In August, the four-time Olympic gold medalist and her two-time Super Bowl winning husband Aaron Ross welcomed their son, Aaron Jermaine Ross II. Since becoming a mom, the 32-year-old shares with ESSENCE how life with her baby boy has changed her, her prayer over his growth and a peak inside his gorgeous nursery!
Born on August 12, 2017, baby Aaron II--affectionately known by his parents as "Deucey"--has brought such a joy into his mother's life.
"Oh man, being a mom is everything I hoped for and more," says Richards-Ross. "I feel moms always tell you it's the most incredible journey you'll ever go on. For me, I've been fortunate to have lots of amazing journeys in my life. By far, hands down, this one, of course it's a lot of work, I mean it's long hours, but man, they're special. Now he's starting to smile at me, purposefully smile, and literally it just melts my heart. So it's just been amazing. I've been really fortunate. Ross and I are both home so we both are getting to share in it, so it's just been a wonderful, wonderful experience. Everything now kind of comes into focus, as to what's important."
"It was really awesome to do the project of actually building a custom room for [Deucey] and then also decorating it.," Richards-Ross shares. "So it's really great. I wanted something kind of neutral. I want him to feel the love that we have for him. Working with [Celebrity Nursery & Kids Space Designer] Vanessa [Antonelli] was incredible. She pays attention to every single detail, from the books on the shelf, to his little sneakers that are there that I told my husband I was pregnant with."
"There's definitely a little bit of concern for our son playing football. But for us, it's all about him being active. So we want to introduce him to a lot of sports. My dad played soccer, so my dad wants him to be a soccer player. Of course, I would love for him to run track. Ross played basketball in high school. So for us it's just really about him being active, and then if he falls in love with one of the sports, of course we'll support him. His name is on the wall that lights up. Even if his name is never on a jersey or anything, he will always light up our hearts. So it was really cool to go through, and think through every single phase of the room. I wanted the love we have for him to fill the room."
"The funniest thing my son does, people don't believe me, but he literally punches me in the face," says Richards-Ross. "He literally pulls his hand back, balls his fist up, and punches me. I have tried to record it to show other people, but I feel like he literally looks at me, and I think he's gonna be a boxer. He just straight rights me all the time, punches me in my face. It's so funny. He punches me a lot."
"It was really awesome to do the project of actually building a custom room for him, and then also decorating it," Richards-Ross reveals. "I wanted something kind of neutral. It really does look more blue than it is. The grass cloth wallpaper is actually more gray than blue, but [in pictures] it's pretty blue. I just wanted something neutral, and I wanted something that felt open and bright. To me, the wallpaper on the back wall, it just seems like endless possibility. It is marble but it also kind of feels like the galaxy. So it was really cool."
"There's nothing greater than being at a point in your life where you're just ready to become a parent," says Richards-Ross. "I think for my husband and I, it's like we accomplished everything we wanted to and God blessed us with this amazing gift. Deucey was definitely created in love. The greatest wish I have for my son is that he knows the love of the Lord, and that he fulfills his potential in Christ. That's the most important thing. As long as he knows God loves him, and he has a good relationship with God, and he is able to fulfill his full potential, and we give him everything that he needs to be able to do that, I'll be a really happy mom."