His first year was a stressful one. I say this in relative terms, because I know how many people have had far harder roads to walk than we did. He was a delightful baby, very easy-going, and adapted quickly to his mom and dad's go-go-go lifestyle. But the stress came from the kidney condition that he was born with. We found ourselves frequenting Riley Hospital, administering daily doses of meds to keep him bacteria free, and constantly stressing over the fevers that he routinely developed. Just before his first birthday, he returned to Riley to have his right kidney removed. He bounced back from the surgery within a couple of days and never experienced another issue as a result of the missing kidney.
Each year since has brought new and exciting challenges. He keeps us on our toes. He tests us. He blesses us. He is our first child, our oldest, but always our baby. He is the one who took us from being a couple to being a family. He changed our lives forever just by being born. He changed me from career woman to stay-at-home mom. He can make me want to pull my hair out, but in the next breath make me realize what a joy he is in my life. He is smart, witty, a great people-reader, kind, funny, sweet, and one of a kind. Nothing could ever surpass the impact that he has made in our world. You simply cannot understand how the earth moves until you've held that life in your arms.
Now, he's four. I. cannot. believe. it. The years are marching by so unbelievably fast. I wish that I could trip a few of those soldiers just to slow them down. Each year, the world steals him from me a little more. It's fun to see him acheive new things. To accomplish the next milestone. My heart bursts with pride every time, but it breaks a little too. It just goes too fast. And as he told me yesterday, he's just not little anymore. Yesterday afternoon, he asked me to hold him and he ended up falling asleep in my arms. I laid down on the couch with him and his thin little body stretched from my shoulders to my knees. I soaked in all of the life from those moments of holding my sleeping boy yesterday. Those moments are few and far between, so instead of taking advantage of naptime to do laundry or start dinner, I laid there. I breathed in the sweet smell of the baby shampoo that I still use in his hair, I rubbed his bony little back, and I thanked God for this gift in my life.
Happy fourth birthday Owen Matthew. We love you forever and always.