Tag Archives: birthday


My sweet son –

Happy birthday! You turned three today…it hurts my heart a tiny bit just to say it. You are tall enough now that I can rest my hand on the back of your head and kind enough to permit me to do so. You are changing so fast, every day brings something new – words I can’t fathom how you know, skills I can’t believe you mastered so quickly, and play I can’t figure how you imagined.

I’d like to tell you every day is perfect, but you are old enough now to realize that’s not true and tell us when you are hurt or scared or mad, and acknowledge when one of us feels the same way. There are moments of incredible frustration, like when Daddy and I took you to the National Air and Space Museum to see “rocketships” but you were having none of it, pitching a fit on the floor while school kids milled around. But those times are balanced by moments of such gentleness and love; one of my favorite times of the day is when you first wake and come in to snuggle with us, smelling like lavender and sleep. We yell and cry, and are by no means a quiet family. But there is love to spare and you are so quick with yours that it sometimes takes my breath.

You’ve accomplished so much in just one year. Within weeks of turning two you Houdini’d your way out of your crib, grinning at us as you monkey-climbed down the other side. You learned to ride bike, made friends at the park, spent hours reading to yourself and us, helped mommy cook, discovered a love of superheroes and baseball. And your language….one day during the summer I found myself staring at you, trying to decipher your baby tongue, only to realize you were speaking in entire sentences. You have such a way with words and I am so proud to see you try them out, it sometimes looks as if you can almost taste them on your lips. You take on each day with bright eyes and infectious spirit, and I find myself inspired.

As I tucked you in the night before your birthday you pulled my hand down and whispered “You make me happy.” You have no idea, my son. No longer a baby, my heart will not yet allow me to call you a big boy. But you are, without a doubt, my Sweet Boy, and I wish you the happiest of birthdays.

Happy birthday Sweet Boy!

Happy birthday Sweet Boy!

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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in family, Parenting, Remember


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Amazing – A Letter to My Son on His Birthday

Dear T –

What a difference a year makes!  You turned two today and greeted me, as usual, with a smile and a “Hey!”  I lifted you out of your crib with the realization that this time next year you will more than likely be in your big-boy bed and the hope it would be the only change to our morning routine.  We headed downstairs and I recalled, as you asked for milk and jumped on the couch and helped open your gifts and tried to stick your entire face into your cake (yes, for breakfast!) that this time last year you had just taken your first solo steps.  When we spent the afternoon at the National Zoo, you pointed to and named the animals and it reminded me that age one you fell asleep every night with your giraffe.  And tonight, when I tucked you in and you blew me a kiss for the very first time – well, that was just perfect.

Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn, on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born. - Nancy Tillman

Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn, on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born. – Nancy Tillman

For you each day is an adventure! You took your first steps in the days before you turned one and have been non-stop action since.  You’ve learned to jump, climb, and run, and scared the crap out of your father a few weeks ago when he found you half-way up a 6′ ladder.You smile and say hello to people we pass on the way to the market, ask “what’s that?” or “hear that?” a thousand times a day, and your eyes light up when we head to the park or the zoo or even somewhere new. And it is so exciting to see you running around the playground, making friends and kicking the ball around. You are curious and inquisitive and do not shy from new experiences, and I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.

You already have quite a way with words. Most mornings your Daddy and I wake up hearing you talking or reading to yourself, and with the exception of nap time it’s pretty much non-stop until bedtime. You started using your signs asking for “more” borsch (of all things!) in July; since then you’ve learned hundreds of signs and words and each day it seems you know a few more. You have questions for EVERYTHING, usually more than one, and there are days when I am grateful for the silence when you’ve fallen asleep. But I would not trade it for anything else, and I pray you retain your excitement for language.

And perhaps most incredible is that, at the age of two, you are the first to notice if someone is upset, or sad, or hurt, and ask “you ‘tay?” and offer a hug or a hand on the arm. I don’t know where you learned that compassion, but my wish for you is that you never lose it.

You’ve accomplished so much in the days since you turned one and are, in a word, amazing.  I say that knowing, if you ever read this, you will be horrified and embarrassed and may go so far as to deny me as your mother.  But it’s true, so there it is.

Happy birthday, my sweet peanut. I look forward to seeing what the next year will bring.

