Dear Sweet Brady,
Could it be that an entire year has already passed since we first met. I’ll never forget that day, so full of emotion and excitement… your daddy and I could hardly contain ourselves. And then that moment came, after so many hours of labor… when we heard your little cry and saw your sweet, sweet face. Our hearts were never the same.
This is a cross in a church in Irvine, California. I’ll never forget visiting and singing Amazing Grace with Aunt Lara and Aunt Gina. I wrote a prayer for you and it’s pinned to the right side of that cross right there in that photo. God is so good to have heard and to continue to answer that prayer. Our cups overflow with gratitude and sincere joy. Becoming your mama has been my greatest adventure. And watching you grow has been my greatest joy. From a tiny little baby who weighed just seven pounds to a precious, growing toddler who keeps us on our toes. You made our little family a real family.
I’ll never forget when I first learned of you… this awful photo is the only one I have of the test because I was shaking so badly. We’d prayed for you for so long little B. So long. And there it was… God’s answer to our prayers…. yes.
You grew and grew and we fell in love with you day after day. We talked to you and sang to you and planned for your big arrival.
And somehow one whole year has passed since that big day last year. This photo is of you and I on our way home from the hospital. We were so excited to take you to your new home. And here you are… your first time in your big crib. You were so little.
On your first birthday, I have so many wishes for you. This morning, before your daddy and I woke you up to discover the surprise balloons in your room, I asked your Daddy what his wish for you was… and he said “the whole world.”
image credit: gina zeidler
At first I thought that was a silly answer, but its the most precious answer there is. We wish everything for you. But above all, we wish you a heart that is full. Full of joy and compassion. Full of empathy and hope. Full of faith and the knowledge that you can be anything you want to be. My heart brims with this enormous desire for you to know that you are so special, so smart and such a source of joy for so many people. Not just your mommy and daddy.
All of this and you only know four words! (Mama, Dada, yuck and uh-oh) : ) I can’t imagine what life has in store for you as you grow. When I was pregnant with you, your daddy would rub my belly and whisper to you “grow and be strong.” I love those words so much, B, because they underline everything we hope for you. We hope all the goodness in the world grows in your heart, no matter where life takes you. And we hope all that you encounter makes you strong and confident and happy and full.
I’ve never met another little boy who smiles as much as you do. I like to think it’s because you have much to smile about. But I know it’s that God gave you a spirit that is joyful. I pray that spirit stays in you as you grow.
image credit: gina zeidler
This year we’ve experienced so many milestones together. From your first laugh (when daddy was playing that silly game where he touched your face) to learning to do things on your own to learning to communicate with us. My favorite memories of your first year are the times you’d fall asleep on my chest so sweet and cuddly, the many road trips you and I took together to visit Nana and Grandpa, this priceless, precious video Aunt Gina made you when you were just six months old (and didn’t like to sleep so much) and the times you now scan the room quickly for your mama and get a great big smile on your face and throw your hands in the air for me to come and get you. Melt my heart sweet boy.
Your daddy and I are king and queen of silly little jokes and goofy names for each other. You have so many. You were Whammy before we knew if you were a boy or a girl… then you were Bman before we knew what your name would be. Then B, Bubba and now Boat. Boat comes from the story “Goodnight Moon.” Nana adapted the story so you could say goodnight to all the things in your house “Night night Fridge, Night night Table…” and lastly “Night Night Boat” to the boat in your nursery. When we lay you down to sleep now, we say “Night Night Boat.” And hence your newest nickname sticks.
image credit: michael newman photography
I love you more than all the stars in the sky, little B. And I can’t wait to experience this next year with you.
Thank you for opening my heart to a world I never imagined could be so joyful one year ago today. You are so beautiful, so special and so precious sweet boy.
With all of my heart,
As little B grows, it’s very important to our family to teach him about giving and sharing. One foundation that is near and dear to our hearts is Alex’s Lemonade Stand. ALS raises funds to support childhood cancer research. Children all over the country host lemonade stands and raise money, dollar by dollar to give to ALS to children affected by childhood cancer enjoy more happy birthdays. When B is old enough, he’ll host his own lemonade stand. But for now, Bman’s lemonade stand is virtual and every “cup” of lemonade sold benefits the Alex’s Lemonade Stand foundation. We’d love to ask you to buy/give one “cup” of lemonade in honor of Brady’s birthday to help other little boys and girls celebrate more happy birthdays too. A genuine, heartfelt thanks from our family to yours. xo, Emily