Letters to Declan: 1 Year

And this is why I can't get good photos of you anymore...you're way more interested in crawling to the back door and watching the rabbits run around...

Dear Declan,

One year ago, you pushed your way out of my body and into my world. Since then, we have spent countless hours together - nursing, rocking, walking, soothing, crying, eating, laughing, playing, sleeping. 

You are so much of what I expected in our first baby - blue eyes and fair hair, strong willed and happy. And you have brought out in me strengths I didn't know existed - the ability to function on a few hours of sleep every night, to dutifully wash out poopy cloth diapers, and to enjoy simple pleasures like staring at your pouty lips while you sleep. 

At one year, you have an amazing capacity to scoot around on your bottom, pushing toys and carrying treasures. You already have a vocabulary of a dozen words - bye-bye, no, banana, more, sock, hat, hot, and course, Momma and Dadda. You aren't walking on your own yet, but you're getting close. You pull yourself up on chairs and window sills, my heart leaping into my throat as you unsteadily totter and cruise around furniture.

We already have power struggles, which shouldn't be a surprise, considering who your mother is. If you don't like the food I offer, you fling it behind you and look directly at me, shake your head and state, "No!". You already know how to express yourself clearly.

Although bedtime is typically smooth and easy, you still wake up crying a few times in the night when you sit up (in your sleep?) and can't figure out how to lie back down. We even found you asleep sitting up and leaning forward, your head on your lap. I have no idea how you can sleep like that, but I admire your flexibility.

You still challenge me every day to admit my need for Jesus to take my hand and show me how to mother you. You should hear it from me before anyone else tells you: your mother is deeply flawed. I will disappoint you, and my actions could possibly send you to therapy multiple times in your adult life. I will love you imperfectly. But I pray that even in my brokenness, you will see my one hope and my true joy: knowing Jesus. And I pray that my life will make you long for the same.

I probably won't write you letters regularly from now on, but hopefully this won't be my last. I'm so thankful you're my son, and I love you.

Always,

Your Mom