happy birthday pooch My darling Rocco, I'm going to read this to you even though the words spoken won't be understood by your tiny ears. I'm going to save this for when you're older, when you're able to read this for yourself when I'm not in the room doubling as a crying and sobbing mess because my baby boy is one today, when you'll be able to understand the weight and the volume of what I'm trying to convey to you and how you have changed my life for the better. I know, one day you'll think how corny this sounds, you'll roll your eyes and laugh at me, and that's okay, that's what I expect, I expect a lifetime of you finding me embarrassing, you already swat my hand away when i try to put sunscreen on you or fix your hat in the park when you fling it off your head. You can laugh at me as long as you know how I feel about you and why you mean everything to me and your father, how you changed us as a couple and as individuals for the better. That's the important part, that you see how appreciated your presence is in our lives.

I didn't know if I would ever have children. I didn't know if that time would ever come for me. I felt like as the years grew longer that my days of becoming a mother were fading away. You came to me at a time in my life where I knew it was right, when it felt right, a time when your father and I were in a place of warmth, a gorgeous golden hue of light, it only made sense that we would do this together and not with anyone else. I couldn't have done this without him, so when he gets on your nerves like he gets on mine, know that he is and has been an incredible force in your life and will continue to be. I hope that I can keep up. When I look at you I see a combination of myself and your father, I see bits and pieces of us, my eyes and his mouth, his elongated frame on your body and my cheeks, or well, we're not sure if they're my cheeks or daddy's, we debate that when we're in bed and you're cooing between us, neither of us wanting to disturb you or lift you up so you can go back into your crib. I see a shyness in you, curiosity and wonder, adventure.

I see bravery in the way you hoisted yourself up against the couch so early, earlier than the doctor every said you would, bravery in the way you just take off in the park like you have somewhere you need to be, something to discover. You're still so little but your personality grows vast and big by the day. You allow us to learn so much about you while simultaneously learning so much about ourselves; patience, love, generosity, selflessness, you are the reason we want to remain as good, kind hearted people, we want to do our best and give our best for you because you deserve every ounce of this rotten world, you will be the one to change it, no one will ever be able to take that away from you or stop you in your tracks.

You come from a place of love, of heart, of passion, love that your father and I share together, keeping the three of us tightly wound together as one. I want you to know that no matter which way life takes you, we will love you, we'll love you so feriously even when you want us to pull back and let you be your own independent person. We're here as two sources of information and insight, we're here to help you grow and to motivate you to be the best person you can possibly be. I'm sorry all of this sounds like noise to you right now, but maybe as you hear my voice your little hands will reach for this paper and you will smile, the rare, big smile that comes out of you, that's all that I need to see, that is your way of telling me you understand. I'll shut up now and let you stick your hands into cake and nap against my chest when you're done playing with the obscene amount of toys from your American and Aussie grandparents. You are so spoilt and so loved by everyone who has come in contact with you. You're a source of light and hope. I love you so much, my baby boy. Your dad does too, but you know I love you more. Happy birthday, darling. xx