A letter to my 1-year-old Daniel Hosea

My sweet Daniel,Today I watched you let go of my hand to take that step. And then another. I have watched you let go of fear and embrace life this year.

Last week your dad and I weeded the strawberries in the garden. We brought your quilted blanket and your big red car so that you could play while we worked. You wanted to go inside. You wanted to be away from grass - you hated that stuff! When we told you that you were safe and that we were taking care of you, you demanded something different.

Denver Colorado Family Photographer - Jordan Brittley

But we were confident that you could be outside with us… even if it wasn’t how you had pictured your day. I kept digging up extra strawberry plants that we didn’t need. I imagined giving them to our friends and blessing them with a patch of their own. I looked down at my dirty gloves and noticed the shadows getting long on the trees.

I looked over to see how your play time was going, but you weren’t playing. You were gardening. Big tears filled my eyes as you ripped up grass from our yard and dug your fingers into the dirt. Your face was covered in banana and there were weeds all over your blanket.

You were just a blur when you looked up at me and screamed from excitement. I could see you moving your hands together and then throwing the weeds in the air as the tears started running down my face. Yes, be wild and free, little one.

Yes, be wild and free.

Denver Colorado Family Photographer - Jordan Brittley

Sometimes I say “no” and really mean “that’s not what I expected.” I decided this week that I would say “no” a lot less. The truth is that I love your wild dreams of climbing on the couch, picking out your own clothes, emptying out the laundry baskets, and dumping water on the floor. I love your wild dreams even if they aren’t what I expect.

You challenge me to let go of perfect and embrace joy instead. I love that you say 20 words a day and none of them are “momma.” Because you don’t need a word for me just yet… I am just there with you.

Son, you are so loved. Don’t let your fears keep you back. Choose grace over outrage. Choose freedom over pressure. Share your toys and waive bye to the mailman. Keep gardening with me. It’s okay if you pull up something that isn’t a weed.

Denver Colorado Family Photographer - Jordan Brittley

Stick your fingers in the mashed potatoes while I finish dinner with you on my hip. Call for your dad and I when you need our help. Look at the trees and ask questions on our walks.

It’s my prayer that you would walk with Jesus from a young age. It’s my prayer that you would know Him and His truth even as a babe. It’s my prayer that you would love Him and seek Him all your days. I tell you the truth, son; being in the wilderness with Jesus is better than anywhere else without Him.

Go ahead and be wild and free, son. I think I will join you.

Love, mom


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