Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dear Aaron

Dear Aaron,

You turned 2 on Saturday. I can't wrap my mind around it. It seems like you went to bed a baby and woke up a little boy.

Sweet Aaron, I remember so clearly looking at your tiny squash-colored body and worrying that you were jaundiced. I remember sitting in the doctor's office as they pricked your heel and tried not to worry me. I remember getting the phone call that afternoon to go immediately to the hospital. I remember crying as they took you from me and pricked you again and put an IV in your foot. I remember sitting by your side counting the minutes until I could pick you up for those precious few moments every two hours--for days. And, Aaron, I remember exactly how it felt to hold you for the first time after all this, without cords tethering you to medical equipment. It was just you and me again. It felt beautiful and terrifying all at the same time.

I don't think I put you down for a month after all that. I held you while I ate my lunch. I held you when you napped. I held you even at night. I rubbed your tiny feet every day so that you wouldn't develop a fear of being touched on the foot after all the pricks. I wanted you to feel how much I loved you.
And you cried, little Aaron. You cried and cried and cried. You cried for hours every day no matter what I did. I was so frustrated. And I was disappointed because I wanted so much for things to be perfect. I wanted to be the perfect mom this time around, and I just couldn't pull it off. On a whim, I ordered a sling. I put you in and--insert chorus of angels--you stopped crying. You fell asleep on my chest all snuggled in your sling. I could smell your powdery goodness and kiss the top of your fuzzy head as you dozed. And you know what? Things were perfect...well, almost perfect.

Aaron, when you laugh, your entire body laughs. You kiss your baby brother and try to share your toys with him. You adore your big brothers and mimic every move they make. You charm the socks off of everyone you meet. Your eyes are the most beautiful almond shape. You talk on the phone in a whispery voice that melts me. You're perfect...well, almost perfect. You find trouble. And when I redirect you to something else, you find trouble again. And again. And again. You STAY in trouble. Oh, but your sweet mischievous smile. You find trouble, and I scold you, and you give me that smile, and I forget how mad I was. And we repeat. Over and over and over.
Little Aaron, we joke that you're our future football player. We kid that all your roughness will pay off someday when you sign the contract to be a linebacker. And if that makes you happy, I'm right behind you. But, Aaron, if you want to be a teacher, or a scientist, or even a garbage man, Buddy, I want you to go for it. Love God and your family (in that order) and do whatever you decide to do with enthusiasm. And you'll be amazing. You ARE amazing.
I love you. I love you. I love you.

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