Friday, January 16, 2009

Dear Joseph,

Bobo, Bojo, Jojo, Bogee, Jogee, Boge, son...My sweet, sunshine boy.

Before your heart began beating, before any test could confirm your presence, I knew you were there. Maybe that's why, despite being shocked at how fast your first year has gone, it feels as if I have been loving you forever. You have always felt like a meant to be baby, even before we knew you were on the way.

We held onto that feeling, your dad and I, when things with the pregnancy got scary. Each trip to the hospital, "This baby was meant to be" was a bit of a mantra for me. It was scary, and I held onto faith, family and friends, hoping you would be all right. Hoping I could do my job in keeping you safe until you were ready for the outside world.

On the evening of January 16, 2008, after spending months in preterm labor and weeks in prodromal labor, I wrote a letter to you about reaching the milestone when you could be born into a room full of joy, not fear. You were born January 17, 2008 at 10:09am to a room filled with joy.

Our world changed forever that day. For Daddy, Emily and me, you have been our sunshine boy. Smile maker and heart healer, you made our family complete. On the roughest of days, you bring joy to our hearts.

We have had a few rough days, I'm afraid. I wish I could say things got easier for you after you were born. You spent 8 days in the pediatric intensive care unit for a pneumonia caused by my illness when pregnant with you, two weeks on oxygen after that. A few weeks later, during what should have been a routine procedure, you almost needed a blood transfusion. And, instead of having a healthy mama, yours has spent the majority of your first year being ill.

The thing is, nobody would ever know this by looking at you. You are a miracle, many times over, and we are so lucky to have you. We are blessed beyond comprehension. Your are beautiful and healthy...I have to say it again...perfectly HEALTHY.

During the complications of your pregnancy, your dad and I reminded ourselves and each other of the feeling we'd always had - that you were meant to be. When you were sick, it was harder, but again we reminded ourselves. We joked about the big destiny you must have before you, to go through all this and come out ok. We've now lost track of how many other people have said you were meant to be, that you have a important life to lead. Total strangers stop in their tracks, just to talk with you. A Jyotish reading, strangers, a woman halfway across the world - all have made a point to say you were meant to be, have a big destiny, and that somehow we are your perfect parents.

I don't know what your future has in store, what your role in this world will be. I just know you have changed my world for the better, a thousand times over. Your dad and I feel honored and blessed to be your parents, and your sister can't get enough of you. You're such a happy boy, your grins and giggles are contagious. One day we were in the store and a pretty grumpy looking guy finally broke down after you kept smiling at him and trying to get a reaction from him. He said, "how am I supposed to stay in a bad mood when he keeps grinning at me like that?" Exactly.

I'm writing this at 4:15 in the morning, unable to sleep, and remembering at this time a year ago, I was waking your dad up to tell him it was time to go to the hospital. How time flies.

Happy, Happy Birthday Joseph. I can't wait to see you dig into your cake, watch you amuse the relatives with cruising around the furniture and putting the wrapping paper on your head. If you happent to look back on the pictures of this day and see tears in your mama's eyes (or even maybe dad's) please know they are tears of joy, relief and tremendous gratitude for every day and every breath of this year of your life.

We love you and we thank God for you every day.

Happy Birthday, Little.


kin_paniscus said...

happy happy birthday, joseph!!!

congrats, mumma :)

JuliaS said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet little man!

Claire said...

Happy birthday sunshine boy!