Dear sweet Jonah,
Today you turn 9 years old. If we are going to be technical, you won't officially be 9 until 1:14 p.m. but we will go ahead and let you have the whole day to celebrate. Right before bed last night, you sighed and said "Well, it's a big day tomorrow!" We jokingly asked why and you quickly told us it was your birthday. You know, as if we had forgotten.
Your birthday is one of my favorite days of the year. It is a reminder to me of God's grace in our lives. Your birth was the answer to years and years of prayers by us and other people. Your actual birth day was one of the top days of my life. Seeing your face and hearing that very first cry is a memory I will never forget. Then, seeing so many friends and family join us in the delivery room and pass you from person to person...well, it was just a very special day. I can't even explain it to you.
Somehow, your little 7 pound self wiggled your way right in the hearts of so many people. Your grandparents adored you. You even developed relationships with people who weren't connected by blood but loved you like they were. Their investment in your life is worth more than you will over know. Your place in this world will always be marked by the way you have been loved by so many people.
Jonah, I don't know what this next year holds for you. I don't know what things you will accomplish or what new friends you will make. I don't know what things will make you sad and hurt your feelings. I do know that I'll always be your biggest fan. I know that I'll push you and encourage you to do your best while also giving you a soft place to land when you fail. I'll inhale the scent of "little boy" that lingers while you tread into the waters of being a big kid. I'll be grateful to God that your daddy and I are the ones He entrusted to raise you, help you grow and point you to Jesus. I'll spend this next year asking Him to make Himself known to you and to help you grow into a kind, responsible, compassionate and loving boy. I'll remind you to open doors for ladies and senior adults. I'll help you remember to say please, thank you and excuse me. I'll be cheering for you as you accomplish new things. And, all the while, I'll be so grateful that you are mine.
Just like I've always been...