To my son on his birthday…

Dearest Liam,

Upon this day, one year ago, that you were born. Today you are one year old.

I remember that it was a bitter cold Mid-Atlantic day and that there was thick snow upon the ground. I remember the waiting… and then you arrived. I remember tears streaming down my face when I saw you for the first time.

Over these past twelve months, you have grown from the silent and wide-eyed newborn into a grinning and giggling little gnome.

Each of the children dote upon you, you being the youngest and last born of my brood. You are eager to return their affections, favoring each of them in different ways.

Gaelynn protects and cares for you in a curiously maternal sense. As she is the eldest and most capable, she has proven herself invaluable in assisting with everything from baths and diaper-changings to teaching you to read. You seem to love being carried around by her, though sometimes you seem to act as though she is a bit too fastidious with your well-being.

Israel is your hero. It seems that whatever he is doing, is the most fascinating thing in the world to you. You are already fond of clambering about with him on the floor, though he does get a bit impatient when you knock over one of his building projects. On the whole, you two get along famously and I delight to think of what fun you will have together as you grow older.

Sophia is your best friend. Of all of my children, the two of you get along better than any combination of the rest. While the elder two are at school, you and your sister can play together for hours without interruption or dispute. Sometimes though, you will paw at one of Sophia’s little sparkling baubles and she will become upset when you won’t let go…  especially if it’s a necklace that she’s wearing.

For your mother and I, you are an absolute delight. By temperament, you are gentle and good-natured. However, you are also not without the capacity for the occasional tantrum…  though they are rare indeed.

Structurally, you seem to share traits with you mother’s extended family. With a broad back, thick wrists, and strong legs, your hair is fair and with a faint reddish hue. Your eyes are deeper than your sister’s shade of pale blue, like your mother’s oceanic hue.

You are clever, quick to figure out patterns with a keen memory for cause and effect. You love to laugh and to make others laugh, and you already show a love of animals. You also sow an interest in sports, “ball” was one of your first words and you love to chase after a rubber ball bouncing its way across a floor.

You will shine forth something in your days, my son; I pray that the LORD Almighty will grant me the wisdom and strength to guide you well. May you, in time, find a far greater Father than I in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

I love you, my precious son, and I wish you many happy returns to this day of your birth.

Your devoted father,
Matthew

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