“The mightiest oak began as a tough little nut that just held it’s ground.”
Our tough little nut turned 1 last weekend. We celebrated in the most perfect way Tucker’s 365 days. It was. Poignant. Triumphant. Beautiful. For a moment, sad. But mostly perfect. When T was in the NICU we read the Very Hungry Caterpillar book to him nearly every day. It was a story fitting for a preemie. About a very tiny newborn caterpillar who bursts forth on a Sunday morning and is, very…well, hungry. He eats his way through the book, through all sorts of fun and sometimes mismatched foods. All the while getting bigger and stronger until the end of the book when he has grown into a big fat caterpillar and finally (spoiler alert) turns into a beautiful butterfly.
After we read the book to our little caterpillar in the NICU we would remind him to eat and grow just the same-that we needed him to be a big, fat caterpillar so we could take him home. So. There was little hesitation as to what Tucker’s first birthday theme would be. And to his
delight dismay, we found a Hungry Caterpillar hat. (thank you JoAn).
We have given Tucker an awful lot in his first 365 days. Prayer, Positive Thoughts, Support, Protection, Medical Care, Love. But I took a moment, on his birthday to reflect on what he’s given to us. By being so unbelievably fragile yet so subtlety mighty.
So. Tucker, as you read this in the years to come-I want you to know that you gave us some pretty amazing gifts too. In the midst of what seemed and felt like a crisis (and was, truthfully), you gave your mama and daddy some mighty gifts that we’ll carry with us forever.
- Courage to hope
- Strength beyond understanding
- Total and complete surrender to God
- Celebration of the commonly overlooked gifts of life
- Boldness in prayer
- Abandonment of perfection
- Compassion without pity
- Unspeakable joy
- Laughter through tears (mama’s favorite emotion)
You’re a tough little nut. What the next 365 days will bring, we can’t begin to guess or plan (another lesson we’ve learned) but we’ll take it. Whatever it is. It is a gift too. That, we understand fully and completely. So…Year 2, here we come! Down. Set. Hike. And just throwing this out there-we would be 100% ok with a low key, less roller coaster-y, alarm-less, more party, less isolation Year 2.
Now. You’re gonna need to grab yourself some coffee or hot chocolate because what follows is a obscene amount of pictures from Tucker’s birthday. It was all adults (stupid isolation) but I still went a little overboard. T was a little overwhelmed by the 9 people that were there. That is, after all, as many people as he’s seen at one time-Ever. They were all people that love him dearly and prayed for him intently this year.
Our little guy didn’t get to eat cake (he’s not eating solid foods yet) but he got some icing and loved it. And we froze a big section of cake for him to eat very soon hopefully. He had a ball crawling through his caterpillar tunnel (thank you Fikes!), he stared at us stone faced (seriously not a solitary smile) when we sang Happy Birthday, and he burst into tears a few times-like a genuine 1 year old. It was a good, good day.
Settle in. Enjoy his day with us. We did.