Three years ago today at 4:12pm I became a mom. I’ll say it until I die but, man, does the time fly.

Every year on this day I will probably laugh remembering how Seth and I had to walk the halls of the hospital when I first went into labor. How I made him huddle into a corner of the hospital hallway so I could confide in him that I had googled what the numbers on our bedside monitor meant. That as far as I could tell they indicated the strength of my contractions. Some women on the internet said their numbers got up to, like, 800 – mine were in the 80s and felt like they should have at least qualified for the 300s. I cried and winced in pain as another contraction hit; I told him I didn’t think I could do it. I hope I never forget how genuinely he laughed and, rather than telling me to shut up, calmly reassured me I would be great.

I’ll remember the long hours, the anxiety, the excitement. I’ll never forget the oxygen masks, the frequent dilation checks that never amounted to much and the moment my doctor said we’d have to do a c-section. I tried so hard not to cry when she left the room. If there was ever a lesson in letting go of expectations, that was one for the books. I’ll always remember lying bare on the OR table while someone hovered over me and slowly explained what was going to happen next, yet all I could think about was how cold I was. I remember hazily telling Seth I couldn’t stop shaking; someone from somewhere in the room said that was normal. The person hovering over me asked me to wiggle my toes and shortly after a baby cried. It was over faster than I could snap my fingers. There was a blur of commotion. Seth left my side and I watched as our nurse delicately set a perfect, tiny baby into his arms. Tears filled my eyes as I laid motionless on the table.

And just like that, I was a mom. Everything was different.

I will remember that day forever just like it was yesterday.

I don’t have a favorite child but as my first child, Matty’s birthday is an extra special day. I get to celebrate the special place he has in our lives and the amazingly awesome little boy he is but I also get to reminisce fondly on the day he made me a mom; after all, it is my momiversary. It’s the day Seth and I became a family and the singular most impactful day I’ve ever lived.

As far as birthday dedications go, I’ll never beat the emotional-filled tribute I crafted the quiet Sunday afternoon of Matty’s first birthday. It took me a couple hours and quite a few failed attempts to say exactly what I wanted to say. Loads of tears, hours of sniffles and 65 concise words later, it was perfect:

“In one year Matty has taught me the value of being present, the significance of a minute and completely redefined the term “important”. He is, without even being able to talk, the most influential person I’ve met in my adult life. Happy birthday, buddy! I’m sure you won’t remember any of this but I will never forget it – it has been the best. year. ever.”

There is nothing that will encapsulate Matty’s value or sum up the impact of his presence in my life more accurately than that. He has made me brave and soft at the same time, he has given me the courage to live my best life, to speak my mind, to trust, to love fully and to be present. He has breathed direction into an otherwise meandering mind and, as a three-year old, given a strong purpose to an otherwise scattered journey. That’s pretty incredible.

As a big brother, he has shined. As a son, he has filled our days with laughter, lessons on patience and zest. His heart is huge. He’s got an ornery streak a mile wide. And he’s tender to a fault. He is the best of both Seth and I and I’m not sure what our world would be without him.

Happy birthday, Matty! You are still, and will most likely always be, the most influential person I’ve met in my adult life. Never stop shining your light or spreading your laughter. You are magic.

Love you always.
Your lifetime fan,