My precious Ethan,
Today is your fourth birthday! Last night, as I tucked you in for the last time as a three-year-old, I prayed over you and poured out my gratitude for your life. I was literally hovered over top of you, thanking God for giving me the amazing honor of being your mom, and in a moment of deep appreciation for all we've been blessed with through you, you interrupted my prayer and spoke up in true Ethan humor:
"Mom. Can you get off of me please?"
I obliged, of course, then I laughed.
That's the thing with you. Half of the time, I don't even think you're trying to be funny - you just are. I've said for a couple of years now that you get your humor from your Daddy, and we find that to be true on a daily basis. Your laughter is contagious, as is your smile. I could kiss those cheeks all day long if you'd let me.
You have blossomed and grown so much this past year. I love watching as you learn new things, interact with your friends, and reach developmental milestones. You have done so much of that lately and my heart swells with pride for you. Watching you enjoy life brings me more happiness than I can describe with words. I hope you will always seek out fun and joy in your life - there is so much of it to be found!
Unfortunately, life will also bring about pain and sadness. My heart clenches at the thought of what's to come for you. It hurts to think about the literal heartache you may endure in the future, but I'm learning to give those fears to God and trust that His sovereign hands are holding you closer than my earthly ones ever could. I pray that my actions and words are instilling a love of God in your own heart, and that you'll welcome Him in someday. He is your joy amidst the pain, your bright spot amidst the darkness, and He loves you more than I can comprehend.
When you are reading this letter years from now, I hope you'll know then the exact thing I'm telling you today. I'm sure there will have been plenty of ups and downs, and I know there will be mistakes along the way, but this is our truth:
You are amazing, and I am so glad you're mine.
Happy birthday, baby. We love you!