Sunday, June 25, 2017

Happy 8th birthday Noah!

Hello my love,

Happy birthday to you! I can’t believe I am the mom of an 8 year old. It has gone fast and slow. It’s funny. Some years leading up to your birthday, I know exactly what I want to say to you, and can even have the letter put together weeks before your birthday, but this year, I have debated a lot. Do I talk about what we are doing these days? Do I talk about what it’s like to grieve your loss this many years in? I don’t exactly know. The fact is that there is a lot going on with our family. And, I grieve for you and miss you so much. It isn’t the same rough ride that it was years ago, but I will always miss you.

What a bizarre year. Our family is in transition. Aaron has finished his first year of kindergarten, and no surprise here, but he did brilliantly at it. Katie is becoming a busy little girl, more than she is a baby at two years old. I know you love them both so much, and thanks for always watching over them. They fill me with so much love and joy that I find that you are one step away from me lately. People ask me how many kids I have, and the guilt and emotion of saying “2” rather than the more truthful “3” answer doesn’t hurt like it did. Which, frankly, that hurts that it doesn’t hurt. Does that make sense? I know you want me and us to live a whole and full life, and that this is by design, but you know what? I am a mom of 3. You count. Even if I say 2, I will always really mean 3. You know?

Back to the transition part, a year ago I took a risk and left a job I loved to try something new. Ten months later, I was laid off. It has been a wild ride. I can’t bring myself to regret the choice I made, and thanks for always helping us to make the best of things. I am taking the summer off to be home with Aaron and Katie and to work on an important volunteer project, and it has been such an amazing time! I needed the rest and the love of our family. What a joy it has been! Can I keep it forever? Is that possible? I am just hanging in limbo and enjoying this gift while I’ve got it, and will wait for those nudges if I need to be doing something else. I believe that you are behind the blessings that come our way, and thanks for sending this break. Please guide me and us as we figure out what’s next.

Speaking of volunteer projects, it looks like we are at it again. It’s early yet, but I hope we can finally make some meaningful and more lasting changes in Colorado for babies. I am glad that we can help. Your story is powerful, and I love making something so painful into something else more productive and life changing for others. Please keep helping to move this one forward, ok? I would love to write to you next year with a “guess what...we did it!” sort of victory. I love thinking about all these lives we will never know who were forever changed in such a powerful way because of what you did for them. I am proud of you my love. Let’s do this, ok?

I am taking care of myself. I know you would want that. After making it through this season of birthday/anniversary for you this month, we are taking a fantastic Disney trip (thank you!) that has had me fired up since we booked it at Christmas. I used it as motivation to lose the baby weight and get in great shape again. Your siblings and dad deserve the best me that I can give them, who can keep up and be active (I mean...Aaron. So much energy! Ha!) and here I am again, the way I should be. I haven’t checked, but I am sure my cholesterol is back down, and risk factors are minimized. I will do my darndest to keep it up. I miss you like crazy, but I want a long and full life before I join you, and I will work hard at it. I promise.

I love you so much. Sometimes I wonder what you would be up to as an 8 year old. But it really is moot. I know you are there. You are not the typical 8 year old. Rather than school things, and developmental milestones, you are always here, watching, guiding, and loving us from afar. Your “to do” list in this world is just different. Thanks for always being here for all of us. We think about you all the time, talk about you, look at your pictures. You are just as real to us as your siblings are and you always will be.

Happy 8th birthday. Dad, Aaron, Kate and I love you more than you know.