A year ago, you stole my heart, and we’d only just met. You were long-awaited, much-anticipated, already loved. We didn’t know for sure if you’d be a girl or a boy; we welcomed the surprise. Your birth was not as smooth as we expected or hoped, but you arrived, safe, healthy and BIG. That last part hasn’t changed. You were off to the races on your growth from Day 1. People speculate that you’ll be a football player because of your size. Some days, like the ones where you knock everything in sight with your head, I wonder, too. Whether you are or aren’t won’t matter. Still, it’s fun sometimes to wonder what you’ll be like as you get older.
But I get ahead of myself. Today, it’s about the first year of your life. We’ll have many years, God willing, to talk about the rest of the years of your life.
It would be impossible for me to pick what I love most about you. Even after a year, I hardly know you. But I also know you better than anyone else. The bond between a mother and child — an indescribable sweetness I never knew existed before you and your sister came into our life. But this smile, it’s up there on the list. People are always saying what a happy baby you are. I can’t disagree with them. Even when you fuss, it’s for a good reason and is usually easily solved. Your face is so expressive. I can’t imagine you have any idea what you’re holding, but it’s colorful and squishy and your sister helped you pull it out of a brightly colored bag, so it must be the best. thing. ever. This smile could pull me out of a blue mood any day and it often has. You are my joy on this earth.
And you are bound to give me more trouble than I think I can handle. The look says it all. Oh, to be able to read your mind. Wait, I take that back. Soon enough, you’ll be telling me what you think. You have a mischievous streak that I will try to enjoy, even if it causes me extra work, extra strength, extra prayer. I will not cease to pray for you, even if the boy horror stories I hear from other mothers never show themselves in your life. I am not holding my breath.
It seemed only yesterday you were a baby, cuddled in my arms, sleeping soundly in the bassinet in our room. Now, look at you. Walking, trying to say words, following your sister around copying her every action. I fear that I’m going to wake up one morning and you’ll be a man, and I’ll wonder not only where the last year went but where the last 10 years, 15 years, 20 years went. And I’ll hope that I cherished them.
Too often I find myself not enjoying this season of motherhood as much as I think I should. That doesn’t mean I don’t love you and your sister. How could I not. You both are spontaneous and outgoing, two things I am not, and remind me so much of your father. I fell in love with him first, so naturally, when I see him in the two of you, I fall a little deeper in love with you and with him. Too mushy? OK, I’ll get back to what I was saying. Being your mom isn’t easy, but it’s the best job I’ve ever had. Because there are times like this:
When I’m laughing so hard, I can’t catch my breath. Your father has that effect on me. He can make the toughest times light. I can see, based on his influence with your sister, that I may find myself outnumbered in the silliness, outgoingness department. C’est la vie.
So, it’s your birthday. One year. You’re already outpacing your sister’s growth and development, which means I will be on my toes. A lot. You’ll be keeping me there. I can see the twinkle in your eye as you reach for your cake. Let me have it, mom.
Boy, did we.
Dig in to life, son. It’ll be messy, at times, but you’ll find a sweet reward in the end. I love you and can’t wait to see what the next year brings.