An open letter to my 11 month old son

Connor,

Time is moving too swiftly for my comfort. I want the days to slow down, except for the hours that I’m away from you at work. I want the seconds that I am with you to come to a near-halt. I want our time to never end. Ever. And I get that you’re “only” 11 months old but sweet baby Jesus, how did this time whiz by me so quickly?
I want to write down how I feel about you, right now:
You are so inquisitive. You are always interested in what is going on around you. You respond to the softest noise or touch with pure attention. It is making you such a smart boy. The things I watch you figure out are wondrous. You’re so willing to try anything and you trust your daddy and me to be there to comfort you if things don’t work out. You are so sweet, always sharing. You hate to see other babies cry and will move to them with a toy to share or put your tiny understanding hand on them in solidarity. You are strong, always showing us that after a quick hug session, you are ready to brush off your falls or trips and try again. You are loving. Your sweet baby kisses are what Heaven is made of, I am certain of it. Your hugs are like butter and when you wrap your tiny hand around my fingers or place it on my cheek, I am overwhelmed with awe. You are playful, always wanting to interact with us. You are a jokester and I rely on your bright smile to give my day depth.
I love it when you nurse. You love to put your leg up – sometimes with your foot near my collarbone (or in my throat!) and your hand on my face (or nose, or in my mouth, or slapping my cheek). It always relaxes you and your eyelids flutter as you fall asleep. Okay, so maybe I shouldn’t say always. Sometimes you barely have time to nurse, you are so interested in playing or in what’s around you.
I love it when you play with Jackie. You love her so much and she adores you. We adopted Jackie after we lost your brother, Noah, and so in many ways she is my original rainbow out of a very dark time. But I had just no idea how much I could love until I first held you.
I remember kissing your head, with vernix and blood all over it, repeatedly, after your birth. I remember daddy having to ask for his skin to skin time because I’d already kept you close to me for two hours. I remember not being able to sleep that first night because I could not stop staring at you.
I still have those moments where I cannot stop staring at you. I have all these moments where I think “holy goodness, I made a PERSON and he is so handsome and smart and loving and brave and kind and curious” that I cannot help but feel overwhelmed with emotion. I do not know what I have done to deserve you, but I am so glad that God gave you to me. Every part of myself that I have ever judged or hated or struggled with is redeemed in your presence. And if you can do all this in less than a year, I tremble at the thought of how you will help me grow in the next several decades.

I love you so much sweet pea. Here’s to the rest of our lives and all the space after that.