to my son on his first birthday
My sweet, sweet GB. I could tell while I was growing you that you were going to be a gentle soul. You waited until your exact due date to come into this world. I say it’s because you just wanted to hang out with me as long as possible, and you have, indeed, been a Mama’s Boy this first year of your life. Not in a derogatory way, but in the way that you and I have a special bond that is impossible to describe.
You are remarkably easygoing, for which I continue to count my blessings because, as we all know, your sister is not what you would call easygoing. You’ve been pleasant and content the entire first year of your life. Once you learned how to smile, you pretty much haven’t stopped. When someone smiles at you, you smile right back. You now have a big toothy (7 teeth!) grin that’s infectious. And you have a special smile that’s just for me that melts my heart every time. You give me the biggest kisses (sometimes with tongue–lol you’re going to be so embarrassed to read that later).
For the longest time, really the only thing that ever upset you was not being held enough to your liking–as I said, “Mama’s Boy.” I’ve taken advantage of holding, hugging and snugging you as much as I could this past year. You pretty much shared my bed for the first two months of your life. Now that you’re crawling and almost walking (!), your desire to be held is weaning 🙁
And oh boy, do you crawl. You climb the stairs like a champ all by yourself. You pull yourself up on everything. You’ve had a few tumbles into the coffee table… sorry about that. You’re strong and determined and persistent. Before you crawled, you rolled everywhere to get to your destination–I would watch you identify your target and then roll across the room to get there. You’re curious and investigative and full of joy. You’re obsessed with doors for some reason.
You’ve been a wonderful sleeper your entire life. Now when you’re tired, you’ll lay your little head right down on the floor–or on me–and I know it’s time for bed. No fights; no fussing. You’ve slept through the night (10-11 hours) since you were about 15 weeks old. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It really has made raising two kids under the age of three just a little bit easier.
Speaking of the second child thing… I’m sorry, Buddy. I’m sorry I only got your photos professionally taken once. I’m sorry I have yet to make a Shutterfly album for you when I made three for Holdy in the first year of her life. I’m sorry most of your toys are your sister’s hand-me-downs. I’m sorry I would sometimes prop your bottle up on a pillow because I wasn’t able to sit and hold you while you drank. I’m sorry that I work long hours and I can’t be with you all the time. It’s tough sometimes, Buddy. I hope you’ll understand. I will make you at least one Shutterfly book though, I promise.
You love to “drum” and I swear, a few times, you’ve mimicked my patterns and rhythms. You and I will have screeching sessions and you’ll match my tone and volume. Your laugh is contagious. You love when I dance like a dork and make up silly songs for you and your sister.
Oh man, do you love your sister. From very early on, you’ve only had eyes for her. You love to watch her and try to join in what she’s doing. You’ll both probably kill me later for saying this, but you guys love taking baths together. You shriek and laugh and splash, so much so that I usually end up as soaked as the two of you.
For her part, Holdy is a wonderful sister and is very good about sharing with you (or at least giving you a consolation toy when she takes one from you). She may get a little rough sometimes with her affection, but she loves you just as fiercely. I can’t wait to watch you grow and play together. I hope you’ll always remain so close. I always tell her if she doesn’t start to eat, her little brother will soon outgrow her so she better treat him nicely.
Whoa boy, you love to eat. Since we started you on solids about six months ago, you can’t get enough of food. Often you’ll get hangry and yell at me for not feeding you fast enough. I’ve improvised by mostly allowing you to feed yourself so you can eat at your desired speed. Needless to say, mealtimes around here are messy. You and I usually share dinner… with you eating about 75% of it. We just stopped nursing in the last week or so. I have to admit it makes me kind of sad, though I’m also relieved to take ownership of my body again. I’m proud to say I nursed both of you for a year.
GB, it has been my absolute pleasure to be your mom and watch you grow this past year. You’ll probably never understand this, but your arrival into my life saved me. I was forever changed when you were first placed on my chest.
Raising you and your sister has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it’s also the most important and rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m doing a great job. Sometimes I get frustrated. Sometimes I break down. But please know I will always try my best to do right by you and Holdy and to make you proud. I hope you’ll always want to be your Mama’s Boy.
I love you, Buddy. Happy, Happy Birthday.