Monday, August 10, 2015

My “LITTLE” kid is now a kid

Dear Dakota,

I can’t believe today you turn SEVEN!!!! Whenever people used to tell me their kids were 7 or 8 I would always think wow that is old…and now YOU are MY 7 year old!! You are no longer a “little” kid you are an official KID!! It makes me kind of want to cry!!
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I can physically see that you are growing up. You look like you are 7…except your feet! ;) (They haven’t grown much at all since your accident. Still wearing the same shoes you wore back then! Except of course I have had to buy you several more…not because you wear them out but because your mom likes shoes! ;))

But even though you look older, you feel bigger when I carry you, and officially you are now 7…I still am stuck at age 2! Time stopped for me the day of your accident and it has never quite been the same!
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I sometimes let myself wonder what you would be interested in or what you would grab and throw in the cart at the store?? I wonder what your favorite food would be?? What kind of party you would want?? Or even what kind of presents you would ask for?? Who you would want to invite to a party?? Or what kind of party you would even want?? There are so many questions and things that I wish I knew. I wish I even knew what to get you!!!

But in reality…none of those things REALLY matter! None of those things are important! What makes me most happy on this day is that I get to celebrate YOU!!!
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We get to celebrate 7 years of having you as our son and Navy’s brother!!
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(see that sneaky hand)

You have earned those 7 years and deserve to be celebrated!! You have one of the hardest earthly lives of anyone I know!! I know every day is a challenge for you as you have to rely on me and others to get you EVERYTHING you need. Lots of times I don’t always know what you need or what you are wanting and you are loving and patient with me. I know it must be hard for you to watch your friends, classmates, and cousins running around doing what they please…all the while watching on, longing to run and play right along with them!! You sacrificed SO much to choose a life that is physically hard…to teach your mom, your dad, your sister, your family, your friends, and SO many strangers some of life’s greatest lessons! You have been MY greatest teacher and example in my life and for that I could never repay you! No birthday present could do you the justice you so deserve!!

You are my hero Dakota!! I sit by your side and watch you touch hearts and change lives…all without a single word!! You carry with you a spirit that is undeniable!!

A few months ago, a man I had never seen got up in church to bear his testimony. He started talking about how he hadn’t been to church in years and how one Sunday he decided to join his wife. As he got there he realized that it was the primary program that day and he doubted that he would learn anything or feel much from it. He then pointed to you and said…”As I watched that boy get carried up by that man (your primary teacher’s husband Brother Thackeray) my heart was touched and I knew this was where I was supposed to be.” As I watched this grown man in tears talk about YOU I couldn’t have been more proud to be your mom!! Dakota you are SO special!! I know that you know that!!

I hope as we celebrate YOU this day, week, and month (because that’s what we do!) I hope you know how grateful we are that you chose to STAY and celebrate these last 5 years with us when you could have gone back to your heavenly home, free from all the pain and physical struggles and had a much easier life!!

I love you more than words can say!!!

Happy Birthday my sparkly eyed, heavenly smile, angel face Dakota man!!!
(His FAVORITE present was flying home today and seeing his DAD!! He LIT UP when he saw him for the first time!!)

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