Four years ago today, my third and final child was born. Bucket Head, you are the greatest surprise party of my life.

When you were born, your little face was so bruised that you looked like a gigantic blueberry with an attitude. I’m not going to lie, it was a little shocking to behold at first. I’m pretty sure your Daddy looked twice at you and wondered if I was taking special deliveries from our African American mail carrier.

That was day one, and you continue to amaze and surprise and delight me every day. Bucket Head, you are such a gift. Every time I look at you, or hear your precious giggle, or inhale your outdoors-fresh-little-boy-scent, I am reminded that God always has better plans for each of us than we could ever imagine on our own.

I pray that you always behold your family in your eyes and heart as you did when you were a baby.

And that they keep you sacred in their eyes as well.

May you always delight at your reflection and see yourself the way God and I see you.

I pray that in all your relationships, you’ll continue to look for the similarities, and not the differences.

May you always take pleasure in the little things:

And know that our arms are always here to hold you when the going gets tough.

I’m pretty sure a good book and a cuddle is one of the cornerstones of a happy life.

I hope your love and compassion for all God’s creatures stays a part of you forever.

And that your affection is always reciprocated…

But mostly, I just give thanks. You are a ray of sunshine in our lives… a bright beacon of hope and joy.

Happy birthday, my angel, my love, my surprise party extraordinaire.

"I four."

All my love,


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