I laid awake this morning and watched the clock turn to 12:30 am and a flood of memories came rushing back. I remembered finishing out a labor that had gone nothing like I planned. I remembered the look on your dad's face as he watched me in the most intense work of my life. I remembered the words of grandma and grandpa as they tried to soothe me through the pain. But mostly, I remembered the overwhelming feeling of love that filled my soul the moment I laid eyes on you.
Ten years ago, in the early morning hours of April 28th, you made me a mother. You transformed my life with the first breath you took and I have been yours entirely ever since. When the initial rush of excitement died down and dad finally drifted off to sleep just as the sun started to climb in the sky, I remember a nurse coming into the room and encouraging me to sleep. She offered to take you to the nursery so I could rest for a few hours but I quietly declined. I didn't feel tired at all and in fact, had a burst of energy that carried me over the next several days. I spent the first twenty-four hours of your life staring at you and making plans for our life ahead. I envisioned bike rides and baseball games, road trips and camping. I wanted to show you everything, have you experience all of life and be your biggest cheerleader along the way.
But I hadn't expected to feel such intense pride at the child you would choose to become. I didn't expect to be overwhelmed by your compassion and grace, to learn so much from you as you grew year by year. I didn't realize the capacity you held for kindness and love and am still in awe of the choices you make. Like when Sienna was gone last week and you offered to sleep in the girl's room so Hannah wouldn't be alone. Or how when Austin bonked his head this morning you ran for his blanket and started to sing to him, knowing that's what would make him feel better the quickest. Or when you wrote your paper entitled "If I Were King For A Day," you didn't write about wanting more video games or eating ice cream for breakfast; you wrote about ending deforestation and the contamination of water so that everyone would have fresh water to drink. I didn't even know what that meant at your age and the fact that you know about it and want to do something about it, blows me away.
I have said it from the day you were born, sweet Spence: you were born for greatness and you show that everyday by the choices you make. You are quite simply the most remarkable ten-year-old I know and I am honored to be your mother. I hope you have the happiest of birthdays and I can't wait to see what you'll conquer next.