Friday, June 13, 2008

To My Oldest Son

You were born June 13, 2000. You weighed in at a whopping 8 1/2 pounds and 21 inches long. You were the easiest labor and delivery I ever had. 6 days later you were having open heart surgery and threatening to leave this world. That was one of the worst months of my life. But you pulled through, and we loved you. You were a good baby. Slept through the night at 2 1/2 months of age.

Your First Halloween I dressed you up like a Pumpkin to match the little bear the nurse in the hospital gave you. She called you her "little pumpkin". You brought joy to everyone around you. Your ready smile, your snuggles and love and big bright eyes. You were just starting rice cereal(which you HATED) and oatmeal, which you couldnt get enough of.

At 6 months old you had your second open heart surgery. You pulled through like a champ and were better than ever. We had these pictures taken and sent them to everyone we knew. Aunt Lindsey kept them on her desk and showed everybody who would look. "Uh Lindsey, you know he is not YOUR baby, right?" people would say as she flashed her brag book. In fact she loved you so much, you are the reason Aunt Lindsey got pregnant with Faith!
You LOVED mashed sweet potatoes, carrots and the tropical delight desserts from gerber.

Here you were at 1 years old. Around this time we found out you had Cerebral Palsy and the left side of your body was affected from the stroke you had when you had your first heart surgery. We started you in physical and occupational therapy. You were always such a hard worker, except with the speech therapist. You refused to talk her talk or walk her walk. I dont think I have ever seen someone get so frustrated!! You always did things on your own time table and no matter what she pulled out of her magic bag, you refused to go with the flow. We called it quits after 6 months. It was going nowhere! You LOVED pancakes and salmon!

At 2 years old you were a joy. You were struggling to learn how to walk and still refused to talk. But you worked hard in therapy and always had such a sweet smile and great attitude.
Then one day, sometime in your second year, you just stood up and started walking. Then a stranger asked you a question and I said you didnt talk and you opened your mouth and havent shut up since. It was as if your mind said "Oh I get it" and boom everything fell into place.
You loved Baby Einstein videos and really showed your sense of rhythm and musicality during the clasical music. Your favorite food was grapes and sushi...oh and jello.

At 3 you were really starting to show your personality and independence. You loved your new brother and were always so sweet with him. You also had your 3rd heart surgery and were in the hospital for 2 LONG months. We had a few scares, but again, you pulled through and continued on !! You were getting better at walking, you REALLY loved Bob the Builder. You loved spaghetti, bananas with peanut butter and yoghurt.

Here you are at 4.
I could never get that one side of your hair to lie flat. You Loved Bob the Builder, Thomas, and Shrek. You had a Shrek Birthday for your 4th birthday ! I made a swamp cake with oreo crumbs and gummy worms, and we had everyone wear those shrek ear headbands. You loved the park and going shopping. The grocery store was one of your favorite places(probably because I always bought you a bag of M&Ms to bribe you). If there was pizza or spaghetti involved you would eat it. Pancakes were a pretty good thing as well.

Here you are at age 5. You were at UNC Hospital for 3 months waiting for a heart transplant. The nurses all fell in love with you. They named you "The King" and made you a crown that said "King Peter". You are still one of their favorites up there and still can't wait to see you when you go up for check up's. This was such a hard time for our family, but we loved you and wanted to be there with you all the time. You were crabby and mean and nasty sometimes, and liked to give the nurses a hard time about taking your meds. But after your new heart you were a changed little boy. You had so much energy and zest and life!! We were so proud of you and the way you came through everything. You were Thomas the Train and CARS (lightning mcqueen) crazy!! Your favorite food was pancakes and you really started to like bacon. In fact your first real meal after your transplant was blueberry pancakes with raspberry topping. You ate an entire adult sized portion of them and demanded more!!

Here you are at 6 years old. All dressed up in New Orleans at the National Learning Congress on Organ Donation and Transplantation. We got to meet the Leger family, whose son Devan was your heart donor. People there fell in love with you too. You made everyone laugh while you were on stage. Seeing yourself on the TV screen as they filmed you, you put on quite a show. Flexing your muscles, hopping on one foot, picking your nose, smiling and making faces. You were so famous, you had nurses and doctors coming up to you all night wanting to get your picture and autograph!You started Kindergarten this year and had Mrs Whitacre for your teacher. You Loved Danger Rangers!! you loved tuna sandwiches, fruit by the foot and golden grahams!

Here is age 7. 1st grade, Mrs. Grimes class. You were running the mile. You did such a great job in school this year I am so proud of you. Your teacher really had her hands full this year with you, but she really loved having you in her class. This was the year you were named the UNC Childrens hospital inaugural ambassador of the year. You were so popular up at UNC that several of the nurses and doctors nominated YOU to be the patient ambassador. You are The King. You loved transformers, danger rangers and cars!! You started getting a taste for steak, sesame chicken and salad.

And here you are . Your 8th Birthday. I cant believe it. I am too young to have an 8 year old!!

You will be baptized this year(if you choose) and I am so proud.

You will be in 2nd grade. You love Transformers and cars. Your favorite food is steak and salad(or cheeseburgers, it's a toss-up) and your favorite color is purple. You have seen the Transformers movie a zillion times and can quote it word for word. You like to jump on the Trampoline with your brother. You are really good at reading and like to read books to Finn before I come into your room at night to "tuck you up".We are reading James and the Giant Peach together and you really like Junie B Jones chapter books.

One thing I really love about you is your willingness to try new things. Your cousin Alecia made a resolution to try new foods. You decided to do it too. I am very proud that you will try anything and generally like everything. Sushi is one of your new favorites again.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY my dear Peter. I love you and I am so proud of you!

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