I truly feel as though it was only yesterday that I was first holding you in my arms, not ten years ago. That day is one of my most beautiful and vivid memories, bringing another person into the world is an amazing, life-changing event, and meeting you for the first time has changed my life for the better in so many ways.
As a child I loved my family, books, music, dolls, riding my bike, and playing with my friends. From an early age I was drawn to playing "mom", at parties I would round up all the children younger than me and play games, read, or just take care of them. As I grew older my loves turned to things like going to dances, participating in school activities, spending more time with my friends, and of course, boys, and during that time my thoughts of becoming a mom were put away. Until I met your dad. Between the time we met, became friends, dated, then married, I knew that I had found the person that I wanted to have my family with. And just a few short years after we wed you came along and made me a mom.
Because of you I realize the advice I was given by other moms before you were born, like the many moms who would tell me that time flies by in a blink of an eye, or the mom who said you can never hold your baby too much because one day they will be too big to hold, or the mom who told me how she couldn't believe how much love her heart could hold until she held her firstborn in her arms, were not just words but the honest truth. That sleep would become a precious commodity. That while your heart grows so does your passion for protecting your child from the smallest to the biggest of harms and heartbreaks. That your heart also learns that you can't protect your child from everything, but that your can be there for them, to wipe away their tears, offer your ear, and an open heart so that they know they can talk to you about the bad as well as the good. That your house will never be really clean. That each stage in your child's development brings something even better than the last. Did I mention that sleep deprivation thing? I can't remember, I haven't slept much in the past ten years.
Ben, you bring so much joy to our family with your funny jokes, your shy smile, your daily hugs, your capacity to love our family, including your little sister, especially when what she is doing really irritates you, your passion for reading and learning, your Lego creations, your infectious laugh, your "Human Beans" comic strips, and your easy going nature.
And on today, your 10th birthday, while you are making a wish as you blow out the candles on your cake, I will be making a wish in my heart too, a wish for you to continue to grow and change and love and learn, to find what makes you happy and passionate so that you can live your life to the fullest.
Oh, and that every once in awhile you will pick up your phone and call your mom.
Happy Birthday Ben.