1st birthday letter to Timothy from Mama

In the coming years, I’m hoping to write letters to each of our children on (or at least near) their birthdays. I want to do this to both commemorate each year of their growth and capture some fun stages that we may otherwise forget since I’m not good at scrapbooks and growth journals. 11-month smile

Dearest Timothy,

Oh, little guy – you’re one year old today! It feels longer to me since it’s been quite a full year getting to know you and learn how to care for you. I imagine the years may fly by from here on forward as you grow up. It’s been such privilege to stay at home and care for you. I’ve cherished getting to watch you develop over the past twelve months. From watching your little eyelashes emerge at 7 weeks old, to seeing you become proficient at popping fruit into your drooly mouth, it’s given me such pleasure to witness so many stages so far. Lately, I’ve especially loved seeing your little two-toothed smile beaming at me throughout the day. I also really enjoy watching how your little friendships are developing with the kiddos you see every week, especially as you learn to fend for yourself. It’s neat to see how you play around other babies and toddlers at this age.

What lessons I’ve learned from being your mama so far! Thank you for helping me see that God’s love for me is far greater than the warm surges of affection I feel for you. When I feel frustrated and desperately tired, I am reminded about how much I need Jesus’ grace to get me through the days and weeks. I appreciate how mellow you seem to be so far, and am humbled to have a relatively easy-going baby to care for in you. It’s been quite of year of continue to learn how to release control to the Lord and just enjoy this season we’re in without wanting to hurry to the next. Thank you for the ways you help me to slow down.

Just so we can remember in the future, here are some stats from your first year: you held your little head up at 6 weeks, rolled over at 3 months, started sitting up proficiently at 6, scooted at 8, had your first tooth break through at 9, crawled quickly at 10, and began standing a ton before 11 months hit. Your first intelligible word was “Papa” in Cantonese, but I can’t remember when you started saying that…maybe 7 months? For the first 5 months or so, you would often follow-up your sneezes with a cute little coo that made us melt. I miss that sometimes. Your birth story was amazing and so special for us. It was a long and tiring labor, but you came out so perfectly – completely enclosed in your sac! The doctor had to rip it open to let you out so we could meet you! Mama cannot fully remember how painful it was, but she does recall how strong and supportive your papa was and was so grateful to have had you arrive naturally after about 31 hours. You were a hungry little guy from the start; oh my, did you nurse super often – every 45 minutes for the first month or so! You still eat a lot nowadays and we sure wonder where it all goes since you’re so slim. =)

I adore the ways you’re like Papa in what we’ve noticed so far. It’s so fun that you’re beside yourself with chatty excitement when you see fluffy dogs or get to pet our Stewie rabbit. You seem to have no fear of animals thus far so we’ll need to help you learn to be cautious. You double fist and gobble down sharp cheddar so eagerly, it’s amazing you’re not chunkier. You have such expressive round eyes and sweet little lips that curl up when you babble. You crack us up with how much you enjoy using the potty sometimes – what a funny little guy you are with your giggles, claps, and bounciness!

Often, I pray the Lord will give you strong biblical convictions like your father and that your life would honor God and be used to display his immeasurable grace to others. This was our hope in naming you Timothy Ian. You are so blessed to have a strong, loving, fun, courageous and gracious father who loves the God of the Bible. I can’t wait to see your relationship with him continue to blossom in the years to come. We love seeing your face light up when Papa comes home and it’ll be so fun when you can run to meet him at the door.

I find it endearing when I observe parts of me in you, too. Your little smile, flexible limbs, and ravenous hunger for papayas and pears give me a tiny glimpse into how amazing it is to see some of my traits in a little boy I love so much. I’m looking forward to noticing more of your personality and physical traits emerge in the months to come. For now, I’m tucking into the memory bank of my heart the adorable way you crawl to me and hug my legs, snuggle with me throughout the day, how your precious little head feels against my chest, and the sweet experiences of nursing you. I enjoy looking at the double swirls on your head as you hug me and hum along to “Be Thou My Vision” with me before you go down in your crib. You’ve started to exert your willfulness at times, and I’m learning how to gently guide you and help you understand how to communicate. You’re not very much into sign language yet but I’m continuing to try everyday! For now, we need to decipher whether your claps mean you want more food, are finished with your activity, need to use the potty, or are just generally excited. 😉

As we celebrate this first year with you, you’re likely oblivious to the hubbub all around you.  We’re glad to see you happily crawling around and exploring our home with your large baby hands – free of any concerns. Papa and I are sad for you to soon discover the brokenness of this world you’ve entered, but we’re looking forward to being stretched and challenged by the opportunities we’ll have to teach you about God’s sovereignty and grace in it all, including the ways we’ll unfortunately disappoint you. We love and serve such a wonderful Savior and hope that you will one day find your hope in Him. Papa and I pray that you can see how bountifully the Lord has provided for you in our home, and that you would grow a heart of generosity that flows from gratitude for all that our family gets to enjoy.

I love you so very much, little Timothy. I’m sure we’ll have our struggles in the years to come, but I pray everyday that God will equip me to be a mother who will point you to the gospel in my failures, shortcomings, and bright moments as you grow up. I’m thrilled to see what’s in store for your future! Happy 1st Birthday to you, my happy precious boy!

With lots of affection from your Mama

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