What a year. For many, 2020 will be viewed with negative thoughts and feelings. For many, 2020 was filled with fear, disappointment, and sadness. People missed out on seeing their friends, visiting family for the holidays, going to the movies, and even enjoying a lovely dinner out with their spouse. No one knows how much longer we must live in isolation, with a sense of dread hanging over our heads. We haven’t seen the sincere smile of a stranger since March, as we’ve spent the last 9 months hidden beneath masks or behind closed doors. For many, 2020 could not be over sooner.

For Matt and I, 2020 brought us our first child, a curious and independent baby boy. It goes without saying I’m sure, but I never planned to have a baby during a pandemic. I imagined strangers commenting on my growing bump, laughing with family and friends at baby showers, and welcoming my parents and in-laws to the hospital to proudly meet their first grandchild. We expected to bring our sweet boy to meet family in California or along to dinner with friends. We hoped for playdates with my dear friend’s baby boy who was born in March. I even dreamed of Matt and I walking the aisles at Target picking out Christmas presents together, commenting on how much fun the baby toys were and how excited we were to wrap them.

Instead, Matt and I spent the last two months of my pregnancy in seclusion, praying we did not catch COVID. We spent four days at the hospital during my induction and birth, and no one visited. When Luke was admitted to Masonic Children’s Hospital, Matt went with him the first night, while I stayed home alone, fearing that if I saw family or friends I could bring the infection to the hospital. After we brought him home, no one held him but Matt and I for the first month. We had no professional photos taken. Friends and family did not come over. We made no travel plans. Other than our parents, our family has not met Luke. We did not peruse the toy aisles to pick out presents.

All that said, Luke has been the greatest joy. While for most, 2020 will invoke feelings of grief and anxiety, it was the best year of my life. I could not imagine waiting a second longer to meet our sweet little boy. Not only was this the year Luke was born, but it was the year he learned to smile, the year he began giving us kisses, and the year he started reaching for us to hold him. It was the year Luke started babbling, the year he discovered how to army crawl, and the year he tasted ice cream. Every morning when Luke gives us a big gummy smile, I am filled with love. I hope that in the next months or years, Luke is able to share his smile and love with more people.

So tonight, when most of the world will be wishing 2020 “good riddance,” I will think of the year with love and delight. It wasn’t perfect, and it certainly brought its challenges for us and the rest of the world. But it also brought Matt and me the sweetest blessing we could have ever hoped for. I will forever be thankful for this year and all the wonderful memories.

Thank you, Sweet Boy, for making your dad and me parents this year.

Love, Mom

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