Another Year

Yesterday, my son turned four.

When my daughter was little, birthdays meant huge parties. Invitations went out, food was prepared, decorations were hung–all in the name of birthday. Forty friends and family showed up to eat and watch a little child open presents. Only usually, the kids would get to fussing and fighting and someone would get in trouble, and then there were tears and sobs…all to celebrate a milestone for a toddler.

Jack is different.

When I woke him up yesterday, I breathed in his smell. He still smelled like my little man. Nothing had changed there. He looked the same. He grinned at me. He didn’t even know it was his birthday.

Four years ago, he was born in a hospital.

Four years ago, he was intubated and rushed to another hospital to spend time in the NICU.

Four years ago, no one held his hand.

Four years ago, he tested positive for cocaine.

Four years ago, I didn’t know him.

This guy has overcome so much to be four. His body may not work the way that anyone thinks it should, but it works. His brain may not process what it should sometimes, but he can say “Momma.” His lungs may not be strong enough for him to tackle Mount Everest, but he breathes.

And with each breath, each “Momma,” and each tenuous step…I thank God that I was chosen to mother such a special little person.

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