It is unbelievable to me that this year has flown by so quickly. It seems such a short time ago that you were so tiny and light (6 lbs 6 oz) that I could hold you in the crook of my arm and walk around with you for hours.
You were long anticipated and dreamed of, making you all the more precious when the knowledge of your existence became known. God used that period of waiting to work on issues in my own heart, and though I had my own anxious plans, He knew exactly when you were supposed to arrive and it was very clear that He sovereignly ordained every aspect of your arrival.
Your birth had a false start the day before, and we thought you might wait a little longer, but then you decided enough was enough and it was time to make your appearance after all! The midwife made it (but not with much time to spare), the pool was never filled (let alone set up properly), and you were born on the couch , surprising us all!
Relaxing on that late, sunny afternoon, in my own living room, with my sweet new baby and my family and friends around me was the greatest reward I could imagine– I was so delighted by such a beautiful birth, and the joy of a son!
Arriving in the midst of a season of difficulty didn't seem to phase you. You were easy going, slept relatively well, and fussed little (God's gift to me, and such an assurance of His care). You brought so much joy to our lives in the midst of sadness and stress, and we were all so enamored with you. What a blessing for Daddy to be home and able to spend more time with you. You were such a silver lining, and I cannot help but thank God for His perfect timing in saving your birth for just such a time as that.
Though a teensy little man, you nursed well (and how happy I was to be nursing again), and grew steadily. You quickly grew more aware of this new world around you, including your darling big sister. She doted on you (most of the time), and you've grown to be her best friend. Watching your relationship with her blossom has been one of the greatest privileges of my life, and I so look forward to the many years ahead, as your relationship deepens and more siblings (God willing) are added.
You are such a sensitive, observant little boy, and seem to be very detail oriented. You are not boisterous, loud (well, rarely, except when you discovered your vocal cords and when dinner doesn't come fast enough), overly curious or energetic– all of the things I imagined that a boy might be.
Instead, you are thoughtful, determined, discriminating, purposeful, tender and snuggly. You are delicate in your facial features, and even in your mannerisms. You poke at your food using your pointer finger, and daintily lick it off of your finger– I don't even really need a bib to feed you, with your seemingly instinctive table manners (though this dropping the spoon over the side of the high chair game is getting old, ok kiddo?).
I've occasionally worried about your development, as you took your time to crawl and stand (though you sat early and have a mouthful of teeth- ouch!). However, the more that I learn about you, the more that I think you're just slow and steady, cautious and careful, likely just the way that God intended you to be. I wonder if you will be the deep thinker, the artist, the sensitive, tender hearted little boy that I anticipate you growing to be?
I am continually delighted by your giggles and bright smile. It warms my heart to no end, watching you enjoy life. When you're on the other end of the spectrum, God is teaching me to slow down, pay attention to you, discern your needs, and give you the extra affection you need– good lessons for your ever-busy, go-go-go Mama!
Even at a year, you are still my darling, little baby. You appear so independent as you crawl and explore and conquer and get into things, and yet when you're sleepy or when you're nursing or when you're just woken up, you snuggle in and let me baby you still. I try to remember to get my fill now, while it's still there for the taking. One day soon you will be off and running, no longer content to cuddle in Mama's arms, and so for now, I'm cherishing this all-too-short season between baby and toddlerhood.
Caden, your name means "powerful warrior or fighter" or "mighty in battle". Your Daddy thought it was a strong name, and we desire to see you fight the good fight, and live well for the Lord. Nathaniel means "gift of God", which is so appropriate for you. You were a long-awaited blessing, an absolute gift from the Lord. Over the last couple of years, God has really taught us of His providence, and it seemed only right to acknowledge His sovereignty in who you are and the perfection of when He gave you to us.
Happy 1st Birthday (a day late!), my dear son. I am so thankful for the honor of being your Mother.
All my love,