To my Christian on Valentine's Day,
I was sitting here putting your classroom Valentines together and taping heart shaped lollipops to your wheelchair heart cards and I was thinking to myself - Mommy sure knows a lot about hearts.
The first time I heard your heartbeat, you were just a tiny baby in my belly. Hearing the woosh-woosh of a baby's first heart sounds is one of the best things I have ever experienced in my whole life. It's the beginning of life. It was the reassurance that you were in there, growing, and it was right then that I fell in love with you.
When you were born your heart rate dropped as you were coming into the world. You arrived quietly, unconscious with your cord wrapped around your neck two or three times, I forget. And all I could hear was my own heartbeat while listening for your sign of life. Finally, you whimpered. And you were ours.
And then there was the day. The day of the accident. When you were lying on the tile floor, not a breath left in you except for the gasp before your heart stopped. Mommy's heart stopped, too. There were panicked whispers in that room of no heartbeat and when we went to go be with you for what would have been your last moments your heart started to beat again. Mommy's did, too.
In those early days after the accident when you couldn't cry, you couldn't make a facial expression or even a single sound, your heartbeat was the only thing that talked to us. It let us know when you were upset, hurt, calm or agitated. Your heartbeat always told us.
I've studied and analyzed your heartbeat as you were hooked up to a monitor. I've been worried when your heart was beating too fast because you were sick or too slow because you were sleeping so peacefully.
Even though we rarely use a monitor anymore, when it's late at night and you're sleeping, I sneak into your room to check on you. You are off dreaming about running and playing, visiting your friends, I'm sure. You're so calm and still that sometimes I put my hand over your chest so I can feel your heartbeat and make sure you're okay.
And when I hold you close, chest to chest, I know you can feel Mommy's heart beat against yours, Baby Boy.
Expecting to "fix" you broke my heart a thousand times over. Accepting you healed it back together. Mommy's heart will always, always be a little broken for everything that wasn't, but Mommy's heart is so full for all that is.
My strong boy, I have felt sorrow and despair in my heart as deep as the ocean, but you have also given my heart joy and happiness to the moon and back.
The first time you smiled again, my heart couldn't believe it. And now every time you try to smile, my heart flutters.
I spun you around in circles in your chair the other day and you made happy noises while smiling a little and even your big brother, Gabe, started laughing watching you. Mommy's heart grew three sizes that day.
So, you see? Mommy knows a lot about hearts! And this Valentine's Day, along with Daddy, Gabe, and Lola, know that my heart is yours and I love you forever.
Happy Valentine's Day, Baby!