Dear son,

Happy birthday to us! We were born at the same time, you as my son and me as your mom. When you are smashing your birthday cake, a year ago at the same time I was fighting with life to have you in my arms. You were worth the wait and worth the pain.

It feels like yesterday we ventured to the hospital for induction but things didn’t go as expected and you were delivered by a C-section. You came out just perfect, beyond my imagination. That moment when the doctor lifted you above the curtain, you were physically separated from me but felt even closer. That moment you were in my arms, I swear you were the best thing my hands had held so far. You were a tiny, little, snuggly, crying baby; now, you are a mischievous toddler running around the house and breaking things apart. My heart melts when I hear you saying “Momma.” 

A part of my heart wonders, “Really? Am I already ready to welcome a toddler into my life?” No, not at all, and if I could, I would make you small and start again from the beginning, 

I will be proud no matter what you do in your life. I want you to know it’s OK to fail but don’t give up hope. I may not always be happy, but I will always respect your choices.

I want you to teach it’s OK to say no. You can’t please everyone in the world, so, be yourself first. Don’t apologize for who you are, be confident and proud of yourself. At the same time, don’t hesitate to apologize if you hurt someone. Be responsible for your own actions. There is nothing that an apology can’t fix.

I know the world puts so much pressure on men, but I can’t deny the fact that it’s challenging living as woman. I just want you to know living as a human is more important than being a man or a woman, so always be kind and respectful to everyone. 

You’ll need to earn money for living but keep in mind that real worth of a human is when you lose all your money. You don’t have to be rich, great, or famous to be a nice human.

Dear son, we’ve spent just one year but you have already made us the happiest parents in this world. We can see many good qualities growing in you. You have learned to share and know how to be happy and make everyone around you happy. You love to giggle, walk around parks in your self-made trail and play with water. We love the way our friends hang out with you; you have that ability to make people fall in love with you. Growing with you, we’ve learned to be happy for no reason, cheer for your success (like those claps when you are able to throw the basketball), and do our best.

Happy first birthday to the sweetest baby I have known so far. 

Love you more,

A version of this story was originally published on the author’s blog.

Anju Giri

Anju Giri is a graduate student, wife to a most supportive husband, and a mom to a playful toddler. When she is not busy with her boys and school, she loves writing about motherhood, reading diverse kind of books, baking anything from scratch, watching Netflix, and going out for a walk. She loves her boys more than she loves coffee or ice cream. Meet Anju at or