Friday, December 10, 2010

If: Words to Max on his eighth birthday about the special joys he's brought me


Today is eight years to the day you were born, Max. Eight years since your dad and I went to the hospital full of hope, eight years since we first saw your little face, eight years since my long-time dream of having a baby finally happened. It's also been eight years since we found out you had a stroke, eight years since we were crushed to learn what had happened, eight years since doctors told us awful things about what the future might hold for you, eight years since we spent two weeks in the hospital with you, eight years since we left there filled with anxiety but also hope, which came back to us.

I haven't given much thought over the years to how you might have turned out if that stroke hadn't happened. I look at you and I see a beautiful, bright, charming, determined kid. You are you, a great kid in his own right, not the kid you could have been. Tonight, actually, I've been wondering something else. And not just because it's 1:24 a.m. and I'm maybe a little delirious. If you hadn't had that stroke, Max...

...would your smile be the same?

...would I have been out-of-my-head with bliss at your very first steps, the ones doctors didn't think you'd ever take?

...would you still be so adorably passionate about your favorite things—purple, car washes, Caleb, trucks, chocolate ice-cream?

...would I be thrilled every single time a word came out of your mouth?

...would I have been as deeply grateful for the progress on your report cards?

...would you still nestle your head into my neck and deeply breathe in and out—those breath kisses that somehow make the world seem right?

...would I literally jump up and down and screech stuff like "MAX IS SPELLING!!!" and "MAX CLIMBED THE STAIRS BY HIMSELF!!!"?

...would you do that thing where you laugh-cry at the same time when you get overly excited, like when your Dad came to school the other day with ice-cream for your birthday?

...would I sometimes creep into your room and night, sit there on your bed watching you sleep and just feel thankful?

...would I be in awe of you any more than I am?

I don't think so. No, I don't think so at all.

Happy birthday, sweetheart. I love you.

31 comments:

  1. Beautiful. I love him and I don't know him! Xxx

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  2. Love this. Brings tears to my eyes. I've thought about this. If I could somehow turn back time & remove my son's extra chromosome, would I? Even on the rough days, I always come back to the same conclusion.......No. I wouldn't....I couldn't, because that would mean that my Josh wouldn't be the boy that he is. And I love that boy. More than anyone or anything.

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  3. An amazing child, and an amazing mother. Happy birthday to Max.

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  4. Happy Birthday Max!!!! And Congratulations to you too mom.. you've done so well!

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  5. Aww, Ellen, I'm sitting here in my cube at work dabbing tears from my eyes. This is such a beautiful post and testament to your love for Max. Happy Birthday Max!

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  6. What a wonderful boy you have.
    Happy Birthday Max.

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  7. Pitch perfect, Ellen. I have tears in my eyes.

    Happy Birthday, Max!

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  8. Beautiful. Happy 8th Birthday to Max, and congrats to you on 8 years of parenthood. Love the birthday letter idea (I do it, too, but am much less punctual than you...it ends up being 1/2 birthdays!) He will treasure these.

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  9. This post seriously brought tears to my eyes. I'm all emotional now.

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  10. Happy birthday Max! Hope you have a really good year!

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  11. This is so lovely. Happy, happy birthday to Max. xo

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  12. Happy birthday to an amazing, handsome and sweet boy. I love you!!!

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  13. What a beautiful tribute. You all are so lucky to have each other.

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  14. Wow! What powerful words. Makes me realize how grateful I am for my special kiddos. Thank you for sharing that with all of us.

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  15. Fabulous post, Ellen! Our children's challenges make them who they are---and make us better parents and oh-so-much-more appreciative and grateful. Happy Birthday to Max!

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  16. Happy Birthday to an awesome child! Every kid is special and perfect just the way they are...the best thing we can do is realize how lucky we are to be blessed with them.

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  17. Happy Birthday, Max! You are your parents are wonderful.

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  18. Absolutely beautiful! I hope that one I day I have this wonderful perspective. You are a fabulous mother and Max is a terrific kid! I would love to meet you both!

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  19. That was beautiful! Happy birthday Max. =)

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  20. I loved this. What a beautiful post. Happy Birthday, Max! --Gail

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  21. Happy birthday, Max. He is perfect.

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  22. Beautiful post!!! Happy Happy Birthday Max!

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  23. Ellen, you are all heart. I hope to be able to be mostly grateful one day - working on it - you set a great example.

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  24. beautiful sentiment. thank you!
    Kristen

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  25. So beautiful, Ellen. Happy Birthday to the Amazing Max!

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  26. I will share these birthday wishes with Max! I don't deserve props, he makes being a mom easy...well, as easy as motherhood can be. Ginger, I am grateful for who Max is but trust me, I still have moments where I get mad or mournful about how the cp affects him. And I think that is totally normal. I will never be at 100 percent acceptance...but I am at 100 percent happiness over who he is.

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Thanks for sharing!



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