Happy 2nd Birthday Carsen!

Dear[est] Carsen,

My first born. My only. My boy. My heart.

Happy 2nd birthday to you. I am so proud of you. Just for being you. But, also, for navigating this difficult, big life with such grace and joy.

I meant to nap beside you today, but instead found myself staring at you.

I can't believe how little you are, and yet how big you've become. I am in awe that you are mine, a part of me out here in this big world.

I wanted to stare at you and remember every little detail. How you keep one hand above your head and the other on your belly. How you hate to be covered by a blanket. Your cute nose and sweet lips. The freckle on your left jaw line.

My love for you is over following. I wanted to wake you up and tell you, yet let you sleep so I could marvel at the wonder of you.

I prayed over you.
I prayed that Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness and Self Control would be your foundation. I prayed you'd look so much like the man Jesus: a servant leader. A man of strength and humility.

I prayed you'd have a heart to help. I prayed you'd continue to be adventurous and explore the world around you. I prayed you'd love Jesus and do anything for His name. Whether that means to go to the ends of the earth for whatever reason, become a business man on Wall Street, a husband and father or someone working with his hands. I pray you'd do it with a heart fully surrendered to God.

I prayed you'd "fight" for those who struggle to be heard. That you'd be a man people listened to. Not because you were loud but because you had something to be heard.

I prayed you excel in whatever you put your heart, mind and body in to. Whether sports, academics, or the arts (or all).

I prayed you’d bring the Joy and the Peace of the Lord wherever you went.

You have changed so much in this last year, it’s hard to put into words. You grew out of baby and into toddler. You walk with ease, and sometimes run like you’ve had one too many. You clap, dance, eat like a big kid, talk with many words as well as your own special language. I love how you say “water” and how you aren’t afraid to speak a word that is difficult.

You continue to be fearless. In every aspect of life and it’s beautiful to watch. (And yet terrifying). You are not cautious, but you run full force into whatever adventure looks the most dangerous. I love your tenacity. I love the Joy and determination I see on your face when you see a new challenge you want to conquer. I love that you want me to come on the wild ride with you. But far back enough so you know you are doing it on your own. I cannot wait until you are older and we can go on grand adventures together to foreign lands.

You love trains, cars, and balls. You enjoy reading. You want to be outside ALL OF THE TIME.

Sleep still eludes you. But I remind myself this too shall pass and soon enough I’ll be pulling the covers off your bed to get you up for school. Until then, I cherish the closeness of co-sleeping with you still. You love cuddling. We got you a puppy, and my hope is for you two to sleep together and keep each other company. Captain Jack is the biggest cuddly dog. You are two peas in a pod.

You still have one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard. You laugh with your whole being.

You are a Joy to me.
It’s an honor to be your momma.

The other day my friend, Jennifer, posted a little water color painting she did that said, “teach them to fly.” She has a tattoo, one bird for each child on her forearm. She wrote: “The reason I chose a flock of birds is that I wanted it to serve as a reminder that my place in their life is not to hold them tight and protect them from life, but to teach them how to fly. Like a little bird to take flight and soar and see the world.”

Carsen, this is my prayer. That I would enjoy these younger years but I wouldn’t hold too tight. That I would remember my place is to teach you to fly.

And fly you will Carsen. I can’t wait to see what this year holds for you and for me. We will continue to grow and learn together - son and momma.

I love you from everywhere and back, a billion times forever,
Your momma forever and always