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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Remember


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A letter to myself on my birthday

Dear Self:

Have I mentioned lately how much I love you?  I love that you think of other people and do things without expecting anything in return.  I love that you have a good heart and wish you would not be so self conscious about showing it.  I love that you can make people laugh and even when you can’t find the good in a situation, can find a way to keep moving.  I love that you are willing to try new things and are finally realizing that just because you’ve always done something a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s the only way.  I love that you are fearless in the face of the unknown, that you stand up for your family, and that you keep going after the things you think are important.  You are emphatic, boisterous, temperamental, bold, energetic, and passionate, and I love you.

Have I told you how proud I am of the amazing mother you’ve become?  You spent years trying to convince yourself and the world that you didn’t want kids…I knew you were just terrified of having someone be dependent upon you.  But you inherited a teenage stepson who trusts you enough to tell you things he won’t tell his dad.  And now there’s T, who is fearless and smart and curious and funny and loud and happy and so very loved.  You have great instincts, giving guidance when it’s needed but knowing that it’s okay for them to explore the world and discover their own paths, on their own terms and in their own time.  There is no greater gift you can give them, and you are amazing.

Have I reminded you how beautiful you are?  I don’t care that you haven’t worn a bikini in five years, or that you are self-conscious about those gray hairs starting to creep in or those lines that are starting to appear around your eyes.  Those things are superficial and don’t change who you are inside.    You are smart and funny and sexy, self-confident and loyal, with infectious enthusiasm and a great smile, and you are so beautiful.

You know I worry about you, there is always so much to do, places to be, other people with neeeds and wants that tend to trump your own.  Every year you feel like you’re falling further behind…what, exactly?  It’s life, not a race.  I want your days to be a search for treasure, not tests.  This year, I challenge you to find that treasure.   Try something you’ve always wanted but never found the time.  Master a a new skill.  Jump head first into something you’ve always feared, and make it your own.  You are an amazing woman, and you deserve this gift to yourself, the gift of a full and rewarding life.  Happy birthday.


Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Every fall, when the days start to get short and dark, so do I.  My dear husband calls it my “hibernation,” and dreads my mood swings, chronically irritable state, and sluggish demeanor.  From my perspective, if it’s okay for bears, what’s the problem?  So what if we go through twice as much coffee in a week and my nightly sleeping requirements increase by two or more hours?  Does it really matter if my sweats are working double duty and I have to be bribed into leaving the house again once I’ve returned to the safety (and light) of home at the end of the day?  But apparently my winter needs wreak havoc on our family dynamic, and so each year we suffer through while trying photosensitvity lamps, new vitamins, morning workouts, cold showers, whatever we think may help my “condition.”

So it stands to reason that DH loves this time of year, at least for a few weeks.  He receives a brief respite, between the longer days of “springing forward” and my birthday in April, during which I still dread leaving my toasty bed in the morning but at least am much more joyful when I arrive home from work.  It’s not until after my birthday that my husband once again begins to complain of my “seasonal illness.”  By that point I’m wide awake at first light with energy to spare, and it’s not uncommon for me to trick DH or my stepson to think it’s later so they will get up to go to the farmers’ market with me.  Why they continue to fall for this is, of course, a different issue.

The short reprieve from one seasonal affliction to the next is one of my own making.  My husband may hate what the fall time change and dark days do to me, but I it’s nothing compared to the apprehension I hold each year as my birthday approaches.  I’m not sure when this started, but at some point I began to recount my age versus my accomplishments of the previous year.  As holidays wind down and the calendar slowly moves closer to the anniversary of my debut to the world, I become increasingly panicked by the number of things on my life’s To Do List compared to the years left in my life.  Or worse, compare my achievements of the previous year to those of friends, acquaintenaces, fellow professionals, and in split second determination confirm I am squarely behind the rest of the pack.  It’s only after my birthday that I begin to breathe easy, comforting myself with promises that I will take full advantage of the many days before the next one in which to make some headway.

We are now in the epicenter between longer days and birthday.  My husband is breathing a bit easier, but I’m still pulling the covers over my head.  Maybe next year I’ll give my self an early gift to celebrate my life.  Consider that To Do list a Life list – because once everything is crossed off, really, what’s left?  Capture that extra month or so and make it mine.  Poor DH – he won’t know what hit him.

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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized


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