My nephew Jesse is two years old today. He is too young to read, so I did not send him a birthday card. He is not too young to be read to, so I bought him some books for my sister to read aloud to him.
Were my nephew able to understand what I want him to know, this is what I would say to him:
It is your birthday. This is your day. We are all very proud of you. We love you. You did nothing to make us proud. You did nothing to make us love you. You just are, and that is reason enough to love you and be proud of you. May we love everyone as purely as we love you.
This is an exciting time for all of us who are watching you. With every day you are picking up new words. You are picking up new tricks. You are picking up new emotions, feelings, and sensations. The grey haze of infancy is lifting, and the bright light of childhood is dawning, bringing you into vivid sharpness. You are becoming a person, a funny little person. It is a delight to see you emerging.
Your world is changing, and quickly. That's all right, because you are changing quickly with it. Once you were all by yourself with your mom and dad. You were the only little person. Now you see other little persons every day. (Be good to them!) And you don't know it yet, but soon there will be another little person in your house. This little person is already here but not yet here, because this little person is inside your mom. Once you were inside your mom, too. That is where God put you when you came from nothing. That is where we all come from. We come from God and nothing. Then there is love, then a yes, and then we are.
Your world is changing. Now there is a young dog in your house. Once there was an old dog in your house. Then she had to leave this world, because everything that lives must die. She went back to God, but not back to nothing, because everything that comes to be is never lost.
Your world is changing, and forever. You came into the world, and you made my sister a mother. Now she is going to make you a brother. Once you become a brother, you will be a brother the rest of your life. Bless God for your mother. Bless God for you, Jesse, for you will be a brother for life. Your uncle, your big brother, is praying for you, because he wants you to be the best brother you can.
God be near you. God be with you. God be in you. I wish you the peace and goodness God showed us in his son and our brother, Jesus Christ.