It doesn’t seem like it was nine years ago when you rushed into this world. You were early. That would be the last time you were ever early for anything else.
You came into this world six weeks early, in fact. You weighed just over four pounds. I wasn’t ready. You didn’t care.
My water broke and you were in distress. Not only were you coming but you would be joining this party fast. I still vividly recall the crisis mode that the entire hospital staff went into when they said that they had to get you out right away.
I recovered from emergency surgery but you did not. At least not right away. You really weren’t ready to come out so you had to have help breathing and eating.
The hardest day of my life was leaving that hosiptal and not getting to take you home. I cried in the parking lot for 30 minutes and would not let your father drive away. He held my hand and cried too.
We vowed to do whatever we could to get you home. We spent hours reading Dr. Seuss books to you. Holding your little hands. Feeding you minute amounts of milk. We would hold open your mouth and squirt milk into it. You had a certain amount that you had to eat each day before they would let you come home.
Two weeks and one day after you were born, you came home and you made our family complete.
Nine years later, you have made my life infinitely better just by being in it.
I frequently tell you to stop growing. To stay just like you are forever. But the truth is, as much as I want you to stay like this, I also want to see you grow. I am excited for you and your future.
Dude, in case you get any ideas, your school did this to you, not me. Although I still giggle every time I see this picture!!!
I frequently tell you that I cannot believe you are having another birthday. Then I jokingly ask, “Now how old are you going to be again? Eight?”
“Nine. NINE,” you say in your not-so-inside voice, “I AM GOING TO BE NINE!”
You say nine, I say a million.
A million times I have told you I loved you.
A million kisses I must have planted on your lips, you face, your head, your hands, your feet. Although you don’t let me do it that much anymore, I still cherish the million that I have stolen so far.
A million times my heart just stopped watching you grow up (too fast in my opinion) and discover the cool, new things that this world has to offer you.
A million tears I must have wiped away (yours and mine) along with the booboos I have bandaged.
A million claps of my hands when cheering you in soccer, swimming, Scouts, acting, baseball, basketball, karate and more.
A million times my heart has swelled with pride of the amazing young man I am raising. I often get little glimpses into your future and I just know that you will have a good life.
I am wishing for a million more of all of the above. It will never be enough but I will take it just the same.
Happy Birthday, Huntly!