To my darling almost three year old,
As I hold you tonight, the night before your third birthday, I watch as you sleep soundly. I can remember the first night we spent together so clearly. It was just you and I, alone in the dark, with only the dim light from a hospital lamp to highlight your tiny little features. Staring into each other’s eyes, both dreaming of everything that was to come. Looking at each other with a strange familiarity, feeling like we had known each other for a lifetime; and yet marvelling at how we had just met. Neither of us quite sure of what we were doing, but both so filled with love and awe that nothing else would ever matter again. My emotions were such a mix of pride and absolute wonder. I looked at you and I suddenly understood all of those motherhood cliches, it truly was love at first sight.
I remember leaving the hospital with you and your Daddy, both totally shocked that they were allowing us to take this tiny little thing home. Bursting with excitement and terror in equal measure, having absolutely no clue what was in store for us. Overwhelmed with love and responsibility, but so ready for the next chapter of our lives to begin. I sat in the back of the car with you the whole way home, constantly checking you were still breathing, so aware of my duty to protect you from the world. On that first night I remember listening as your Daddy changed your nappy, then hearing him scream and shout for help as you sprayed mustard poo all over the nursery’s freshly painted white walls. The best metaphor for parenting I could ever think of, and our first reminder that nothing ever goes exactly to plan.
The past three years have not been easy ones. We have been on a rollercoaster, you and me, but we have always had each other. You are my rock, just as much I am yours, and you have kept me going when nobody else ever could. Your little life isn’t at all how I imagined it would be and that breaks my heart, but we have everything we could ever need. I hope you know how loved you are, because you are so so loved and cherished, and you’re happy – that is truly all that matters to me. You are surrounded by family and friends who adore you beyond measure and I’m so grateful for every single one of them. Each one has played a part in the wonderful little person you are becoming and I am eternally grateful for all the care they show you. I want you to see that loving you is what unites us all. That you are the most important person in all of our lives, you brought us all together and we would all do anything for you. You hold us together just the way we are meant to be, and although our family isn’t a conventional one, it’s full of love for you.
Three whole years later I still spend my nights watching you snooze peacefully, and I’m still filled with just as much love and awe as I was then. I study you the way I did in that hospital light, trying to memorise every feature, every freckle, every dimple. I wish I could freeze time right here, as I desperately cling on to this moment, and to these memories. Moments that are passing by so quickly, memories that are becoming too fuzzy far too fast. Time has become such a strange thing as it rushes past us, leaving me savouring each moment for as long as I’m allowed.
Watching you now I reminisce about the baby you once were, and then I dream of the young boy you are so quickly becoming. You are changing at such a fast rate, every day you become bigger, stronger and smarter. You have somehow become this little person; complete with his own likes, character and quirks. Your personality is developing in a way I never could’ve imagined, and getting to watch you grow is a joy.
The night you were born, I was born too – I became the person that I was always supposed to be. You gave my life meaning and purpose in a way I didn’t know was possible. You are the reason I survive, and each morning waking up to you pushes me to keep on going. Each day brings a new challenge as you develop and learn more, but each night you transform back into my precious baby boy. You will be my baby boy forever, my real first true love. You’ll fill me with the same feelings of pride and amazement I felt that first night always, and every single moment with you will be worth it all.
Happy birthday my little love xxx
This beautiful letter was written by Lauren Gordon from www.Dilanandme.com for her son Dilan on the eve of his third birthday.