How Did I Not Know You?

It was a decade ago today that I didn't know you yet.  I don't really understand that.  I loved you entirely from the second that I knew you were there but I didn't know know you yet.
How could that be?

You changed me, sweet boy.  From the moment I held you in my arms, I was a different person.  I was mother. 

How is it that you weren't always here?  The other day you were floored by the realization that there once was a time when you were not.  "But where was I before I was in your womb?"  And I understood.  I feel the same way.  It's what makes me so in awe of our God.

When I was pregnant with you, I was able to go to daily Mass a whole lot.  When I would receive the Eucharist, I always thought it was so awesome how you could be so close to Jesus so often.  I pictured Him right there next to my sweet growing baby.  It blessed you.  I believe that.

From that moment when I knew you were I knew you were special.  I knew that you were one of those people destined for great things.  I have no idea what that means yet but I can't wait to find out with you.

You believe you can do anything.  I battle with how much to let you know that. You're one of those people who just seem to do well at whatever you try.  Sometimes that means you don't work as hard as you can.  But when you decide which of those many things is your passion, which thing makes you come most fully alive, we'll stand back and watch you blow it out of the water.

I love how innocent you are.  I don't think I've ever known you to intentionally do something wrong.  The times you get in trouble it's for getting distracted or not obeying right away almost always because you're engrossed in a book or project.  I get that.  (But you still need to do it ;)

You make teaching easy.  You've spoiled me, really.  Things just make sense to you and you remember everything.

I love knowing you.  I love that you climb trees and devour books and build weapons and dream about pitching and saved up all your money for that beebee gun and build gifts for your brothers and beg to watch Jeopardy and prefer to eat things that are "fresh" and have been asking over and over to be an altar boy and have been counting down to tomorrow for two months.  

It wasn't until this year that I had ever seen you get genuinely angry.  (And I really couldn't blame you.  Little brothers are hard sometimes.)  And even then it lasted for only a moment before it was forgotten.  You're just not that way.  

I am in awe of you.  Truly, I am.  Sometime I realize that you are a much better person than I am.  The way you are so quick to forgive, to find joy, to let things go.  Oh, I learn from you everyday.

Sometimes I worry that you'll grow up and realize how often I failed as a mother.  That you'll wonder why we made the choices we did and regret them.  While I can't keep you from that, I hope you'll grant me grace.  I hope you'll see how much I tried.  I hope the pages here will show you that.

These next years are going to be so interesting.  People have told me to dread them, to fear what they will hold, but I just can't.  I know you.  I know how awesome you are and I am so excited to see you become the man that you were meant to be.  You were meant for great things, sweet boy.  I know it.

Happy birthday, kiddo.


  1. So very beautiful! Happy Birthday, John Paul!

  2. Great words about a great boy. happy Birthday, John Paul!!!!

    Love & hugs

  3. Oh Mary, the idea of receiving the Eucharist while pregnant and the baby and Jesus being so close - what an amazing thought!

    Happy Birthday JP!

  4. Thank you for sharing your boy with us, he sounds like such a blessing. Really not sure why you would receive advice to dread the coming years, I love the pre-teen and the teen years, love them. Happy Birthday John Paul

  5. Happy Birthday John Paul!

    I like the pic where it looks like there are flowers growing out of his head : )

  6. Don't dread those teenage years! I think they're the best. All I have is four (adult) kids, two of each kind, but that's something, right?

  7. Beautiful! Absolutely love the JPII picture!! Happy Birthday, John Paul!

  8. Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!! also sounds like Jude and John Paul have A LOT in common....A LOT!

  9. Beautiful post! And I LOVE the JPII picture. If you take away the miter and crozier it looks very much like the current Norbertine habit! My youngest son liked to dress like our parish priests when he was young-- they wear a black cassock. I got off easy because I could get by with purchasing the cassock and only making a sash.(-:

  10. Beautiful words about a beautiful boy with the soul and spirit of someone way beyond his years. Your descriptions of him brought tears to my eyes-he is truly a precious gift to us.

  11. He is a special, beautiful awesome boy and we are so proud of all of his accomplishments. I love seeing all the pictures!

  12. Beautiful! A lot of what you said reminds me of my first born who is almost 19. He's still all those things. You don't have to fear the upcoming years, embrace and enjoy them!


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