Oh, to be loved

My little bub, Ryler Cael, turned 2 today.

“And so on April 29th 2014, just before 7am, after a beautifully real and intense labour (another significant space between), and water birth, Ryler Cael became Ryler Cael – We are : We become in the space between. We are, because YOU are.

And so to our dear Ryler – may you become an inspirer, a community builder, an intentionally relational being, an arm-lifter of the weak.

And as his daddy said to him on the day he was born, ‘the love is in the space between us; you’ll always be safe there’.” (read full post about his name here).

And besides the ‘oh my goodness, I had the most incredible birth’ feelings (which were COMPLETELY overwhelming last year – wow!), or the ‘how can you be 2, you should still be 8 weeks old’ feelings, or the adoration we feel when he tries to copy our words (which is simply the cutest thing everrrr) or the excitement we see in his pure delight while screaming ‘boooooons’ (balloons) or ‘birrrrdayyyy’ (birthday), or ‘hoooooorayyy’ at the end of his own birthday sing-a-long or answering ‘me me me’ to the question of ‘whose birthday is it today???’… this year I’ve been struck by the raw and real response he gives to simply being loved.

We live in community (on the same property) with my parents, and so in true keeping-with-Stephenson (my maiden name) style, we like to DO birthdays. Spoils, excitement, boooons, getting up early and singing, presents and cake. This is 100% unnecessary (in trying to continue a minimalist approach), but it is fun, and I really enjoy doing it – so that won’t change quickly. Our little now-toddler doesn’t need all this stuff, I know, but we love giving it to him. And I certainly kept it simple with gifts this year – which was a nice, guilt-free change.

But the love, oh the LOVE. The way his eyes light up when he sees mommy or daddy coming to get him from his crib in the morning and the big cuddles and morning exchanges that then ensue. The delight he feels in the love from his ‘sham’ (gran) and ‘papa’ (grampa) as they join in adoringly. We know we’re blessed. There is just so much love.

pooh love 2

Yesterday my almost-4yr-old spent his whole morning baking a cake for Ryler with my mom. Literally, the whole morning. And he decorated it too. And he nibbled off a few gummy bears and stole a couple m&m’s, and it was a little less than perfect but it WAS perfect because he had a ball and he was SO proud of his efforts. All for his younger brothers birthday… (sure, the sharing – or not – of Ryler’s presents this morning was not as adorable a task), but the LOVE.

This morning Ryler soaked.it.all.up. The balloons, the singing, the cake (oh the cake), the presents, the toys, the books and jelly beans. His face expressed it and his body exuded it. He knew he was loved. And actually, it didn’t matter, the ‘stuff’. Had it just been us, beaming with pride as we squeezed our little man full of birthday-ness, he would have known it full well, and just as well.

And so this morning, his unashamed and unreserved delight made me think deeper into what it means, and what a huge, huge blessing it is to BE loved. Feeling loved, and knowing one is loved is important (life changing really), but being loved. And we ARE loved. At the risk of getting all spiritual for those who do not follow the same faith we do… know, that you ARE loved.

he first loved us

And oh, if it is This Love that allows me to continue loving, then bring it on. Let us love: deep, wide, high, low, in joy, in sorrow, in confidence, in doubt.

Let us just LOVE.

Happy Birthday Ryler Cael. You are loved.

4 thoughts on “Oh, to be loved

  1. Happy birthday Ryler Cael! You bring your mom and dad such joy and love 🙂 Awesome Deb, just awesome. Enjoy today x

    1. Thanks Kimmi. I know you’ve just felt the exact same feelings only a few months back… Ahhhh. These kids. X

    1. Thanks so much. It means heaps since I’m also become more and more nervous of him being that ‘middle child’, so love that I have this for him one day. And that his presence and joy is so tangible and noticed.

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