It was a year ago today that your tiny cry filled that hospital room. Grandparents and cousins clutched their cell phones anxiously. Family members stood by the bed. And your daddy…he was with you the whole time. He couldn’t wait to hold his little boy.

Literally, from your very first breath, you have been surrounded by people who love you unconditionally.

Son, as long as we live that will never change.

First of all, what we want you to know is that you were wanted–nay, coveted. Oh, how your father and I longed for the sound of little footsteps in our home! Your laughter echoed through our dreams and your name was a mystery that ached in our hearts.

So we planned and we prayed and we waited.

And though your arrival was meek, you exploded into our world, forever changing the landscape of our souls.

“Love so big that it hurts.”

That’s the best way your father and I can verbalize our feelings for you. And as I write this letter, the night before your first birthday…the presence of that hurt is a little stronger than usual.

But today isn’t about me, son. It’s about celebrating you. About the joy that your birth has brought to the world.

And joy sure has been abundant since you arrived.

With every milestone you reach, our hearts burst with pride. Speaking your first words. Taking your first steps. The sparkle in your eye as you discover something new. (And you are always, always discovering something new.)

Everyone says you look like your daddy–and that is true. But you have some Mommy in you, too. You’ve inherited a certain degree of reckless curiosity that is bound to get you in trouble…it already has.

Every bruised noggin, cracked lip and squashed finger has been felt in our hearts. As your parents, we want to protect you from everything. And the hardest lesson we’ve learned to date is that we can’t.

Your fearlessness is both a blessing and a curse. But you are wild at heart, my love, and we wouldn’t take you any other way.

Time is flying, son. They say that happens when you are having fun. Well, we are having the time of our lives with you.

Thank you, Benjamin, for wrecking our world. Now that you are here, we couldn’t imagine life without the mess. Our love for you is immeasurable. You are our life’s great miracle.

Happy birthday.

Mom and Dad

This article originally appeared on Mom Babble

Mary Katherine Backstrom

Mary Katherine resides at, with her son (Nugget), daughter (Toodleboot), and The Hubs (Ian). There you can find the dreams and musings of a messy, slightly opinionated Southern mama who survives on equal parts grace and coffee. Y'all should be friends. Find her on Facebook or Twitter.