Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Josh

Dear Josh,

Today you are twenty-seven years old. Wow ... that just amazes me that all those years have gone by and you are grown up. It seems just like yesterday that you were born. I was young and clueless about Motherhood when you were born. I quickly learned. That instinct we Mother's have is internal, and comes from our hearts.

I'll never forget that overwhelming emotion of love I felt for the first time in my life the moment I heard you cry the very first time. You were here and you were mine .... and that would be forever. You were in NICU for a couple of days and I never left your side. The night you were born, I wrote you a poem ... I read those words today.

Early this morning, I read the letters I wrote to you while I was still carrying you, and it was as if I could go back in time all those years ago and remember that feeling. I wrote my first letter to you the day I found out that I was pregnant with you. Many followed through out that nine months and throughout your life. I looked at my first picture of you today. You were sucking your thumb, and you weren't even born yet. Someday I'll give you the book of letters that I've written to you. I'm just not quite ready yet to give them up. They carry a great piece of my heart, and there are times I like to read them.

Remember when you were a little boy and I used to read them to you? .... and you were so amazed and pretended that you remembered everything I wrote about. As I read them, you would talk along with me and tell me all about "whatever I was saying" to you. You were so animated, and talked with your hands and rolled your eyes and shrugged your shoulders just perfectly.

Here are a few of my best memories of things you did when you were a little boy ....

The real Easter bunny brought you a real little four-wheeler when you were only four years old. Your eyes were huge when you saw him come around the corner of the house riding your Honda 4-wheeler. You couldn't even talk. When the Easter bunny jumped off and took off running back to get another one for Justin and Ryan .... you jumped right on it!

I remember when you got a Sega Master System for Christmas, and you weren't even old enough to really play it yet. (yes, your Grandpa Keith spoiled you kids) But I was. You would sit by my side and watch and try to get to every level right along with me. The last thing you would say to me was, "Mommy, wake me up if you get there." .... and I did. What was I thinking? I would tiptoe in your room and carry you out of your room, still asleep, and lay you on the couch by me, and you would wake up and give me hugs because it made you so happy! That was in the 1980's ... I wouldn't do that today. I'm older and wiser and would never wake a sleeping child!

Do you remember when we practiced for a Earthquake .... and I kept you all home from school because we were supposed to have "the big one." I stored water and food and decided that if it came in the night, how would you know what to do? How would I get all four of you from your beds and out the door? How could I get you all down the stairs? I took the threat serious and meant business .... so we were going to have a "earthquake drill." For a couple of days, I repeated the procedure and explained that you were all to run down the stairs and straight out the front door and go across the road and hold on to that big tree, and no matter what ... don't let go of the tree because I would come and get you. I promised, because I am your Mother and I loved you more than anyone on earth. And we practiced, and you laughed and thought I was silly.

So, the time came to have the real drill, and I waited until you were all asleep and then I stood at the top of the stairs and yelled as loud as I could ....."EARTHQUAKE." ... and you were the only one that ran down the stairs, out the door and across the road and you hugged that tree like it was going to save your life. Juli, Joey and Jared all stood at the top of the stairs and screamed and cried and were terrified .... and at that moment, I realized how wrong I was to do this to you. But I did it because I loved you so much! I'm sorry for that now ... I must have scared you to death.

Do you remember when you duct taped the kids to your mattress and slid them down the stairs? I do ... I wanted to wring your neck.

Do you remember when you wrote a little play called "Shy Monster" and you were the director, the producer and the star? You read your play out loud. I still have that hand written play, and I love it.

Do you remember when you ramped your little truck through the upstairs window and thought that was the coolest thing in the world because it landed on it's tires and kept going? Again .... I wanted to wring your neck.

Do you remember when you got your drivers license and you ripped the door off of our van backing up with it open, and you brought it home and parked it behind the house with the wrecked side facing away .... like I wouldn't notice! Yeah right! I think I did wring your neck on that one ....

Do you remember when you got mad at me .... you would "separate." Just like Voltron ... or was that Transformers? Your face turned red and you shook all over until you "separated." Oh that was so cute!

Do you remember when I was paranoid about strangers because we lived by a highway .... and the test that you all had to take? What was it going to prove? I typed a test with 15 questions and scenario's about strangers knocking on our doors, and having car trouble, or wanting to use the phone, or just about anything I could think of. I tried to trick you, but I tried to be real and get the answer that I wanted. You flunked it. You all did. You would have let a stranger come in our house, give him gas, borrow the car, use the phone, etc... We did another test! I'll never forget how I had each of you sitting at the kitchen table going over each question and why it was dangerous. Do you ever have any doubts about my sanity? ... or is it Motherly love?

There are so many things about you and happy memories and funny stories, and I could keep writing until tomorrow. We'll save it for a day that we're together and we'll talk about those times when you were a little boy. Once you told me that you had the best childhood, and that meant the world to me, for I know that is because I made it good for you.

My children's birthdays are so emotional for me. They should be happy times, and they are, but I reminisce back to the days when you were babies and just little tykes and I was your whole world. I like to think about the fun times you had and all the experiences that made you who you are today.

Mainly, I'm so glad that you did not move away when you grew up, and you're just a stone throw away from me, and you're always just a phone call away. It's wonderful to pick up the phone and know that you'll always answer when I call.

Now you're a Daddy to Luke and Carter ... and I know you know what love is. Isn't it wonderful?

Happy Birthday Josh! You are so loved my son, and I so love being your Mother!