Sometimes when I'm at the doctor office or someone I don't know very well asks me what your birthday is, I say March 11 and then correct myself to say it's the 13th. Last year, I was admitted to the hospital on the 11th and you made your way out on the 13th. It was a bit of a long and arduous labor that ultimately ended in an emergency c-section. I remember how everything happened and can definitely retell the story, but I'm not sure how much it actually matters in talking to you.
It was a difficult pregnancy and a difficult labor but none of that was your fault. I don't intend on holding that against you. I'm just so thankful you and I were able to make it through that nine months and also this past year! When I first caught a glimpse of you, I gasped at how gorgeous I thought you were. You were ticked at being out in the open air and the team of doctors and nurses that were waiting for you wasted no time in making sure you were okay. As my team of doctors and nurses were sewing me back up, Daddy and I watched as you were cleaned up and checked out. Daddy got to take pictures and then someone haphazardly put my glasses back on my face and handed you, all nicely bundled and capped, to Daddy and we took our first family picture.
I got to hold you as they wheeled me back to the labor and delivery room where family was waiting to find out if you were a boy or a girl and what your name was. A nurse wrote "Happy Birthday Samson Luciano" on the white board in our room. And Daddy and I held you and marveled at you and each other, and the best adventure of my life started a fresh chapter.
This past year has been the simultaneously best and hardest of my life. I've gone from trying to survive to trying to intentionally parent you, even though you are just now turning one year old. I had no idea I could love like this and no clue that my heart would just grow to try to contain all the love I have for you and the new kind of love I have for your Daddy. For all the sleepless nights (and days), spit up, poop, tears (yours and mine), laundry, and other awkward times, I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. I was meant to be your Mama and you were meant to be my son. I have absolutely no doubt of this and am so excited to see what kind of toddler, kid, teenager, and adult you will be.
Right now, you are cruising along furniture and I think you're just going to start walking like a pro any day. In the meantime, you seem pretty satisfied by crawling like a maniac. You startle me sometimes with how fast you are! You love to get into any open door (like say the fridge) without warning so you can see what all is inside.
At your birthday party, Daddy and I got to see some of our concentrated efforts pay off. You insisted on opening up each birthday card yourself to see what was inside. Someone asked us how we taught you to do that, convinced it was a trick you learned for the party. But really, it's that we read to you so much that you not only know how books work but you are interested in them. I think you know that you'll be able to read them all by yourself soon enough but if you start trying to operate them now, you might get that ability faster. I am thrilled. I don't expect you to be the smartest kid in your class, but I do expect that you will read. I want you to be hungry for knowledge and know that the best way to find information is to read. I want you to get lost in other worlds and have a bigger vocabulary than other kids your age because you just keep reading. But for now, I just love that one of the few times you'll let me snuggle you is when you're in my lap listening and looking as I read to you.
One of my hopes for you is that you will live up to your name and be a light to those around you. I can say with certainty that you bring light to the faces of those around you now. You are a very strong little guy and I hope that as you grow up, you have more than physical strength. I hope you have strong faith, kindness, emotional stability, and strong ethics. I hope you are a healthy and productive member of society who is a God seeker. I hope I get to see you accomplish big things, in your own life and in the world.
Samson, Daddy and I will be here for you no matter what. You will be able to ask us questions and know we will tell you the truth. You will be able to come to us and tell us difficult things and know we will still love you. You will be able to turn to us in times of happiness and in times of sadness.
You are off to an amazing start! May there be many more birthdays to celebrate and may you be celebrated by as many people as you are this year on your first one. Don't ever doubt that you are significant or that you are loved.
Thanks for making me a Mama, Samson. The best and hardest title I've ever gotten to claim.
I love you.