcoming you into this world. I’ve experienced more highs and lows over the course of the last year then in the rest of my life combined.
For everyone, life is filled with hard times and challenges, and you, my Ethan, have faced many in your short time on this earth. Watching you struggle, watching you in pain, watching you hurt, has been more torturous than anything I have ever faced in my life. I have never before experienced so much powerlessness, and the inability to relieve your suffering has at times left me feeling completely broken. I have found myself so often wishing that I could take away all your pain…all your challenges. I would give anything to shoulder these burdens on your behalf, but unfortunately life doesn’t work like that.
I’m told that we are only given in life, what we have the strength to handle. Every day that I spend with you gives me a deeper understanding of this phrase. You have undeniably shown me the true meaning of strength. Quite simply, you amaze me. Your courage, your resilience, your determination and your tenacity have left me in complete awe.
Ethan, you have changed me. You have made me into the person that I always hoped to be. Ella made me a mother, and she has taught me so many unbelievable things, but you completely shook my foundation. You have given me perspective. Taught me to celebrate life’s small victories and how trivial some of my old worries were. You have taught me to be fierce and unrelenting. To be vocal. You have pushed me to learn the true meaning of advocacy, and you have given me another purpose and mission in life.
Every day that I get to spend with you, I see as a privilege…one that I will never take lightly. Not only have you become one of my life’s greatest teachers, but you never cease to make me smile. I hope that you are always as happy and positive as you are today. Your smile and bright eyes bring joy and happiness to any room. Everyone who meets you falls in love, because you are the sweetest, and brightest light.
My love for you is a commitment to your struggles. I promise to always be there for you, supporting you, pushing you, advocating for you and loving you. Not a day of your life will go by, without my love.
Happy first birthday my sweet baby boy. Photo by: Deanna Decker Photography