You see, my birthday (Jan 8) is six months from his birthday, July 8. As such, he deemed this day his "Happy 1/2 birthday" years ago and it stuck. It was a running joke every year. Never mind it was my day, or that Noah's was a mere 11 days away, it was the kickoff to his birthday. I gladly share this day with him, I just wish he could be here to celebrate with me.
I try very hard to live in the now....to celebrate TODAY'S joys.
To be grateful for the surprise breakfast in bed, cooked by my hubby,
who breaks out the skillet only about once or twice a year.
For the precious moment of snuggling with Noah
on the couch this morning as he chomped down his cereal.
The sweet "Happy Birthday!" from Tina as she frolicked out to catch the bus.
For the many well wishes this morning from friends and family.
The anticipation of the yummy steak dinner we have planned tonight.
But it's hard to not think of him on this day. To not wish, for a moment, to have him here with me. And so I'm celebrating with him in the only way I know how. By giving back.
My sweet boy was known for helping others. It was his legacy. What many may not know about him was his great love of books, something else he shared with his momma.
I began reading to him while he was still in my belly. After he was born, we spent family time in the bed each morning, and it included reading a book. As he grew older, our nightly ritual contained a bedtime story. I still recall his proud face the first time he read a book to me on his own. As a young child, we'd increase the size of the books with his age. He loved big chapter books because it meant more one on one time with mom. And I remember fondly as he grew into a teen and we began to share and recommend books to each other. I loved discussing books with him, listening to them on tape in the car, and quietly reading next to him on the couch.
It's no surprise that he had a large collection of books. He'd saved every book he'd ever owned since birth. After he passed away, and we transitioned his room for Tina, I stacked most of those books into totes for storage.
Something whispered to me when cleaning over Christmas break that it was time to find those books new homes. Austin would want them to be shared.
This is how I'll spend my birthday this afternoon. Donating over 100 books, from chunky wooden toddler stories to thick, dog-eared novels. Each one being sent with love - and a big Austin hug from Heaven.
Happy 1/2 Birthday, sweet boy.