To my baby son,
Today is your first birthday! I know time goes by quickly but I can't even remember our family without you. You are certainly adored by your sisters, especially Kate. I think she really thinks she is your mother sometimes. She is always looking out for you and loves you to pieces. And you love your brother and sisters. Every time they leave the room you are in you scream and crawl after them. You do NOT want to be left out of all the fun. I keep telling you that if you'd learn to walk, you could catch up but your content to crawl for now. One of my favorite things about you is that whenever I pick you up, you pat me on the back. It's like you are saying, "thank you." You've done that since you were about 6 months old. Oh, I love it. You are our first child who has actually liked milk and I think you'd be content to live off of that and bananas.
I want to tell you about your name. After Henry, I was pregnant with another baby before you, and miscarried. It was awful. I prayed and begged the Lord for you. I knew the Lord's ways were not ours and that He might not see fit to give me another baby; to give you to us. But He did. When you were a born and were a son, I knew I wanted your name to be John because it means, "God is gracious." In the Old Testament, there are several examples of people encountering the Lord in a meaningful way and those people would set up monuments to remind themselves of what the Lord had done to or for them. Now, God is always good and always gracious but I was reminded of His care and graciousness when He gave you to us. Your name is a reminder to me of what He has done. May I always be mindful of this and thankful beyond measure. I pray that the meaning of your name will not be hidden and known only to me, but that your life will be as a banner to show of the wonderful grace and mercy that comes from the Father.
All of my love now and forever,