This letter is a month late because…how in the world are you already a year old??? I have been told, I have read and I have witnessed that saying about the days are long but the years are short, and I believed it as much as I understood during each encounter with the phrase. But, really, I said it to myself as a promise from birth to five months because those days (and nights) were looong, my sweet boy, and I needed that reminder to stop and breathe in the moments with you.
I don’t feel like I blinked and you are suddenly all grown. Your active lifestyle and hands on personality didn’t allow for much blinking, Lou. Your little munchkin personality ended up being the answer to my prayers of being a present and engaged mother — there was simply no way around it. For example, this morning we played blocks for 15 minutes together (complete with sound effects and knocking things over with a toy hammer) before reading through 4 books on rotation through 3 rounds. You happily sat on the bean bag with me and said “please” every time it was time to turn the page. You can definitely be independent in your exploring and playing, but are a child after your daddy’s heart with your great love for snuggling.
And you’re a smiler. You really really are a smiler. (Unless it’s “happy hour” — that magical time before dinner and post-nap you may or may not have taken when your stink eye comes out to play.) Those smiles melt us, Lou. Because sometimes they just seem to erupt from your heart. I love that. It’s been a wonderful, challenging, bewildering, exciting, joyful, crazy year of growing up together. Much was learned about graciousness, patience, kindness, compassion and humility and love…how to offer, how to give, how to ask, how to receive.
I hope that you learn to use your loudness and bravery to usher grace into this world: may you color the days for the ones who only see in black and white, may you bear light into the dark and cold corners where loneliness and shame threaten to swallow souls whole, may you cultivate and nurture peace where there is brokenness and conflict.
May you be brilliantly and unabashedly you, Louis Taawanh…whoever you may be.