dear merritt

I remember the day I discovered you were there, nestled under my heart. I’d been sick for two weeks and felt your existence already, but your older brother hadn’t yet reached his first birthday and denial is a powerful force.

That day I finally stopped at the drug store, went home and saw the two blue lines, walked downstairs and gave your daddy a half smile and he grinned.

Well,” I shrugged. “I guess that’s that. What are we going to do?

Your daddy laughed there, drying dishes in the kitchen of our desert house. “Well, we’re going to have a baby.”

Do you know you introduced me to hopeful resilience?

I remember the morning you began your entrance into the world and I told your daddy to stay home from work. We walked through a glitzy spiraling shopping mall, willing strength into each labor surge. My water broke in Gap Maternity and four hours later you emerged into the warm pool of an oversized bathtub, your shoulders so broad I had to stand quickly and work your body out of my own. I collapsed and held you to my chest while you blinked at the world, at me, at your daddy’s lovestruck eyes.

Do you know you taught me beautiful endurance?

When you were nine weeks old, your daddy traveled to a sandy spot across the globe and spent eight months there, so far from us. I was 21 and I was afraid and I was mama to two very tiny boys. The evenings were thick with silence and I was heavy with apprehension. On cue, you snuggled closer those nights, sleeping soundly, waking late, napping easily, taking in the world with your gentle old soul. I nursed you through the quiet moments and the loud days, and you soothed my heart with your smile. You assured me we’d make it with your cocoa hued eyes.

Do you know you gifted me with undeserved confidence?



You’re my strong boy, the fighter, the lover, the stubborn one, the loyal one. You’re alternately pensive and passionate, quiet thinker and wannabe stand up comedian. You’re a coffee drinker and a skinny jeans wearer and you know exactly what you like. You’re a Jesus lover without coercion. You don’t back down, you never give up, you go in when everyone else is retreating. You defend the ones you love and you defend your own honor and you give mercy easily when you deem it justified. I shake my head at you, my warrior boy, and I wonder at your passion. You’re mighty in spirit.

Did you know you’ve shown me strength?

Happy 5th Birthday to my Merritt Will. I can’t imagine who I’d be without you.

15 Responses to dear merritt

  1. MariJean January 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Beautiful. I love it.

  2. Wendi Lane November 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    AWESOME post Ashleigh… Merritt is an AMAZING young man and I feel so blessed to get to know him and have him in our home at times….I am sure that he has many amazing things to do in his life and will continue to touch so many!!

  3. Everly Pleasant November 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Such a beautiful post, but I think you might have a typo there at the bottom. Five. FIVE? No way!!!

    ;) Everly

  4. Chantel November 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Gah. I’ve got tears in my eyes again. Happy ones. <3

  5. Amy November 6, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Gosh, this is beautiful. Happy birthday to your sweet Merritt.

  6. Monica Stein November 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Wow. This is beautiful.

  7. Ashley Baker November 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    What a sweet post! I love how you wrote different snapshots of his story. Happy birthday Merritt!
    -(a different) Ashley Baker

  8. Megan at SortaCrunchy November 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    This is so, so beautiful. What an incredible way to capture this precious moment in time with a sweet, sweet little man. Love.

  9. Breanne November 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Beautiful tribute to your small but mighty son. And a beautiful tribute to you, as his mom. Thanks for inspiring this mama of two little girls to keep on.

  10. Kelly @ Love Well November 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Love this. Love you. Love your mama’s heartbeat for your boys. God gave Merritt to you, and you mother him well, Ashleigh. Happy birthday!

  11. Sarah Bessey November 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Mighty in spirit – just like his mama. Love this ode to your M, Ash. Love how you mother these small souls so beautifully, with grace. happy Birth day to you, too.

  12. the Blah Blah Blahger November 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    I LOVE this love letter to your boy!!! And what a cutie he is! ; )

  13. Megan(FriedOkra) November 2, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    This is beautiful, and so are you, and so is he! Happy Birthday to Merritt! xo

  14. sweet momma November 2, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    This sooo captures the way I feel about my own little boy. It’s amazing how much we depend on our own children, isn’t it?
    Simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  15. LoraLynn November 2, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Beautiful words, friend. Happy Birthday, Merritt!

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