I was working ten years ago, photographing a newborn and I went into labor with you. I have to say, it was an uncomfortable two hours as I finished up my session, crawling around on the floor. You were scheduled for a c-section the following week, so I was kind of hoping it was a false alarm. But when I went to the hospital to get checked, the Dr said I would be holding you in less then an hour. I was surprised when you came out, as you did not look like your brother. I was expecting a mini Elijah, but you decided to come out looking like a Dankmeyer, all 8 pounds 4 ounces of you. And I have to say, you have turned into a mini Dankmeyer through and through!
As I tell you, you will always be my baby. Your siblings often say you get away with the most, and they are probably right. I tell them that it is the right of passage as the baby of the family. They don’t like this answer.
These past ten years you have challenged me to really connect with you and figure you out. Because of that, we have a very strong bond. I thought I was a pro, after having three, but you did everything different. You had to have a particular soother, a particular blanket, your clothes have to fit you in a particular way. You love routine and schedule, and enjoy following a to do list. Separating you from the family as discipline ALWAYS works better than anything else. I can remember countless times sitting with you on the stairs or in your room while you cried and screamed. Then when you were tired enough, you would climb onto my lap and settle down. You are still like this. Learning you has been a challenge, but also a joy. There is something very special about you. You have such a calm and level energy.
You have taught me patience with people, even though I lack it with everything else. You have taught me the importance of a bond a boy shares with an animal. You have taught me the struggles of loving a perfectionist! You have taught me that there is another out there as stubborn as I am, and how frustrated others may get at times dealing with me. You have taught me that everything else can wait while a snuggle is needed.
I love that you still sit on my lap grab my arms and wrap them around you in a big hug, that you still expect me to pick you up (although I’m just about at my limits with this) and that you still climb into bed and hold my hand all night. I love that you hug me countless times a day, and make me laugh with your silly antics and jokes. I love how you always take my face in your hands and squeeze with your eyes big. I love how you won’t take no for an answer, ignore what I say, and argue your point. I love how you will miss out on something for yourself to be able to give it to someone else you love (although I’m still trying to teach you not to give all your allowance to your siblings if they ask you for it). I love your thoughtfulness as you are always bringing me little tokens or candy you think I will like. I love how you dance around and are gentle and kind to others (well, except your brother). I love how you watch how Darryl treats me, and then you try to do the same things. Although we need to practice how you brush another persons hair, as most girls would like to still have some when you are done brushing it.
I love how you love. Your love fills a room. You are such a bright and beautiful soul.
I don’t know how ten years has passed by since I first held you. The light and love you have brought to my life has been endless. I know that one day I’m going to get to collect on the bet you and I have made, and that makes me smile. I can not wait to see who you choose to become. Because who you are now, is pretty remarkable.
Happy Life Day my beautiful boy. May you always find the light.