Monday, July 24, 2006

A Letter to Zane on His Third Birthday

My dearest boy,

I took a lot of time thinking about what to say to you in this birthday letter. In some ways I’d like to update you on what’s happening for you right now – your favorite foods, potty training, and new things you are doing every day. But I have decided that that particular kind of letter, while it would be fun to write and let you know some interesting things about yourself, is not really what I need you to know on this day – the anniversary of your birth three years ago.

Instead, I will tell something of the profound feelings you have brought into our lives over the past three years.

It took a while for your papa and me to really believe that you were being entrusted to our care. How could we be responsible for something so precious? It probably took me a full year before I stopped feeling like a fraud when I referred to myself as your mama. I think this is typical of new parents because all babies are wonderful and deserve so much love and affection, and no one is prepared for the amount of feeling they have for their new little one. You just happened to be our baby, and we are still overwhelmed with gratitude that you came into our lives.

I know it is with a mother’s love that I describe you, but I do believe that you are one of the sweetest children ever. You are kind and gentle – and funny. You make me laugh every day at your silliness, your wildness, and your quirkiness. And that smile…just lights up your face – a face which, most of the day, is calm and serious.

My favorite thing in the world – still - is to curl up with you asleep in my arms, with my chin resting on your head. Now you are such a big boy that your knees poke into my stomach, and the breath that brushes across my chest is no longer always sweet, but you still fit “just so” into my arms. During those moments, I try to stop and breathe in the scent of your hair and remember what your little bird bones feel like wrapped in my arms. I know you won’t tolerate this from me forever and soon you’ll be too big.

I love the feeling of your soft little hands in mine, and the way you intertwine your fingers with mine when you are trying to get extra comfort from me. I watch you learning new concepts and words, and it’s hard to believe that you are such a big boy – saying the alphabet, counting to 15, and naming every part of a train.

I love how you run and jump and play. You play so hard, Zane. You laugh and spin and giggle with every single bit of your being. You wear me out. You wear other kids out. It makes me proud to watch you learn the terrific feats that a body, without a heart full of fear, can perform.

And you are a singer. You sing at the top of your lungs with your whole heart. Your high little voice sings just because you’re happy. And that makes me happy. Happy and proud of your freedom to shout out the feelings even if you don’t know the words.

But most of the time you do know the words, because you are so smart - a genius, perhaps. At the very least, I believe that most unbiased witnesses would call you brilliant. I don’t even begin to wonder what you will be when you are older because I know that your potential is limitless, and I know that I would dream too small for you.

At some point, you will be aware that I gave up a job which made my heart sing when your health problems became overwhelming and you needed me at home more. I never want you to feel guilty about that for even a second, because the truth is, from the moment you were born, my heart began to sing a different tune. Working at a job I was passionate about became a nice accompaniment to my song, but you became the tune, the harmony, and the high notes. I have not regretted my decision to change career paths and be with you more. Not even once. Not even in my most doubtful moments have I second guessed my decision to make sure you got what you needed. It was absolutely the right decision for all of us.

So, please do not feel any pressure or guilt from this decision that I made. I know that the rhythm of you in my life will ebb and flow as you grow and change, and I am looking forward to seeing where your song and mine will intersect and diverge as you grow up.

Someday you will understand why toward the end of the summer my chest begins to tighten with anxiety as I anticipate September through March – the months that are hardest for you in terms of your health – and perhaps you will forgive your crazy mama her sometimes over-protectiveness. I had no idea I could feel this ferocious about protecting you. I had no idea I could fight this hard to make sure you are okay. I had no idea that all of this would come as naturally to me as breathing – loving you as I do.

I have said to your father that he is my heart’s joy, and that is true. What is also true is that my capacity for joy increased exponentially when you came into our lives.

You are my heart and soul. You are my child, and you are the very best of me.

I love you.



Mom said...

And just last Saturday you were contemplating trading him in for some "crunchy things".

What a boy!

Anonymous said...

I have to stop crying now before I'm pegged as a sissy at work.

Screw it. They already know I'm a sissy. That was one of the sweetest things I've ever read. Thank you for making it public so I could feel, if only for a moment, the love that exists in your family.

zingerzapper said...

Damn, crying too hard to even be slightly sarcastic. Damn you Ryan-Hart, damn you!! This just makes me sad that I don't blog and can't write a beautiful note to my amazing Seth. Maybe I'll do a journal note...nah, that'll never happen.

SRH said...

sheesh, makes my post seem downright un-sentimental.

SRH said...

callous even

Zany Mama said...

What a boy, indeed.

anonymous, you big sissy -
Glad you could feel the love. He's an amazing boy.

Heck, just copy and paste this post into word, print it out, and tell Seth in 15 years that you wrote it - he'll never know.

Un-sentimental and callous SRH-
My post can't make you appear to be something you're not. (Ha ha - See it's like that therapy phrase that you can't make someone feel something, they choose to feel that way. Load of crap that).

Thanks for the boy.

Dustin said...


10 years from now you'll read this and get embarassed.

20 years from now you'll read this and understand why everyone is crying.

30 years from now you'll read this and compare it to the one you've written for your own child.

Zany Mama said...

Dustin -
Since Zane's response would most likely be a non sequitur of something like, "Train" or "No potty, mama!", I will simply respond in his stead with a "Thank you".