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How do I love thee

Today my Josh is ten years old.

I am amazed every day at the things he can do. He started out this sweet little silver-eyed boy

and grew into a chocolate-eyed manchild.

Sometimes I can see him standing on the edge of childhood, perched and ready to leap into life and it frightens me. I want to hold on to him for a while longer, I want to kiss his smooth, chubby cheek and listen to his out-of-control giggles. I want him to stay my Joshy-boy forever.

I know that there are many things that are not easy for him to do. I hope he never gives up, even when its hard to find a way to keep going. I hope he believes in himself, thinks for himself, hopes for himself, and reaches as far as he possibly can. He has an amazing imagination, a vivid world full of pretending and games and fears. I hope that never fades away.

Joshua's Gramma Annie lived for him. If not for him, she would have stopped fighting for her life a long time ago. The days we shared with her were very precious, and those days were - in large measure - lived for Josh. He was the light of her world, nothing had more meaning than his smile, his hugs, his love. She believed in him, she saw the brimming potential he has.

I never imagined it would be this hard to be a parent. I want to run and rescue him from every fight, I want to cure every hurt, I want to teach every lesson, hear every laugh, wipe every tear, celebrate every victory. I have never been so angry, so sad, so happy, so scared, so confused as I am when I look at my son from day to day. I feel so incredibly blessed to have my beautiful boy, so amazingly lucky.

Before Josh stumbled off to bed at 2 a.m. I had him take this little quiz that I found on another blog. You answer some questions and select pictures that you feel represent your answers. It was a fun little exercise and I think the pictures he picked sum him up pretty well.

However, I think this picture from 2005 says just as much about my brown-eyed boy:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!-- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

~Elizabeth Barrett Browning


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