The moment I discovered you were "on-board", I knew you would be special. I thought it would be because you were my first experience with being pregnant. You would be our first born. When I found out we were having a girl, I thought you would be special because you were my daughter. I always dreamed I would have a daughter, but felt certain I was destined to have three boys. I thought you would be special because you would be the one who taught me how to be a mom. You would be the one who loved to go shopping with me and the one whose delicate nature would throw your father for a loop. How was I to know that those weren't the things that would make you special? How did I know that you would groan when I pulled into the mall, or Target, or the grocery store? In fact, you don't really like shopping anywhere unless you get a package of gum at the end. I would have never guessed that you would be the first one to declare a "smack-down" on your dad when he walked in from work every night. I could have never known all of the reasons I would find you so incredibly special.
Do you know how much I love your eagerness to learn? How about the way I adore your sassy side and your confidence? I never dreamed that one of the things I would love about you was the joy you found in losing a tooth and the declaration you made about how it improved your looks. I could not have known that you would love to play tackle football, but with beautifully painted fingernails.
Most importantly, I never even thought about how special I would view your compassion for people. I was berated for weeks about not thinking to bring food for the needy lady who approached us outside of McAlister's. You even packed a box of raisins for her in case we saw her the next week. Today, when I picked you up from school, I saw you holding the arm of a little boy that you claim to dislike. You got in the car and told me he ran into someone and hurt his head. You wanted to help him. Thank you for making my heart smile. I could have never known why you would be so very special.
I knew before you were born that you would be special. You were going to be our first son. You would be the one to teach Landry how to be a great big sister. You were going to be the one to go hunting with your dad. You would be the one to play sports. I thought you would be special because you were the missing piece to what supposedly makes a "perfect" family. In fact, when I was out and about with Landry and I was pregnant with you, many strangers would ask what I was having. When I answered "boy", at least half of these people said "That's perfect!" Can you fathom that I almost believed them? I thought you would be special because you would be all of the stereotypical things that a boy is to his father. I KNEW that you would be special, but couldn't have dreamed of all of the reasons why.
Do you have any idea how much I cherish your tender spirit? The way you notice every single thing, like my haircut or that my toenails are painted? I truly admire the way that you have no hesitance in climbing in Dad's lap, and sitting there for as long as you are able. I could have never known that when I said "OUCH!" you would be the only one to say "Are you okay?" I could not have known that I would be granted the joy hearing my 3-year-old say "Wow! You look pretty. . . and tall!" when I walked down the stairs after getting ready for Daddy's Christmas party (I was wearing some REALLY high heels). And, the warmth I would feel when you told me you liked my "pretty new dress" when I put on my nightgown. Your smile kills me. It's simply infectious. Of course, some of the reasons I knew you would be special held true. You love to play sports and you love to throw-down with your dad. But I could have never known all of the reasons I would find you so special.
Oh, how I knew you would be special. I laid awake many nights praying that God would bring us a third child. I felt in my heart that I wanted a third child, but Daddy wasn't so sure. I prayed the way that I knew I should. I prayed for God's will and that Daddy and I would be on the same page as far as this matter goes. In November 2007, we were SHOCKED to find out that you were on your way to our family. I instantly knew that you would be special because you were the baby. You were our final experience as far as newborns go. I knew you would be special because you would be tender and meek. You would need to be protected by your older sister and brother. I was going to spend every waking moment documenting your progress. You were going to be special because you were coming to a mom and dad who had lots of experience. HAHAHAHA!!!
I truly could have never known that you would be special because of the way that you can put Landry and Nolan in their place. How could I have known that you would take on this little adorable attitude? Could I have predicted that you would grab me by both cheeks when you wanted my attention? I surely didn't know that I would be so busy chasing you around and keeping you from falling out of chairs that I barely had time to record you milestones in my journal.
What makes you special to me is that you give incredible hugs, and sometimes, if you feel like it, sweet little kisses. You are so special because you can love a stuffed bear with all of your might, which makes me excited to see how your love will develop for people. The way you squint your eyes (and smile) at the supper table when you get a bite of something. I never knew that your independent will would make you special to me. In fact, I thought the opposite. I thought I would peel you off of me when I dropped you off at church. Nope. You wave good-bye. I envisioned just how special you would be, but I could have never imagined all of the things I didn't think of.
To my children,
As your mother, the only great advice I have for you so far is this: Never decide why someone is special. Instead, let them show you.
I love you all so very much.