Dear Keaton Carl,

Dear Keaton Carl,

Happy Birthday!!! Today you turn 6 years old. Throughout these six year, I have not been one to be overly weepy about milestones or years as they pass. While I might miss elements of previous years, I love watching you develop into such a remarkable little guy… but this year for some reason it feels different. You were born on a Sunday and today your birthday is on a Sunday… maybe that is it… or maybe it is because it now takes two hands to show your age instead of just one… I am not sure… but what I do know, my heart is feeling so many things at such a depth.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was beyond terrified. I don’t think I was terrified of having a kid, I was terrified of being a mom. I was afraid all of my baggage and issues would be harmful to you. I was afraid I would mess you up. I spent the months pregnant scared. I knew your dad was going to be amazing… I just didn’t trust myself to be a good mom.

I remember after my mom died and I went to counseling. The counselor asked me why I was there. The first thing I said was that I didn’t want what happened to my mom to mess up my family one day. Little did I know how much our past doesn’t necessarily mess up our future family, but it absolutely impacts it.

Once you were born life was such a blur. Our goal was to keep you alive and to provide the best environment possible. I spent countless hours googling and consulting growth books about every little thing you did. I wanted to make sure I didn’t fail you as a mom. What I didn’t expect was sacred little moments that often happened without notice. One night at your 3 am feeding you giggled for the first time and I don’t know if my heart has ever felt such a magical feeling. Time and time again you looked at me like I was the most remarkable person… and somewhere during these looks I started to believe you more and more little by little.

Before you were born, I told your dad if I could teach you one thing it was to be kind… and oh how you have surpassed every expectation. You are kind in ways I didn’t even know was possible. You feel deeply and you want others to feel like they belong. Yesterday as we were at the waterpark you went out of your way to get a small bit of trash out of the wave pool… why? because you care. You challenge me to care more and be kind in new ways.

You see it is interesting, as parents we think we are the ones giving so much to our children… which if you are thinking of physical necessities we are… but you are the one that has given us so much more than I can ever return. You have made me feel more confident and proud of myself than I knew was possible. For a person who has struggled with self-worth her entire life, when I am with you I never once question my ability.

I am no longer scared to be a mom because you make me feel like I am amazing… and for once, I believe you.

Love you always,

Mom

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