You're one year old! It's crazy to me how quickly the time flew by, but I also feel like I always knew you. It's hard for me to remember what my life was like without you in it--I think I took more showers and worked a lot? I can't be sure.
I can remember the day you were born vividly and recalling it brings happy tears to my eyes. After spending nine months basking in pregnancy magic and surprising everyone by not freaking out about childbirth, I was wheeled into the OR and I was terrified. I shook as they hooked me up and gave me medicine. I stared nervously at the ceiling as my body went numb and I waited for your Daddy to walk into the room. Time stood still as the doctor worked to get you out (thanks, by the way, for playing jump rope with your umbilical cord and getting all tangled up, you goofball!). Then it happened. I could hear you. I couldn't see you yet, but I could hear my first baby's very first cry. The doctor said, "Are you ready? You have a beautiful baby boy!" and Daddy rushed to take your picture as they unwrapped you and cleaned you up. Nothing will ever compare and no one will ever know what that moment was like when I held you in my arms for the first time and felt your tiny body against my chest. I kept whispering, "He's here! He's here! You're here!" I waited four very long, sometimes very difficult, years for you. I would have waited a thousand more. You were, and you are, the best thing that has ever happened to me.
You have a magical personality and you light up the room....and I'm not just saying that because I helped make you. You have the sweetest spirit and can find mischief where ever you may roam. You are a born comedian and you like to make people laugh (your newest routine involves pulling your diaper down a little bit so your butt sticks out). You give big kisses and high fives and you are always quick with a smile or a belly laugh. When you are mad, everyone knows it but luckily it usually doesn't last long. Now that you are a bit more mobile (not walking on your own yet but you are trying constantly) you are able to get into a lot of trouble! You are a curious little soul and like to try everything on your own. Daddy and I will show you how to use a toy or do a new "trick" and you delight in trying it on your own. I taught you how to dip your vegetables in hummus and now it's all you want to do! It's adorable to watch you "dip" your green beans into your pacifier. I also let you sometimes turn the porch light on at night and it is a highlight of your day. You just really like doing cool, big kid things.
You are my best pal and I love going on adventures with you--whether it's to Target to shop in the dollar section and get out of the house for an hour or taking the train into Chicago to see Sue the T-Rex at the museum. You are a great sport and will spend the entire day trekking the globe and soaking in all the sights. I promise to always take you on adventures. I love your adventurous little spirit and hope that I am giving you room to grow and I can't wait to travel ever more with you.
As I watch you get older and change, I am so proud of you. I'm proud of us. The first year of life is no joke for baby or parent. Nursing can be difficult, no one sleeps, everyone is getting used to one another. I feel like we learned everything the hard way, but it was the sweetest and most joyful experience. Those first few weeks were a learning experience but I miss them sometimes. Though, honestly, nothing compares to life with you now because you have this big personality and you make me laugh and you make me want to set great examples for you.
You love to eat and play and watch Sesame Street and Doc McStuffins. I love learning things you like and seeing your little face light up when I show you something I know you'll love. You color with your baby crayons and love to finger paint. You still love your sign language DVDs and it's so cool to see you picking up different signs. You've learned to point and it's your favorite trick. When you point, we tell you what something is and I think it's the perfect time the teach you things. I was at the grocery store and you kept pointing to a woman so I finally asked what her name was so I could tell you, "That's the floor. That's a red apple. That's Linda, our new friend."
Last night, I rocked you for a little longer while you slept. I watched your little chest go up and down with your breath and I looked through all the photos from your first year and let the tears fall because I feel so happy and so lucky. I hope you feel happy and lucky too. I hope as parents we are teaching you to be kind and to love deeply and to expect wonderful things to happen and to be strong. I hope you always feel loved and that your quick smile is something that stays with you until you are old and gray. Being your momma has changed me in a way I never thought possible. My heart is bigger, I love more deeply, I'm happier to be here, I appreciate what I have a little more. I mean it, you just make life really sweet.
Happy birthday, my beloved! I'm so looking forward to all the years of love and adventures and laughter and big hugs and hijinks to come. I can't wait to see you continue to grow and change in the coming years, months, weeks, days. You are my favorite favorite and the still point of my moving universe.