Happy Birthday, My Son

The Struggles We Face, Only Make Us Stronger

Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it.

This is a post I wrote on my son’s birthday, nine years ago. I am choosing to share it today, on his thirteenth birthday, because it is a testament to what he has overcome and reveals a small piece of how he developed into the determined, mindful, tenderhearted, and grateful spirit he is today.

We bravely face and conquer each challenge in life and we choose to rise and thrive above, not only in spite of it but BECAUSE of it. What stood in the way, became the way as we paved upward and through. All of the misfortunes have given me the strength and instinct to protect, defend, confront, and prevail against the forces attempting to take us down and have shaped me into the woman I am today. Being a Mother to my boys is the greatest role and bestowment of my life.

Today is a celebration of this young man, who brightens up not only my day each and every day but anyone and everyone else who has the privilege of knowing him. He is courageous, mighty, intelligent, compassionate, kind, hilarious, and extraordinary. He is my son and I am so deeply grateful and honored to be his Mother.

May this inspire you to trust that anything is possible with unconditional and unwavering Love and the belief that the hard things do not have to take us down.

On this day, four years ago, I gave birth to my second child. I witnessed and experienced bringing another precious, miraculous life into this world and into my heart and soul, forever; our gentle, indomitable warrior.

Our first nine months together were not easy. My lupus, yes I speak of this illness as if I possess it somehow, decided to aggressively challenge us throughout my pregnancy. I spent much time in the hospital as a high-risk patient.

All I wanted and wished for each day was to be healthy and strong and to deliver another healthy baby boy. I remember lying on the table at the cardiologist’s office when they found fluid in my heart and around my lungs. I was having difficulty breathing and had alarmingly low blood pressure. I remember that day like it was yesterday.

I closed my eyes for a moment, connecting to a deeper place, looking for clarity and peace. As I remained still and trusted, something compelling happened. A calmness took over and replaced my fear. I trusted, at that moment, that I was meant to be a healthy mother of two boys. I trusted that everything was going to be okay. One of the specialists, who had spent time with me during a lot of this said something and it really stuck with me. It really connected me to my unborn son even deeper. This doctor had witnessed a lot of the dramatic scenarios he and I endured and thankfully, survived, together. He looked deep into my eyes and said, ” All of this suffering and all of these challenges, will make your son a very strong boy. He will get through anything, just as you will get through this darkness right now.

A strong boy; that is an understatement.

He spent much of his first few years of life in and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices. His big brother never wanted to leave his side and was with us on every visit. He stood by him and comforted him through every test, every procedure, and every moment. He would make painful faces and contort his body to match his brothers’ in an attempt to reassure him that he was not alone. He would say, “I feel the pain you are feeling and we will get through this, baby.” Every time he had to wear a Band-Aid, big brother would put one on in the same place just so that he would feel better about wearing one.

The bond between these two only strengthens with time.

I won’t go into all of the hardships my son has courageously faced up until now. I just want to share how brave and happy he is, in spite of the many struggles he has faced. He is a survivor. He is a gentle Ox, and it is so appropriate that his Chinese birth sign is just that.

He is such a wondrous and magical spirit. He melts our hearts with his loving and kind nature. He is self-assured, yet, open to the world and all there is to learn around him. He is so in touch with his surroundings and with humanity. His love exudes in every breath, action, and word he utters. He is a glorious, magnificent light in our lives each and every day.

He is a wise and old soul. He teaches and leads by example. He is a loyal and one-of-a-kind friend, brother and son.

He wakes up every single day with a huge and grateful smile on his face. He appreciates the simple things in life and fundamentally understands what ‘the simple, little things, ‘ are. He warms my heart and touches my soul, deeply; every moment. He amazes and inspires me every day.

Our adventure continues and now, he gets to experience the world as a proud and healthy, four-year-old. Two years ago, he was on a breathing machine daily. Witnessing him climbing the Great Wall of China, running along the beaches, all across this vast and majestic world, and actively enjoying each moment of his life, is a wonderful miracle every day. He is up for anything and gives everything his all, with the purest heart and uninhibited passion and expression. I am more grateful than I can ever express for his presence and love in our lives.

I am so grateful that my instinct as a mother, led me to the Attachment Parenting way of life from the moment our first son was born. I was living the principles whilst baby-wearing, breastfeeding, and cosleeping before I knew the term Attachment Parenting existed. I often felt alone in my way of parenting. Everyone I was surrounded by was doing it differently and they couldn’t resist their questioning and judgment. I never questioned myself or doubted my ways for a second.

Today and always, I am so grateful for the closeness we share as a family, and I can’t imagine parenting any other way. In the hospitals, the nurses would always have a crib set up for my baby boy, but, as you can see, I requested a bed for us to be together in, every time. I held him every second, with all of the love in my heart, with big brother right there supporting and loving us and we got through every single challenge; together.

Thank you for celebrating with us today.

Happy Birthday, my Baby.

♥️ Mommy