Thursday, February 24, 2011

3 years

My dearest Nathan,

My baby boy. My little man. My precious love. My only son.

Today marks a momentous milestone in your life...your 3rd birthday. Its the fun-loving year in age where you have left toddlerhood behind but aren't quite a full-fledged preschooler quite yet. Its a year packed with development...of understanding the world and those around you better, of desiring to learn more of what you don't know, and of trying to understand your fit in social situations and relationships with others. I find that the age of 3 is somewhat of a turning point in life...the time where we, as parents, realize for sure that if we don't soak everything up quickly, we will miss out on a lot.

I recently found some snapshots of you taken when you were just a few months old. Looking through the pictures, a feeling of uneasiness came over me as I remembered those many months of intense worry and fear regarding your health...and life. It seems that bad memories cast a shadow on the good ones, blocking the mind from being able to recall the happy moments as easily. I worry that this will be the case all throughout your life...that we will first recall all the intensely difficult moments before remembering how incredible your life is on a regular basis. Let me assure you, we have wonderful days most of the time...days of incredible happiness, days of dancing around the livingroom hand in hand, some days of wonderful monotony, and others of life's normal busy schedule.

In future years, I hope I look back on each preceding year of pictures and remember the good moments before the ones that make our hearts sink with worry and sadness. I want to remember the pitter-patter of your feet through the kitchen late at night as you try to sneak into our bed. I'll remember your soft hand finding my face, and your fingers stroking my cheek as you try so desperately to fall back asleep. I'll remember you wrapping your arms around my legs and uttering "I weally yove you, mama!" Your laughter and squeals of delight when I jump around a corner to scare you. The way you curl up perfectly to me after proclaiming "I wanna snuggle". I'll remember you calling Swiss Cake Rolls "chocolate boobies" for some strange reason that we will never know. And how you have perfected your "Spongebob Laugh". And the hilarity of watching you try so hard to tell knock-knock jokes the right way. These...these are the moments I want to remember first about this past year.

Your personality really blossomed through the duration of this last year. It was a rough few months there, but after you started on meds for excessive ammonia, you returned to the precious little boy we had always known. You are very ternderhearted. Your lip pouts and you tear up every time you see either of your sisters crying. Watching your sense of remorse every time you get in trouble is rewarding and tough at the same time. That being said, you are still extremely strong-willed and stubborn. I believe that these two personality traits (if managed in the right way) will help you trudge through your struggles in your unique daily life. And I do have to add that you are indeed the third child, so we are guilty of letting you get away with more than we ever let your sisters. This is something we always struggle with...when to push you and when to relax.

Friendships have become more dear to you lately. You will automatically say that Emma is your best friend, and in all honesty, she is. You two have really hit it off this year...taking daily pretend trips to China, playing mommy and baby, and pretending to own a restaurant. You have a special relationship and friendship with both of your sisters on different levels. Abby mothers you in a genuine and tenderhearted way while Emma treats you like a pal. It has been so rewarding to see your desire for friendships and relationships develop lately.

My dear son, I never know what the next year will bring with you. This year brought only one hospital admission (yay!), a few tests, countless doctor and therapy appts, a few new concerns with different organs affected by mito, and some new meds to help alleviate the symptoms brought on by this awful disease. Looking back over the year, we have seen some increase in medical concerns and we have lots of questions about what the next year will hold for you. And we continue to pray for you daily...that God will continue to give you the strength, ambition, and desire to live life and honor him.

We love you, our precious Nafey boy. Happy 3rd Birthday, my darling son.


mikejogs on February 24, 2011 at 8:37 AM said...

A real tearjerker! LOL! Thanks for sharing your heart, Amber. May God be pleased to strengthen his little body and bless his ongoing development this next year. With God nothing is impossible. We love you and Jay, Abby, Emma & our big 3 yr old Nate! Pawpaw & Nana

Clara-Leigh on February 24, 2011 at 9:53 AM said...

Perfectly beautiful...and I am about to cry, too!! It is such a challenge, but I know on days like those....his birthday....we have to fight through the veil and filter Mito puts on our lives and LIVE, LAUGH and LOVE and sling a booger at Mito because it cannot steal the time our kids have already lived and won!! Love to you and your sweet boy. LOVE the chocolate boobies line!! How hilarious!! Happy, happy birthday!!!

Tara on February 24, 2011 at 11:21 AM said...

Great post as always Amber, you seem to always make me cry when I read your beautiful letters to your children. It is so hard to believe that Nate is 3 already, time sure fly's. It seems like yesterday, when I told you to call your Dr. and you ended up being in pre-term labor and won yourself a night in the hospital, while Jolee and I spent the night at your house with the girls. Happy Birthday Nathan, We love you!

Momo said...

What a beautiful montage of a very adorable, sweet little boy. Amber, you have such an incredible talent of capturing those priceless moments. Your children will have beautiful memories forever through these photos and videos.

Happy Birthday Nate!!!

Kelly on February 25, 2011 at 9:37 AM said...

What a beautiful boy and a beautiful post, Amber. You have an amazing little boy and I wish him a wonderful birthday and third year! I definitely laughed out loud when I read "Chocolate boobies" hehe! Too cute!

Heidi on March 1, 2011 at 3:28 AM said...

Now youve got me the montage, beautiful, beautiful boy.
Happy Birthday sweeet boy, we pray for you daily.
Heidi & Jack

Jen on March 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM said...

Happy Birthday Nate! Amber, it has been a full year now that I've followed you here, and followed Nathan's journey. And while we may never meet, your words have brought so much strength and knowledge in our journey, and I thank you for that. May this year bring happiness and love and many fun memories with all your kids! You have such a beautiful family.

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