Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dearest Scud

It is early in the morning of your 8th birthday. Everyone is still sleeping, so I am taking some special time just for you. It seems like you have always been sandwiched somewhere in the middle of our family, so I often feel like there's precious little special time just for you.

You are such a joy in my life, sweetheart. I hope you know that. (And I hope you don't mind me calling you sweetheart. I'm losing track as you get older of all the words I'm not allowed to say because they embarrass you.)

I remember vividly the day you were born and in the same breath always thank you for not coming the day before when I drove up to Cedar Breaks by myself because I was angry at Dad. As I slept that morning, I kept waking up and feeling uncomfortable. After a while, I realized that I was waking up about every ten minutes, so I started timing contractions. Sure enough, you were on your way! After several hours of labor, some worry over you showing signs of distress during pushing and our midwife needing to turn your head before you could come out, you were born. You were crying and upset just after you were born, but when Dad put his hand on your chest and talked to you, you were instantly quiet.

You were such a beautiful baby and looked so very much like your Grandma's side of the family. We were so happy to have you.

I won't lie to you, though. You were the farthest thing from being an easy baby. You were just so sensitive and needed me so much.

You wanted to nurse almost constantly, which showed in the way you gained about a pound a week for the first couple months of your life.

Like clockwork, you cried every night from 9pm to 1am for your first three months. Nothing seemed to help. If I held you and loved you patiently through that time, you'd finally slip into sleep. But only if I stayed sitting or standing up. If I tried to lay you down or take you to bed with me, the crying would start all over again. I tell you, it was not an easy time for me.

But I'll tell you something else, too. You are worth every last step I paced through our tiny apartment, every sleepless night.

Still you need me so much, still you test every ounce of my faith and ability as a mother. Of all of my children, you are the one who always leaves me wondering if I'll ever be enough for you, if I'll ever get it quite right as your mother. But this, too, is a great blessing. You bring me to my knees, you help me remember every day just whose child you really are and I turn to Him for answers and help you grow into the wonderful man I know you'll be.

I see him already. He is smart and kind and sensitive. He is funny and playful, tender and generous. He has an deep inner sense of justice and integrity. He is fiercely loyal and loving to his friends and family.

Do you know why I can see that man? Because I see you and you are already such an amazing person. You are good to the very core, sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, eager to do what's right and to please your parents. You are responsible and reliable. You wake up at 6am to get all of your jobs done for the day without even being asked. You love those who are important to you and stick by them, no matter what. You are just so good.

It seems like you have grown by leaps and bounds over the past year.
In so many ways, I feel like I can no longer call you my little boy.

Your body is getting bigger, stronger. I hold you and it seems like there is just not enough of me to wrap around you. Your body is hard, surprisingly muscular and sinewy. I still see glimpses of my soft, little cuddle-boy in you, but they are getting more and more rare these days.

You have grown so much emotionally, spiritually, too. I could not be more pleased with your deep testimony of Jesus Christ, your commitment to doing your best and trying to keep the commandments. You have prepared for baptism thoughtfully and you are ready. I see such faith in your eyes, such commitment in your actions. I have no doubt that you will be ready to be a worthy priesthood holder in four short years. Already you amaze me with your tender heart, your desire to serve those around you.

You are especially tender and good to those who are older. This summer, we took Grandma Great on our trip to the family reunion. I felt my eyes brim with tears each time I saw you holding her hand, helping her get up, guiding her over rough ground -- every time without ever being asked. You just sensed her needs and did what you could to make her more comfortable.

And this is the essence of you that I treasure so much. You are goofy, quirky, fun. You build amazing lego creations, you're a math whiz and a good reader, you are endearingly vulnerable. But I treasure most your goodness, your genuine, Christ-like nature. Your deep desire for everything and everyone in the world to be just right, happy and well.

Today my wish for you is that you will continue to give and love and serve and do your best and that the world and those around you will respond in kind.

I love you my oldest son, love you more than my life, more than words could ever say. And though I feel I fail you on a regular basis, I hope you never doubt the constance and the strength of my love for you.

I'm cheering you on and unspeakably grateful to have you in my life and in our family.


PS I know you'd be embarrassed by words like darling, lovable, cute, cuddly and beautiful. But, you're just going to have to live with me saying them. Because you are and always have been. Darling. Lovable. Cute. Cuddly. Beautiful beyond words.

PPS Once again, words fail me for the way your sweet spirit winds its way in and through and around our family and makes us and each of us happier and better. Thank you for the gift of you.


Duchess said...

Happy Birthday, Scud! I've never met you, but I know your mother is a wonderful woman and anyone she loves this much must be amazing!

JAMIE RBZ said...

So now I've cried on Scott's birthday...gee thanks! LOL

Happy Birthday Scott, we love you so much! You are all that your mom has said and more!

Jeff and Jessie said...

Happy birthday Scud! I watched you come into this world and was amazed at how hard you worked to get here. And every time I see you I remember that day and am no longer surprised-you ARE so strong and continue to work hard to make your life what you want out of it.
You are so blessed to have wonderful parents who love you and cherish you for who you are.
Heather, you inspire me, as always, to be more than I think I can be.
love you tons.

Trishelle said...

Scott is a great kid! It is fun to look back on all the pics and see how his personality has come out. We love you, Scott!

Rynell said...

Happy birthday to a wonderfully fun boy!

(And what a lovely birthday post...)

diana said...

What a sweet and tender post. This letter is priceless. Happy birthday to your oldest boy!

Emily said...

such a beautiful tribute. happy birthday, scud!

Heather said...

Thank you, everyone for your kind comments and birthday wishes. I passed them on to Scud. He blushed and gave an embarrassed thank you.

Classic Scud. :)

The Yarn Queen said...

a very touching tribute.