My dear Jackson,
When your father and I named you we chose your middle name Kalamaku’okano’eau because of a dream I had one night. In that dream, someone asked about the meaning of your Hawaiian name and your father responded “Kalama, light bearer.” I didn’t know it at the time but that is exactly what I needed, no, we needed this last year. Someday when you are older you will come to understand, my Kalama, that life doesn’t always go according to plan. In those moments you need to focus on the good in your life and push forward. And if you are very lucky, you will have someone that is so special that every time you utter their name, picture their face, kiss their cheek, or cuddle their tiny body you are immediately filled with so much joy it feels as if you may burst. That is what you do for me sweet child. You are the light in a world that sometimes feels like it is filled with so much darkness. Sure, you had your moments this year. There was Colic, reflux, and your apparent allergy to sleeping more than 1 hour at a time. Thankfully, you seem to have outgrown all three.
Those are not the moments I remember most though. Instead, I focus on the way you smiled at me on your second day in the hospital. Sure it was probably gas but to me it was the world. I remember the first time you latched like a champ. I never thought breastfeeding would get any easier and now, a year later, we are still going strong. I smile thinking about the smell of your milk breath and how, for the first three months of your life, you wanted nothing more than to just sleep in my arms. I am glad that I always let you, even if it meant I didn’t get to shower that day. I won’t look back on my life and wish I held you less. I think about the day that you recognized my face and smiled. The day you said “mama.” The day you crawled toward me for the first time, suddenly appearing at my feet in the kitchen which was about 5 feet away from where I sat you down. I loved the proud look on your face and how it reappeared the day you stood up on your own for the first time and then again when you took your first steps. It is the perfect combination of confidence, patience, and excitement. I love the way you give me a kiss then pull away then immediately come back for one more because you know one isn’t enough for your mama. I love how you want me to walk you around the entire house so that you can switch on every light switch just to make sure everything is in working order. How you have 50+ books but insist I read you the same story every single day, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. How when you see other babies you giggle and kick your feet, wanting to play with them. How your face lights up when the wind blows through your hair. If you could live your life entirely outside you surely would. You are smart and stubborn. Kind but aggressive. Cautious but inquisitive. Your personality is growing and evolving every day and it is my privilege to watch and help you grow. You have made me a better person and for that I am forever grateful.
Happy Birthday my sweet boy. You are truly where the light is.
Love you to the moon and back,