Well, Hanker Tanker, it is finally here. Your big day arrived this morning with the sunshine and a sleepy little you peeking up at us from your crib. You are officially one, and with that, no longer creeping towards the monumental day we’ve all made it out to be. Do you feel any differently today than yesterday? I kind of hope that you feel exactly the same–simply well-loved and cozy and safe and adored.
I do hope that you felt celebrated today, even though the big event in honor of this milestone won’t be here for a few more days. Then, I’ll be so tickled to watch as you take delight in all of the kiddos running around the house, the decorations here and there, the sugary sweet cake set before you for all kinds of smashing and eating up. I know you’re not going to remember it later, but we will all be celebrating YOU. Beyond that, we’ll be honoring a most remarkable year–the way that you’ve changed all of our hearts and how it’s truly taken a village to raise you since day one. Sure, dad and I have done a lot of the heavy lifting ;), but the people who are coming (traveling, even) to see you on Saturday have all been a hugely important part of your life and who you’re becoming. We are SO grateful, we couldn’t even describe it if we tried.
Today on Facebook (is it still around as you read this, however many years later?), nearly 100 people took the time to tell your daddy and I that you are loved, and to wish you a happy birthday or to add their cheer to the day. You have only been on this earth for 12 months, HD, but you are so, so, so, so loved. I think about that and I look at today and I am just blown away. If people love you that much, and we as your parents love you even more, then how incredibly much must God love you!?! I know that today brings Him great delight, as it does me–to see you thriving and joyful and healthy and growing so beautifully before our eyes.
I want you to know that when I sat down to write to you tonight, I knew it would never be possible to articulate all that I want to say to you about this past year–especially in one blog entry. Suffice it to say that I am overwhelmed by all that you add to my world. Hopefully, if you look back on the past year of my entries to you, you’ll know a little something about just what an impact you’ve had on me. I think sometimes we underestimate the power of a young person, but I would have to be crazy to deny the ways that God has used you to change the world in one year’s time. I would grasp every moment all over again if I could.
Henry, to date you are a resilient, determined, peaceful, friendly, intuitive, sensitive, social, careful-but-adventurous, worshipful, cuddly, radiant, gentle, and inquisitive little being. You are learning at lightening speed (which is normal for your age, but still captivates me all the time:). You have a soft and good heart. You electrify a room. You are magnetic wherever we go.
And as far as other things go? Your third tooth made its appearance yesterday–the top middle left of the bunch, and just a tiny, glimmering white sliver, but it’s there. no matter that you only have two whole teeth at your disposal at mealtimes; you eat everything we give you as if you haven’t seen food in a week. (Don’t worry, you’ve never missed a meal;) You are still crawling speedily wherever you want to go, or cruising at a scary pace along all furniture, walls, doors, and the like. You aren’t quite ready to walk yet, but so close! Another few weeks, and you’ll be terribly hard to catch, I’m certain. You love to drop things and see what happens. You chase after the dog with reckless abandon (he runs away for now, but I’m sure that will change.) You almost always have a matchbox car or something with wheels in your hand. You still LOVE to read more than most other activities, which brings me joy. Your introspection is curious at this age, and I watch you closely to try and determine what’s going on as you process (no luck yet, but it’s still fun). You like your sleep, but you also embrace the day. You get excited about the words “car,” “milk,” “Kruger,” “Daddy,” “Mommy,” “hungry,” and “go,” among others. But if I’m being totally honest, “car” probably outweighs the rest 10:1. You are a boy after your daddy’s heart.
As your mama, I am so humbled to watch you as you grow, realizing on a regular basis that I am responsible for you, what you learn, how you begin to understand the world. It’s no small task, and one I do not take the least bit lightly. You are just as much a gift as you are a responsibility, and I rarely ever mind to meet your needs. You have taught me a lifetime about self-sacrifice and joyful servanthood. How can I ever thank you enough?
So, Little Man-er, this is really it. The start of your second year and a landmark anniversary of the very best day of our lives. I love you an indescribable amount. The Lord bless you and keep you, Henry David. The Lord lift his countenance upon you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and give you peace, precious one. Happy, Happy Birthday!
all the love in the world,