A letter to my son, Ashton

Ashton, today you turn two.

As you can imagine, I’m a little emotional.

I remember being so excited to meet you. Your dad would talk to my belly for hours and we’d stare at the places you kicked, wondering who you were and who you’d look like.

As it turns out, you look just like me. You have my brown hair, my eyes, and my dorky grin. You look a lot like your father too, but you have a strikingly Scottish look about you, the type that has people remarking “Gosh he looks like John Balderston!” all the time. Thanks, Dad.

You may look like me, but you act like your father. I see so much of him in you that my heart hurts even to type it.

You have an exuberance that brightens a room without you even trying. You are beyond silly, but oh, so serious. You have determination beyond your years and of course, a very big temper (Don’t worry, if your dad is anything to go by, you’ll learn to control it).

With that big temper, of course, comes the biggest heart. And oh my goodness, can you love! You have so many friends and so many allies, so many people who have journeyed alongside you in these two years of your life and I am SO PROUD of how comfortable and inclusive you are with them.

You’re a true performer, a true conversationalist and a natural leader. You aren’t afraid to go off exploring to do your own thing, and although sometimes that lands you in a spot of trouble, for the most part I’m incredibly stoked to see you experiencing this world.

You love to sing, you love to dance and you love to work out alongside your dad. You two have such a special bond, and I hope you know that no matter where you go or what you do in this life, that man will have your back.

Ashton, you took two ordinary, naive people and turned them into parents. You made me a fierce mother and your father a doting dad. You may never know just how much we needed you, or of all the hurt you healed when you came into this world. In you I see generations of brokenness completely undone. Thank you for making us parents, thank you for giving him a family.

We love you so much,

Happy Birthday!

Rachel Chen