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Happy Birthday, Little One

For my son, on his 3rd birthday:

Dear little one,

I must confess, I never knew I could love a little boy quite like I love you. You see, I come from a family full of girls. Two sisters, a mother, and even a female golden retriever. The only male in my household growing up was my dad. The world of trucks and superheroes is foreign to me. Sure, I know about sports (at least when it comes to basketball and football). I know the difference between a slam dunk and a free throw, a two point conversion and a field goal. Ask me how many people play on a baseball field or what club to you use when stuck in a sand trap? I’ll have to google it.

Before you came into our family we had your sister. Girls, I get. Dolls, crafts, painting nails, dress-up. I’ve mastered all of those.

I want to tell you a little story, though … a story of how I knew it was going to be okay for me to have a little boy of my own.

Before you were born, I prayed for you. I prayed for a healthy, happy baby. I didn’t care if you were a boy or a girl, though secretly I felt more confident in having a girl over a boy. After all, I mastered the girl thing a long time ago. When I was about six weeks pregnant with you, my family received some tragic news. My uncle had lost his battle with cancer. While we all rejoiced in knowing he was now face to face with His Savior, the pain on earth was hard.

On the night before his funeral, I was in my hotel room trying to get a little sleep. As I lay there praying, I heard a voice deep in my soul. It simply said, “You are going to have a boy. And, I promise, everything is going to be okay.”

God told me that night I would have a little boy. He wouldn’t replace my uncle … but he would carry on his legacy of faith. You see, your great-uncle Steve was a true man of God. You never got to meet him, but you carry a big part of him with you. After all, Graham Stephen – you share his name.

From that moment forward, I knew I was having a son. And, I knew God would help me face the uncertainties and unknowns. I no longer feared having a boy. On the day of your ultrasound, I was not surprised in the least when they said, “No doubt about it, it’s a boy!”

Graham, most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing raising you. I don’t get boy parts or how in the world I’m ever going to get you potty-trained. But, there are a few things I have learned from you over these past few years that I wouldn’t have learned without a little boy in my home.

  • Tackling is a form of love. It is also a form of hurt, but most of the time, you mean it in the sincerest, most loving fashion.

  • Dirt is a necessary accessory. Whether on your face, covering your clothes, or underneath your fingernails, it goes well with everything.

  • Sometimes towers are built to just be knocked over. I’m sure there is a spiritual implication in there somewhere, but for the time being, I’m just going to realize it’s what you do.

  • Stains don't always come out, but they can be great reminders of the memories we make.

  • It's always okay to try to swing just a little higher, climb just a little farther, and slide just a little faster. (You scare your mother to death, but I'm glad you are one who takes chances and tries new things.)

  • Each train car/engine on Thomas the Train has a different name. And, I still don't know them.

  • There is something special about a boy who wants to be just like his daddy. When you mow the grass together or get your tools out together, I know the person you are growing into is one who will be strong and hardworking, yet patient and kind.

  • It is possible to go full speed, all day. It is also possible to be so tired from going so hard that you fall asleep on the floor before reaching your bed. I don't know how you have so much energy all ... the ... time.

  • There is something special about the love between a mother and her son. I can’t explain it, but it’s there. I know the cuddles won’t last forever, but I’m going to soak them in while I’m still number one in your eyes.

Graham, you are loved. As your dad would say, "You are my favorite son." It's true. I am blessed to be your mom. I have a feeling this next year you are going to keep me on my toes and teach me even more lessons than I'm prepared to handle. But, I know we will share lots of laughter and joy along the way.

Happy Birthday!