This is a note I wrote to my son a few weeks before his first birthday. Do enjoy with us!
Bobos, can you believe that it’s almost your first birthday? My oh my! How great is our God! One whole year has rolled by and you are now what they call “a young toddler.” Just how amazing is that?
So, about this time last year, I was quite heavy with pregnancy, giddy with excitement and couldn’t wait to finally meet you. You were due to be born at a very historical moment – the period when COVID-19 struck the world and sent all 7 billion of us in all 190+ countries around the globe into a complete lockdown. People were sick, dying and afraid. Everyone was ordered to close up businesses, stay indoors, keep clean and only work from home if they must; and everyone agreed!
But there was no stopping you!
It pleased God to situate your birth during this phenomenal time. I knew that I needed to keep active in order to ensure your well-being and safe delivery. And so, every evening, your dad and I would take these walks through the streets, holding hands, praying and praising, anticipating your arrival. It was inconvenient because you were a super big and healthy man inside the womb but I was determined not to lag behind. I would trudge on beside your dad, often out of breath, haha.
But there was no stopping me either!
Well, the cool night breeze in streets devoid of people with only a few cars speeding past is every walker’s dream. And so, we walked and learned new songs and simply enjoyed waiting for ya.
Then eventually, you came! Sweet, calm and everything baby. Fussy nights, long hours of nursing, careful carrying, countless diaper changes and bath times – we experienced them all. God has used you to bring us immeasurable joy and a whole new level of maturing. Not just us, but also everyone in our lives including your grand parents, uncles, aunties, our Christian community here and around the world. Everyone dipped into this jar of raising you. For several weeks after your birth, the world remained behind closed doors as world leaders and researchers struggled to get the pandemic under control.
But there was no stopping everyone from showering you with love and excellent care!
Technology was wonderfully maximized so that family and friends were able to participate in your baths and feeding, even if they were miles away! Those who could, went out of their ways to bring you gifts and food, taking optimum precaution to keep your environment healthy in our new found normal. Everyone supported and encouraged us. And you thrived and flourished.
Until you grew to the stage when you could smile and chuckle. And that brought our joy to yet another level that we didn’t know was possible, wow! You are a big-time charmer. I bet that these your big and warm smiles could wake the dead and even melt iron. And you give the sweetest, mushiest kisses too, just at the right times. The God who wrote the programming for babies must be a genius, to say the least!
Because I keep wondering how you were able to recognize sweet words so early in life! I mean, from the first few days of your life when we sing “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family, with a great big smile and a kiss from me to you. Won’t you say you love me too” and blow imaginary kisses at you, your face would literarily light up! And in the months that followed, your eyes would always follow to see if we were actually blowing imaginary kisses or not! See enjoyment!
I won’t fail to mention when you grew to become “a mover!” That period when you would shuffle, crawl or cruise all over the house. We had to start thinking SAFETY! There was literarily a siren going off in my head every time you moved, analyzing whether this object or that room was safe for you. We baby-proofed every space and our alertness is on an all-new high.
And there’s no stopping us!
It’s been a pleasure caring for you through both the routinely days and the unpredictable days of marking milestones. We look forward to a million more in the future, as Christ our saviour tarries.
But if there’s anything you take away from this walk down the memory lane, I hope that you always remember that:
- You are loved. Oh yes, you are deeply and unconditionally loved by God your Heavenly Father, your parents, your big daddies and mummies, your grandparents, your uncles, aunties, brethren, peers and acquaintances. Let this knowledge settle deep in your heart because it is true and it is never going to change. God is everlasting and we are all bonded to Him and so, I can tell you this for sure; no matter where you are in life and what is around you at any time (t), you belong to a community whose language is love and whose foundation is Love. As you see the world through this lens, you can trust that everything else would assume their right colour. You are loved, my baby.
- God’s hand is upon you. God’s presence is with you and He controls everything our lives are about. You can take this knowledge to the bank and cash out- it is sure and true and dependable! Because He loves you, He works in you to make you want to do His good pleasures and also to do those His good pleasures through you! What I mean is, you are God’s child as well as His ambassador, His representative. How cool is that? So cool, huh? My baby, I have to tell you, you are going to have the best life ever simply because you have the Most High as your God! And we all will enjoy it with you.
You are blessed and highly favoured. You are anointed and appointed for the deliverance and joy of many. You continually grow in wisdom, in stature, as well as in favour with God and people. You are taught by the Lord, great is your peace and oppression is far from you. You are established in righteousness, you are an eternal excellence. Your feet bear good news, your breath gives life and healing, your hands always produce prosperity and restoration. Your body carries God’s spirit and your head, His oil. You are fortified with strength, you touch others with kindness and you have godly wisdom beyond your years. Your life is preserved and you are an answer to your generation. You serve the Lord all your days and at the end of time, you will enjoy eternal rest with great rewards! With long life, God satisfies you and He shows you His salvation in Jesus mighty name.
Soon to be your day, please do shakara! Happy 1st Birthday, Manuel.