Dear McKay,

Today you are ten years old. I look back and cannot believe how fast the time has gone.

You were born in Minneapolis on a crisp, sunny February day (although I have still not forgiven you for that, as you were supposed to be born on January 28). Your delivery was a little stressful for your dad and I. You somehow managed to get that cord tangled around your little neck, which is quite a feat considering the cramped quarters you were living in at the time. You came out perfect though, in the end, for which I am eternally grateful.

I can still picture you in your Daddy's arms that first time, just minutes old. You had your eyes wide open, and sat there just staring at Daddy's face while sucking on your little thumb. He rocked you slowly, back and forth, in a white wooden rocker, and I just held my breath. My heart felt like it was going to burst. I knew in that moment what it finally meant to love. You were my boys. Together at last. What started out as me and him became a family that day with you.

I can still picture you as a bald, cheerful newborn baby. You were the easiest of my three babies, and you rarely cried. I can remember even calling Oma and asking her if there was something wrong with you because you never cried. She laughed and told us to enjoy you. Which we did. You grew quickly and happily, and have never given us an ounce of trouble. You've met all your challenges thus far with a smile and a cheerful attitude.

You have broken us in as parents. Yours is the unhappy task of doing everything first and watching us make our mistakes on you. It's not hard to go easy on you though because you try so hard to please. You notice little things, like when I'm cranky, and you gently ask me if I need to eat something. You make sure to stop and play Hannah's games, even though you're dying to get back to your own stuff. You are the best friend Chase could ever have. Your strengths compliment his, and I know you will always be there to support him.

You are getting too big to sit on my lap and hug me anymore (I tried the other day and you thought you were going to die), but I know that you still need your Mama. I'm the one you run to, cheerfully waving a math test in your hand with a bright, red "A" scrawled on the top. I'm the one you hug tight when you go to bed, even though you pretend to think it's gross. You can still pretend, because deep down inside, I know. And that's more than enough for me.

So happy birthday, Mack. I could not be prouder of the boy you are, and I cannot wait to see the man you will become.