Tonight I was frosting a birthday cake. After swirling the vanilla frosting, I stuck on the little decorative baseballs diamonds, then poked the huge number one into the middle and laid the collegiate block lettering across the top: “Go Dutch!” I had to shake my head and marvel. I was decorating my son’s birthday cake. My son is having a birthday. Tonight as I put him to bed, I almost didn’t want to lie him down. I snuggled him in my arms and told him how proud I was to be his mommy, how proud I was of how big he is and how brave and strong and fun. I laid him down and he giggled, the way he does, like it’s a game, then he pumps his legs up and down, sliding his heels down the sheet and kicking off his blankets. He reached up and held my hand as I covered him back up and began to pray. I prayed, as I do every night, that he would come to know God at a young age, and that He would walk with God all the days of his life, and that He would change this world for Christ. I prayed that every birthday he would know and love God more than the year before. I prayed that God would give him many more birthdays and that He’d be gracious enough to let me see many more of his birthdays. I can’t believe that one year ago I was in the hospital. I had just received my epidural (God, bless whoever invented those things!), and was just hours away from delivering our little blond-haired blue-eyed boy. In some ways this year is a blur. It’s like a ball starts slowly rolling down a hill and you can’t stop it and it goes faster and faster. One minute ago I swear Dutch was just starting to bat at the toys on his play mat and coo at us in the mornings. Now he cruises through the house behind his walker at top speed, crashing through chairs and into walls, laughing and clapping for himself. I’m sure it’ll be a blink and he’ll be cruising behind the wheel of a car … but I can’t even let myself go there yet.
Just now I went and peeked at Dutch while he slept. On his belly, with his arms to the side and his face burrowed into the bumper at the side of the crib, his perfect little lips puckered slightly and the sweet sound of his breathing. What a perfect, precious sight. My precious little Dutch is a baby no longer, he is a little boy, full of joy and vitality and energy and creativity. God, give us the grace to raise Him to be the man of God You want Him to be. Happy Birthday, Dutch. Being your mommy is the greatest joy I could imagine.