Sunday, November 20, 2005

To Anthony

Dear Anthony,

Today you turn two, and I’m excited and sad at the same time. You have changed so much in the two years you’ve been here on this Earth, and what a wonderful little boy you have grown to be!

The morning you were born, your daddy and I got up at three o’clock in the morning to go to the hospital. Well, Daddy got up at three…I don’t think I went to sleep at all. I was too excited! On the way to the hospital, your daddy and I talked about our college days and how we used to have parties that lasted until three or four o’clock in the morning. We joked about how it was weird now to be up at three o’clock, but not for the same reason. I guess we both sounded a little wistful that our partying days were coming to an end. Never mind the fact that our late night partying days had long been over before I got pregnant, our lives were about to change, and we were both scared to death!

We had ideas on how perfect our lives were going to be. I couldn’t wait to breast feed, cuddle with you in bed in the morning and give you your first bath. Your daddy couldn’t wait to take you home and introduce you to the world of LSU football. Life was going to be PERFECT.

Little did we know what was in store for us. Your first weeks of life were some of the best and worst times ever for me. You were alive, you were fighting…that’s what was the BEST. The worst was that my idea of perfect had just been blown out of the water. You had your ten toes, ten fingers, tiny little fingernails, a perfect little nose, two perfect eyes, perfect ears…just that darn imperfect liver.

The first year of your life turned out to be hospital stay after hospital stay. In between all of that, though, are memories of you at home, at your grandparents’ houses, and visiting with family. We’ve got pictures, of course. But enough about your first year. I wrote about that in last year’s letter. I’ll dig it up for you one day.

The second year of your life turned out to be less eventful, but no less emotional (at least for me). Your second year was your year of normal “firsts”. First Thanksgiving at home. First Mardi Gras. First Abadie/Gaiennie Easter reunion. First steps. And the list goes on. We had a few frightening experiences: two rounds of stitches in your lower lip (in May and November), croup (in May), mastoiditis (in June), bronchitis (in October), and a few other times when you were sick and your liver numbers took a little jump. But overall your second year has been one of health (comparatively speaking).

One of the nurses in Omaha told me shortly before your transplant that the first year after transplant would be a rough one. But she said that almost one year to the day, it would be like a light switch turned off, and your medical problems would be a thing of the past. She was right. One week before your one-year anniversary, you took your first steps. From then on, we never had another MAJOR liver function scare. The mastoiditis in June threw us for a loop, but you were such a good hospital patient that you made the stay so easy.

And now we’re into November. And you’re two. And you know what? My idea of perfect may have been blown out of the water two years ago, but this life now? The one we have with you? It’s better than any perfect I could ever imagine.

I love you, Anthony. And when I rock you to sleep at night, and you put your little hand on my face and pat my cheek, nothing, nothing in the whole wide world, could have ever prepared me for how full my heart feels just at that moment. And there are only about a million other moments like that every single day. Your face in the morning when I get you out of bed. How you know that Daddy’s car goes “Beep!” when he comes home at night. The way you sign “milk” to me before we put on your morning Baby Einstein. The way you ask for Nana in the mornings when I take you to day care, in hopes that maybe JUST MAYBE she’s going to keep you that day. How you shake your head “no” when we play our guessing game over Baby Einstein. The way you belly laugh when Maw Maw sticks her face in your neck to tickle you. The way you pet the cat, and say, “Zzzzzzat!” The way you pick up my cell phone and say “Mimi?” like she’s there always, just waiting to talk to you. The way you stuff spaghetti into your mouth like it’s the last thing you’re EVER going to get to eat. The way you come to Daddy or me when you’ve pooped in your diaper, waving your hand in front of your face and saying “Eeeeewww!” The way you read your books cover to cover, speed reading each page. The way you point to a bunny rabbit and say “Paw Paw” because you know he’s the one with the rabbit at home. The way you walked through Nana’s house the first day we went over after Uncle Matt left for Georgia and kept doing your “I don’t know” sound and face while you were looking for him. The way you pretend to be shy when you see Parrain. The way you point to pictures of family and name everyone in the picture, and when you get to yourself you say, “Baby!” The way you run to the front door to look for Grandpa when I just mention his name. The way you hug and kiss your stuffed animals and then throw them on the floor shouting "Uh oh!" The way you put your fingers to your mouth and say "JEW!" when you want juice. The way you sometimes want me over Daddy and then seconds later want Daddy only.

Keep changing, baby, so I have more wonderful memories to add to this list. Just don’t change so fast that I don’t get to make those memories. Stay my little boy just a little while longer, OK?

Love, Mama

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Anthony! You are getting so big and just completely adorable.

~Carol (AmazingGrace's Mom)

Renee said...

You made me cry, Laurie. That was a sweet letter to Anthony.

Mary M said...

That was a beautiful letter to Anthony. Wishing you an even better uneventful 3rd year of life.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!