Dear son,

I am selfishly writing to you because I want to remember you right now, just the way you are.  I look at you every day in between the chaos in absolute awe of you.  

How did we get here?

I don't have words for how special you are.

Twelve years ago when I found out I was having a baby, I was a child too. I may have looked like a grown-up on the outside, but on the inside, I felt inadequate.  

When the doctor told me I was pregnant, I collapsed on the floor.  

I told myself I wasn't ready and that I would fail you. I cried, a lot.  

She picked me up off the floor, smiled, and said, 'I don't know you, but I think this is going to be the best thing that ever happens to you.'

I cried harder. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't walk.  

How could I be a mom?  

I wasn't ready, but I knew I had to be.  

The months began to pass. I was so nervous.

I went from scared to excited on a daily basis while I tried to plot motherhood. I reached out to friends and family members for moral support.  

I still cried a lot.

As I started regular doctor appointments, I noticed myself looking forward to seeing your tiny body and hearing your fluttering heartbeat on the monitor. I still wasn't sure of myself and it was a new and almost strange sense of joy, but I felt it.

I started imaging our life together. What would you look like? What would you laugh like? Whose nose would you have?

I wondered what your personality would be like, if we would play sports together, and if I would ever remember how scared I was finding out about you in the first place.  

Delivery day came.

I still didn't feel ready, but it was time to meet you. The time had come to add 'mom' to my life resume. I had no idea how much that title would change me, literally never to be the same person again.

Eighteen hours of labor later, there you were.

I lost it. The tears were falling uncontrollably.  

They gave you a quick wipe and laid you on my chest. I was exhausted, but I felt so alive. I felt like I just found my purpose.  

I looked at you completely taken over with emotion. I had never seen anything so perfect in my life.

Lifes accomplishments seemed so irrelevant. Lifes plans seemed so pointless. Life's problems seemed like the tiniest bumps in the road.

I was so proud to be your mom, that's what mattered. Everything else, we'd figure out together.  

I was ready.

Today, you are eleven years old.  

When you were little, I remember a hundred people telling me 'don't blink, the years will pass quickly'. I'd usually respond with a half ass smile and discreetly role my eyes.

Well, I blinked and you are so grown already. I see you standing next to me and sometimes I wonder, how did we make it this far?  

You have been my biggest teacher.

You have been patient with me while I figure out motherhood, myself, and grownup life.  

I hope and pray every day that I am doing you justice. I question myself all the time, but when I look back at you, you somehow make it seem like we're doing everything right.

I hope my tough love is tough, but more than anything, I hope you remember the hugs and I love you's afterwards while you learn from your mistakes.

Our goal as your parents, is to lead, teach, love and support you. I'll bet you didn't know that you're doing the same for your dad and I while we grow through life with you.

You have been the gift of a lifetime. I look at you with pride and a heart full of joy. You came to us at a time when we felt defeated and have brought us to a place where we feel such joy and gratitude.

Thank you for growing with me. Thank you for guiding me back. Thank you for being patient. Thank you for leading your siblings with love and kindness. Thank you trusting me. Thank you for opening up and speaking about your world. And thank you for letting your dad beat you in a race for a little bit longer ;)

I am ready now. I love you son.

Xx, mama.

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