Today is JT's birthday. At 12:29 AM on a snowy Nebraska night 9 years ago, he came into the world. In that moment, my world became complete. It is the most remarkable event of my life and I cherish memories of the day. The moment that I hold most dear happened just a few hours after he was born. As the sun rose, I sat in the quiet of my hospital room and held and rocked my new baby boy while I quietly told him about the wonderful life he would have.
That life hasn't quite been what I promised and, though I do my best to make up for it, sometimes I feel the loss quite keenly. So as much as I celebrate this day, JT's birthday is also bittersweet for me. I conceal that feeling from him; there is time enough for him to learn that life brings sadness as well as joy. One of the brilliant things about being nine years old is that the world is a place of fresh opportunities, not one of losses and regrets. I want that feeling to last for my son.
On his birthday, I feel gratitude for the gift of my boy. I will celebrate today and every day that he lights my world with his sense of humor, his winning smile, his quirky imagination, his kind heart and his sweet voice.
I will tell him that he is an amazing boy, more amazing than I could have imagined nine years ago. And it will be the truth, sometimes the only truth that I know. For me, he is the boy who hung the moon.