I never knew how loud my floor creaked, until I checked on you in the middle of the night.
I never knew how something so little could make me smile so big, until I heard you laugh for the first time.
I never knew how many stinkin’ outlets and sharp edges were in our house, until you started to crawl.
I never knew how much my heart could swell with pride, until you said the word “mama”.
I never knew how quick my reflexes were, until you started putting everything you touched into your mouth.
And I never knew how powerful my body was, until it grew, birthed, and nourished you—the most amazing mini human I know.
I never knew the sense of accomplishment I could feel after a day of successfully doing the laundry, folding it, and putting it away. All the while keeping one eye on you, the most curious, adventurous, little wanderer.
I never knew how happy it could make me just to sit and stare at a sweet sleeping face, wondering what you’re dreaming about and how that position with your butt up in the air could ever possibly be comfortable.
I never knew how much my heart would melt the first time you clapped your hands in excitement, basking in the absolute gratitude of having a happy, healthy son.
You taught me about patience.
You taught me how productive I can be with no sleep.
That it’s okay to ask for help.
You showed me how selfless my own parents were, and still are, with me.
How strong the partnership between your father and I is.
What it feels and looks like to give everything you’ve got to ensure the happiness and wellbeing of your family—what it means to be a mom.
You’re turning one tomorrow. A full year of learning and growing together.
Of bottles and diapers and toys and bibs. Of playing and drooling and sleeping on my chest.
Of sheer exhaustion and sore arms and constant worry if I’m doing things right.
And as any mother can attest, it’s impossible to put into words the overwhelming feelings of love and adoration I feel for you, my son.
But what I can do is make you a promise.
I promise to support you no matter what. To nurture your interests and talents, regardless of whether or not they match mine.
I promise to welcome the choices you make, the path you follow, the passions you pursue with open arms. And to accept your shortcomings and embrace your quirks.
To remain open-minded. To learn from you. To grow together.
I promise to do my very best every day to show up for you and your dad. To cherish every beautiful, uncomfortable, unexpected stage. To be present in the moment and to soak up all the cuddles and hugs before you’re too embarrassed to hold my hand.
To hold you when you’re sad, kiss every boo-boo, and celebrate the little things in life. To breathe through the tough moments and dance through the happy ones.
To listen when you’re ready to speak.
To absorb and shield you from pain to the best of my ability, but also allow you to learn from and make your own mistakes.
And most importantly, I promise to love you. Forever and always. No matter what.
Thank you so much for reading this Open Love Letter To My Son. It’s so important to share our experiences in order to connect with each other. For more of my personal stories, check out My Adoption Story and my article You Can Hate Being Pregnant, But Love Being a Mom.