When my son Jack was in the hospital, he had regular echocardiograms to check his heart. During one such exam, the technician told me that when Jack is sixteen, and asks for the car keys, I can just say “no” because in his infancy, Jack had already expended his allotment of lifetime stress and worry from his mother. I told the technician that if Jack lived, and I was able to raise him, that he could have whatever he wanted from me. Whenever he wanted it.
Since then, that has been the attitude I have had toward all my children. It’s not a laissez faire kind of attitude, and it doesn’t mean I don’t discipline them, but there isn’t anything my children could do that could diminish my love for them, and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for their every happiness.
In a quiet moment right after Alec was born, when it was just him and me, I held him so close and whispered a promise to him that I would love him so much; even more than I loved myself, and that I would spend every day of my life showing him that I loved him. In a way, I was reminding Jack that I would have done the same for him and that I still loved him so much and I will give my everything to live happily with him forever.
Shortly after we brought Alec home, I was reminded of the book, “The Giving Tree.” The book is about a female tree who loves a little boy, even more than she loves herself. She gives all she has to the boy to make him happy. In the end, she is just a stump and the boy, who is then an old man, uses her as a place to sit and rest. There are lots of interpretations of the book, some sweet, some not-so-pleasant, but for me, it symbolizes the love I have for my little boy. He can cut me down to a stump if that’s what he needs from me. I will love him unconditionally and forever. Whatever he wants. Whenever he wants it.
Alec is now one year old. I will teach him his entire life the principles of the Gospel. I will teach him that God loves him and I will always direct him to the paths that lead to eternal happiness. And I will always love him, no matter what, more than I love myself. Happy Birthday to my sweet little Boy. You and your sisters make me so happy. I promise to always do the same for you.