I remember three years ago, but not very well. I slept most of the day away and let Grandma and Nana hold and rock and stare at our newly born Tai Mathias. After a wonderful (really!) birth experience, Tai shot out into the warm bath water and into his father's arms at 12:38 a.m. He lay on my chest for a few minutes before Shawn cut the umbilical cord. He didn't leave my chest for a good half hour. I am so thankful he wasn't whisked away. Then, 4 or 5 hours later, Shawn, Tai and I were on our way back home--to our own bed where no one could interrupt my precious sleep to take my vitals. I'm not saying "this way" is for everyone. But I wouldn't have done it any other way!
If only the first year of his life had been as simple and peaceful as his birth! It's been quite an adventurous 3 years with him. We've had enough "big scares" for the rest of his life as far as I'm concerned. I know that's probably wishful thinking. But I rest in my firm belief that Tai was born into this world with purpose (as we all are!). He is not easily swayed (even by his parents, sometimes to our dismay :)). His loyalty, once earned, is as fierce as his desire to protect those he loves. He is cautious until he has decided that something is "okay." Then he embraces it with abandon. Don't rush him. Don't push him before he's ready. But if you give him his space and the chance to "own" something for himself, most times he chooses that very thing or way with great joy!
Tai, son, you are one of a kind. May we, your parents, see--and cultivate--your individuality, give you community, guide you in truth, and surround you with light. May we give you space to dream and grow and discover. Obviously, we'll stumble. We already have. Many times. But as you grow, may we grow too. Both as individuals and as your parents.
This much will never change: We love you to the moon, the stars, and beyond!
P.S. The above photo, taken at the Farm Christmas party, was not edited. Those eyes are as true blue as they come! So thankful God answered my prayer and gave Tai his Papa's amazing eyes :) Okay. This ends my bragging :)