Dear Buddy,

Five years ago today I took what felt like the thousandth pregnancy test since I had gotten married (three months previously) and…it was negative. I felt crampy and I was mad that I felt crampy so I took like four Aleve and went about my day with your sister, not sure why God wasn’t JUST GIVING ME A BABY ALREADY. I mean seriously. Didn’t He understand?

Later that afternoon, because anxiety doesn’t make sense, I took another test. This one- this one, there was a tiny blue line.

I was so surprised I sank to my knees in the bathroom, that horrible bathroom I couldn’t stand (even though it was objectively beautiful.) “Our boy,” I thought. I knew right then that you were my Joey, and even though I spent the next nine months convinced you would die, I couldn’t imagine life without you.

And like I wrote to you on  your birthday this year, you have changed our lives (all of our lives) in ways we never thought possible, and we will forever be thankful to you for changing the story of our family to include hope.

One year ago tomorrow morning you had to have hernia surgery. You were fine- literally home by naptime and totally happy. Never even took ibuprofen afterwards. But you were still scared- you had to be wheeled away from me crying in anesthesia, and I had to wait while they cut you open. Afterwards while we were walked to recovery with a mother who knew way too much about how this hospital operated, Daddy and I were never more appreciative of the fact that we have healthy children and get to have so many moments with you and your sister that we don’t even appreciate.

Today we got one of those moments. Squeaks went with Aunt Colleen for a special girls day, and I took you with me for what I thought would be a normal day. But you wanted a Mommy Joey day. So we had one. We got a Happy Meal and took a cuddly nap and watched TV (“Movies are too scary,” you told me) while eating Halloween cookies and cuddling on the couch. You literally kept saying “Best day ever!”

I hope I never forget that stuff. How sweet you are, how much you love cuddling. How you want to be close to someone all the time. How much you love to be cozy under a blanket. How you’re scared of the most random stuff (movies) and love British TV shows.

I hope I never forget anything.