My precious son,
You are a year old. One whole year. 12 months. 365 days. Although it seems like it has gone by an in instant, it also kind of feels like a lifetime has gone by since this time last year. On July 24th, 2010 I got to see your sweet face for the first time. Daddy and I had worked so hard to create you, and I thought about you every day when you were growing in my belly, but we didn’t really know you back then. We had a lot of learning to do. We loved you; yes, we loved you so fiercely that simply loving you consumed our lives in those early days. But we didn’t really know you. As a person. Our tiny person.
Now we know you. We know the twinkle in your eye when you are about to toss food off of your high chair. Which you do a lot. And you think it’s hilarious. Here’s a secret: though I try not to show it, I think it’s hilarious too. We know the slow blink you do when you wake up from a nap. The slow blink that turns into a smile that morphs into a grin that often erupts into a giggle as you stand up, toss your lovey over the rail of your crib and then feign sadness. We know the little dance/knee bounce you do when you hear the ABC song. We know the feel of your little fingers in our hands as you toddle faster and faster and farther and farther.
We know the way your hair spikes up, still wet from the bath, and how it is as soft as a little duckling’s feathers when it is dry. We know how mischievous you are and how you love to put dog toys in your mouth even when we tell you not to. We know how you are drawn to anything with buttons. We almost always know what you are pointing at when you gesture with your whole arm and cry, “Uh uh”. We know that you are happiest when you are climbing on something (recently the dog) and listening to music.
We know the sound of your cry and your voice and your breathing. We know the curves of your fingernails and your funny, flat big toenail that is still smooshed from when you were in the womb. We know your big, beautiful, piercing, dancing blue eyes. We know your adorable outie bellybutton with the criss-cross creases that slowly emerged once your umbilical cord closed up. We know every tooth as it pushes its way through your gums and makes you cranky with pain.
We know that you love drinking your bottles. You tip your head back and rest it on my shoulder as you gaze up at me, still playing gently with my curls like you did when you were a tiny baby. Now your motor skills are so fine that you can hold a single hair. You pat my cheeks and tickle my knee and sometimes kick your legs absentmindedly. We cuddle. You love to cuddle, but only when drinking your bottle. After that, you are off and running. We know your sweet, sensitive, quiet side. We know you.
But you know what the most amazing thing is? There’s still so much about you that we don’t know. We don’t know what your first word will be (beyond “Dada”, which you are beginning to use appropriately for Daddy, and “Duh” for dog). We don’t know what your favorite subject in school will be. We don’t know what style you will have. We don’t know what words you will write or music you will make or sports you will play. We don’t know when you’ll fall in love or who you’ll fall in love with. We don’t know what you’ll choose to do with your life or what you’ll remember about your childhood. We don’t know what type of a man you will be or what career you will choose. We don’t know what you’ll be passionate about.
I am so in awe of you already. I can’t imagine how that love will grow and multiply as I get to know the person you will become. You have an amazing personality bottled up in that tiny body of yours, and I am so excited to watch it unfold.
I hope your eyes always dance the way they do now. You light up with joy and approach life with an open-mouthed grin. I love that about you. You are confident and social and determined. You are independent and curious, but you always keep an eye on me to make sure I am by your side. I am. I always will be.
Even though you don’t have the words to tell me what you are thinking yet, we have such a strong bond that I always kind of know. I know that will change over the years, but I hope that you always know that I want to know. I want to know you forever. I know for sure that I will love you forever.
I love you, my little 1 year old. I don’t know how you got so big so fast. It is exhilarating to watch you grow beyond the reach of my arms. By far the most challenging and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. You stretch me. You amaze me. You make me a better version of myself.
All my love (and then some),
Wanna see? Daddy put together a video of our birthday weekend celebration.