Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy Birthday

A letter to my big boy, on his third birthday.

Dear Bub,

I can't believe we're here already. My  big boy's turning three.

On Thursday you'll start solo swimming lessons. Next fall you'll be off to pre-school. You can hit a slap shot right past me, and you throw a whiffle ball more accurately than I ever could.

You are this remarkable little boy. You make me laugh. You've taught me more about love in your three short years than I had learned in the twenty-eight previous.

Motherhood has not been easy for me. Patience is not a virtue that I have in excess. I know that I'll have much to apologize for, and I'll happily pay for your years of psychotherapy.  I'm doing the best I can, and learning as I go. I'm trying really, really hard - I swear.

Though I am working so hard, the reality is, I am learning more from you than you are learning from me. I hear you in your crib every morning laughing, singing, recounting one of the hundred or so storybooks you have memorized - you greet the day with joy. Every day.

You are quick to laugh, and even quicker to forgive.

The things I want to teach you are so simple.
Life is good.
Love unconditionally.
It's more important to be happy than right.
You already seem to know all of it, and I am discovering that it is my job to help you grow up without destroying that underlying goodness and knowledge.

All I would ever want for you - it's already there. I just have to nourish it. Protect and encourage. Then let go.

I know you'll fly higher than I could ever dream, because you already have.

You are a miracle. The best gift I have ever been given.

It is an honor to share a portion of your life - I hope I can do you proud. Of all the things I do in my life - mothering will be my greatest achievement. The hardest work I've ever done, and the most profoundly important undertaking I've ever been a part of.

Now I'll shower your with presents and cake - you deserve the best birthday, ever. But you want to know a secret? You're the gift. You. A gift to all of us who get to know you - and that's why we celebrate.

Happy Birthday.


Photo by Derek


  1. Oh Melissa, this is so touching! Somthing he can look back on and treasure! Happy Birtday!!

  2. Well now you've gone and made me cry! What a beautiful letter, and a reminder of how fortunate we mothers are. A happy belated birthday to your big boy!

  3. Thank you Melissa! you made my day :)