To My Baby On His First Birthday
A year ago today we became a family of four.
You were born after six intense hours of labor, and 45 minutes of“Oh-fuck-I’m-not-fucking-having-this-baby-in-the-fucking-car-goddamnit!” where your daddy thought for sure I was going to have you in the car. You were born 10 minutes after we got to the hospital in one push.
And you have maintained your all or nothing personality ever since.
At the hospital, the nurses kept pointing out how “sweet” you seemed. They said things like “Oh wow, he’s so sweet!” And “Oh my, he’s such a sweet little man” and I can’t help but agree with them loudly and wholeheartedly because you ARE! You were born sweet. You are the essence of sweet. It’s in your eyes. And although every ounce of my Phi Mu sorority rush training is to not use generic words like “Sweet” or “Cute” to describe a person, it’s nearly impossible to think of a better word to suit you. A nickname is born. A hashtag. You are my Sweet little S.
I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I told your father on our second date that motherhood was in my future and if he wasn’t on board then I didn’t want to waste his time. I wasn’t fucking around. I had big plans for my life and those plans included meeting you and your brother some day.
He told me that he’d never really thought about being a dad, but that if it was important to the person whom he married then it could be something he could get on board with.
I like to remind him of this when we watch you and your big brother playing together. Talking in your own babble language. Cracking each other up making monster sounds in a call and response from different rooms. I tell Chris, “Remember when having kids wasn’t a big deal to you?” He laughs and gestures to the two of you and says something melodramatic like “And look what my seed has produced! Sons! Two sons!”
You look so similar yet so distinctly different. We tell people that we somehow got twins but without the chaos and all-consuming life fuckery that I’ve heard having actual twins can be. You are similar in personalities and dispositions. Yet you are uniquely your own little man.
Here’s what I know about you from your first year in life:
You are curious and wicked smart. You have a scientist’s mind. We can see the wheels turn in your little brain when you experiment with dropping food on the floor, or throwing things above your head while we change you. Yes, some of this is normal baby behavior – but it’s different from the way your brother experimented. You do so with a distinct curiosity unmatched.
When you were nine months old, you figured out how to crawl on all fours, pull yourself up to stand, and cruise around clutching to whatever you could within a matter of days.
Your brother was not this way – he took things one step at a time and over the course of a long time…He is cautious and careful.
You are fast and furious. When you make a decision to do something, it seems like nothing will stop you. Like I said, when you were ready to be born, you were going to be born.
You are fiercely independent.
We have never been able to feed you anything other than a bottle and occasionally puree’s by a spoon and only after much silliness and many choo-choo trains to get you to try a little taste. Once we were able to move to solids that you could feed yourself, you seemed to turn to us and be all “Okay Parentals, I got it. Move along.”
Tonight I rocked you to sleep for the first time in a long time. And you curled up into my chest in a way that reminded me of the very first time I held you. Your eyes taking in the wonder of the world around you – meeting you for the very first time as you connected the fact that the voice you’d been hearing in your warm womb was mine.
A year ago today your entire life consisted of mere seconds, hours.
These milestones start to feel like time is somehow traveling faster than I can keep up. It feels like moments ago you had been born and just like that here we are a year later (I mean let’s be honest though when I think of the details of this year – oh man, what a fucking year.) But even still, it feels like I’m going to soon be looking up at you instead of down…that tomorrow you’ll be graduating high school and next week you’ll be getting married and in a few months you’ll be having kids of your own. My future grand children.
If we can be so lucky.
That’s how it feels in these quiet still moments when it’s just you and me and anything is possible.
And it’s these moments that I do not believe I could possibly love you more. Or love your brother or your daddy and this little family we have created together any more – and yet I do. My heart keeps expanding to make space for all the love.
Thank you for choosing me as your mommy. I do not know what your future will be, but I know no matter what happens, I will always adore you, cherish you, cheer for you, support you, and love you with all of my heart and soul. You are and will always be my sweet little S.
Happy Birthday. Xo, Mommy.