Dear Jackson Douglas,

On your first birthday…how do I love thee, let me count the ways…

I love your genuineness, surely a trait passed down from your father.  When you smile, your happiness exudes from the tips of your toes blazing up through the gaze from your bluest of eyes.  It is as if every cell of your body is glowing with joy.  And when you are not happy, discontent does the same.  I admire that about you.  There is no covering up your true emotion or intention in any given circumstance.  I pray that you never lose your authenticity.

I love that you love your daddy.  I love that unfailingly everyday you look out the front window between 5:30 and 5:45 singing his praises with a “DA-dad-dad.”  I love that when he finally bursts through the door with enthusiasm you fight your way into his arms and protest anything less than at least 5 minutes of attention.  I love that you cannot always get through dinner without him putting you in his lap to finish the meal.  I love that you cannot let him lay on the floor without using him as a human jungle gym.  I love the true blue Benham tease when Daddy asks “Do you want to go see Mama?” with a slow lean down to me but then a quick turn to bury your face into Daddy’s shoulder.  I love that you adore your father.

I love that there is no where you would rather be than playing with your brother and sister.  I love that you want to be with them and don’t think there is any reason you shouldn’t be.  My heart sings when you giggle with glee at the silly things they do.  I love that when you awake in the morning you yell over to Max with an “AH!” as in “Wake up…it’s morning!”  I love that you love them, and they love you.

I love that there are just some moments when you only want mama.  When you’re tired or hungry or you just need a hug and hear me say “It’s alright, mama’s here.”  While it is less often these days those moments still take my breath away and I will never forget them. 

I love your persistance…which has proved to pay off in the dead of night.  You know I will always come running and you never give up until I do!  You show this in your determination in every new task and endeavor.  I know that this character trait runs deep in your blood and I know it is something that is just who you are…and I admire it!  It’s hard to believe that well before you were one year old you taught your mother something about not ever giving up.

But most of all my sweet, sweet boy, I love what your life represents.  You, Jackson Douglas, represent God’s faithfulness in that what He says in His Word is really Truth.  I desperately wanted you in the worst of ways.  I prayed and fasted in the hopes that you would come.  When I gave that deepest desire to the Lord, and really gave it up, not once taking it back, and trusted Him and His plan for our life is when He gave you to us.  Every time I see your sweet face I am reminded of God’s incredible gift He gave us in you and that when I really delight myself in Him, He WILL give me the desires of my heart…you are living proof. 

I love you, Jackson Douglas!  Happy Birthday! 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1: 17

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