happy birthday, baby

Today my son turns one.

I would say that one year ago today was the day we welcomed him into our family, but that’s not quite true. He was part of our family from the day we learned he existed. He was part of our family as my belly grew and my ankles grew and we sorted tiny pants into drawers, preparing for his arrival.

That was the day we first saw his face, introduced him by his name, and felt his little hands in ours. It’s the day we breathed a huge sigh of relief because he was finally, finally here.

Since that day twelve months ago, a lot of things have happened — especially to him! He grew almost a foot, and tripled in weight. He learned to drink milk, and then eat spoonfuls of butternut squash, and then chomp through pierogis and pizza crusts. From tiny squeaks to first smiles to shouting “Dada”, we’ve seen him come alive with thoughts and ideas and oh, so many feelings. He has woken me up at 4:30am almost every day for a year, and I still adore him. If that’s not love, I’m not sure what is.

A lot of things have happened in our family since one year ago. I quit my full-time job to be home with the kids. I continue to juggle the part-time work and full-time mom lifestyle, and I continue to find it frustrating and difficult and incredibly rewarding, all at once. Ben demolished half of our house and is rebuilding it into something beautiful, piece by piece. We left our church and are rebuilding what spiritual community looks like for our family. I started going to therapy and unpacking what these changes have brought out of my mind and heart — and it’s a lot.

This past year taught me about multitasking, as I parented a busy, talkative toddler and a tiny, nursing baby. I grew in patience and forgiveness, toward my children and for myself, too.

So my baby boy is one. He is a smiley, cuddly guy and I love him endlessly. He has filled our household with giggles and keeps us on our toes, as his hands are somehow always in the toilet bowl. Working through lots of sharing, caring, and even apologizing is helping all of us — Mom, Dad and big sister, too — grow.

screenshot of the print by Heartell Press

Before he was born, I bought a print for our son’s garden themed nursery that reads, “Can’t wait to watch you grow little one.” The sentiment is true. I can’t wait to see how he changes this next year. Talking, walking, and so much more trouble await him in the next twelve months, and beyond.

I just didn’t realize how much the rest of us would be growing with him.

Happy birthday, baby.

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