I can't believe it's been seven years since we welcomed this boy into our lives, into our family, into our hearts. I can't believe it's been seven years since this boy and I stayed up all night with each other on his very first night, just staring at one another. Born at 7:14 in the evening, my adrenaline was still pumping by the time our family visitors had left for the night and it was time to try and get some sleep. That first night in the hospital, Cody fell asleep on the couch, waking up every time Jaden fussed to help change diapers or help me get situated comfortably to feed him. But in between those awake moments, it was just me and Jaden, a dark hospital room, a snoring daddy and our eyes locked on one another. I had heard all the advice of trying to sleep as much as possible, to not feel guilty sending your baby to the nursery for the nurses to care for in the middle of the night so that your body could recover and rest. But on that first night of motherhood, I wouldn't have dreamed of letting go so quickly. Jaden was wide awake, probably hungry most of the time as this baby boy of ours could eat every hour and a half for the first month of his life, but when he wasn't trying to eat, he was just staring at me. And that is what I remember most of my first night as a mom. My first night when my lifelong dreams had been realized. My eyes locked on his, his on mine. While the rest of the world slept. A vivid memory that will last me forever.
And now he's seven. He's in first grade. He can spell and write and read and do math and quarterback a flag football team and shoot hoops with the best of them. He doesn't like it when I call him cute anymore, but prefers the word handsome. He often wipes my kisses off his cheek. He showers himself, gets the mail for us and helps kids on the playground when they get sick or hurt and are too shy to tell the recess teacher. But he still calls me "Mommy." He still sighs at the end of a long and tiring day when he wraps his arms around me for a bedtime hug. He still LOVES to be tickled. He's still sweet Jaden. The same Jaden that I fell head over heels in love with as a newborn. He's just growing up.
He's still off the charts in height, still skinny as can be even though he shovels in more food in a day than his daddy can. He's still wild and energetic and loves to party and can make friends wherever he goes. He's our gift, entrusted to us. I've been a mom for seven years now, and I still have to catch my breath sometimes when thinking of the true weight of that. God loves this boy of ours more than we could ever fathom, and yet He placed him in our hands. Wow. We must have done something right.
Happy birthday Jaden. You were a dream come true seven years ago. You're still a dream come true today. Love you to pieces...