Well here we are.
At age 10.
Sometimes it used to seem so far away.
Sometimes it felt like we would never quite get here.
But we are here.
You are tall.
You are smart.
You are as healthy as you can be given all the crap happening in your body and brain.
You amaze me, still.
10 years ago today I became a mother. While I was pregnant with you I couldn't wait to meet you. Like all expectant mothers I told you about all the things we were going to do. All the things you could be. I dreamt about the camping trips we would take, about the sports you would play, about just hanging out with (hopefully a few of them) your brothers and sisters.
But some of that wasn't how it was meant to go.
Instead, you arrived in the most traumatic of fashions. I couldn't even hold you for the first two hours of your life. I couldn't even see you for those first two hours.
I was stuck somewhere else in a hospital room, unable to move and desperate to see you.
To hold you.
To breath you in and never let you go.
That moment I first saw you, I knew you were perfect.
I looked into your eyes and somehow knew life was going to be different.
I felt like I needed to protect you more than anything.
Nothing has changed.
Even 10 years later, I still think you are perfect just the way you are.
Our life is different.
And I am fiercely protective of you. After all, I am your loudest voice.
I can't pretend that the past 10 years have been all about strength and wonderful stuff.
Because some of those days have nearly broken me.
They have nearly broken you.
There has been a lot of awfully hard suffering that we have all had to face.
But we have made it.
You, me, your Dad and your Brother.
Because we love you so so very much.
And are so incredibly proud of you.
Here's to another 10 years. And another 10 years after that.
Happy 10th Birthday my sweet Ryley.