I was wrong about what I thought I wanted.
I lay there in the darkened ultrasound room on Dec. 14, 2016, and my heartbeat was fast as the tech looked for yours. Please be healthy, please be whole. Please be healthy, please be whole. I repeated it over and over to myself, a shield against what I already knew she could find on the other side of my belly.
I told myself it didn’t matter if you were a boy or a girl, that I just wanted a baby in my arms. But deep down, I wanted another girl. I thought it would heal the gaping hole in my life where your sister Ashlie should have been. I couldn’t bear the thought of packing away her things, painting the room and saying goodbye all over again.
The tech scanned my bump, over and over, measuring your limbs, your spine, your head, until finally a slow smile spread across her face. I exhaled the breath I didn’t even know I was holding.
“Do you want to find out what you’re having?” she asked.
We nodded, Daddy’s hand clenched in mine.
“It’s a boy!” she exclaimed.
I didn’t handle it well. I sulked for days, annoyed beyond belief by the “at least he’s healthy!” comments and attempts to cheer me up. I always wanted a boy and a girl. But I didn’t want them like this.
I don’t know when I changed my mind. Maybe it was when I recorded you rolling around as I watched The Bachelor on a lazy Monday night. Maybe it was when you sat on a nerve and I couldn’t walk for an entire month…I knew you were feisty like me. Maybe it was when I didn’t feel you move much a week before you were due, and as we rushed to the hospital, I realized I could lose you, too.
But when Daddy put you over the curtain in the delivery room and you started wailing like crazy, I knew I had never been more wrong about anything in my life.
You are the perfect gift. Hyper, empathetic, hilarious, loving, smart and perfect. I thank God every day that He knew exactly what I needed. It’s so clear as I rock you to sleep (even though I’m not supposed to), when you crawl into my lap just to sit or even when you get up at 5:30 every.single.morning.
In two weeks and two days, you’ll be 2. Thirty seconds after that, you’ll be 22. These moments are passing by so fast, I wanted to share just a few important things I thought you should know:
You are kind, smart and handsome. Just sayin’. 🙂 You can’t even put a sentence together yet but attract people like crazy. Your charm and adorableness are the stuff of legends. Use them wisely. Be nice, be sincere and don’t be vain. I can’t even imagine the number of love interests you’ll attract in high school, but I’ve asked Daddy to have “the talk” with you before your 4th birthday, just in case. Save it for the one you truly love. Do your best in school and don’t try to beat anyone but yourself.
Hold the door. In a world where it’s so easy to get caught up in ourselves, take 11 seconds and hold the door for the person behind or in front of you. I shouldn’t even have to tell you that, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who’ve obviously never heard it before.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made and the son of the most high King. Times will get hard, and you’ll wonder if you’re enough. But don’t you ever forget whose you are. In addition to the Mommy and Daddy you have here, there’s someone way bigger than us who created you to be exactly as you are. Remember that He doesn’t make mistakes and loves you more than life itself.
Your life is filled with positive abundance. What you think about, you bring about. So I’ll speak peace, joy, love, health, wealth, happiness, faith, hope, laughter, friendship and all the good stuff into your life. I hope you will, too.
I will never grow tired of your frame folding into mine for a hug or your hand reaching for me as we take the long walk from the playroom to the front room. I could watch you try to jump in the kitchen or swing on the neighbor’s swing for hours, sheer joy in your every move. Hearing you yelling “mama!” or saying “dubba” (the letter W) are the sweetest sounds in the world.
You have given me more exhaustion, tears and frustration than I could have ever imagined. But you’ve soothed my heart and helped put pieces of it back together with every breath, every morning kiss and every squeal of delight. You make me laugh, and I marvel at how big and smart you’re getting. So today and every day, I’m glad I was wrong.
Because you are a world changer, Anthony Jerrick Maroon. You’re going to do great, big things with your life, and I can’t wait to see them. I’m so proud to be your Mommy. I love you.