To My Son, on the occasion of your first birthday

My darling son, it is shocking to me that an entire year has passed since the morning you came into this world.  Your first year!  What a wonderful one it has been, but it has passed so very quickly.  Already you are walking, and starting to talk to us.  We only understand a few of your words so far (“mamamama” — which can either mean me or food, “dadu” — for your daddy, or sometimes your grandma, “da!” — for “I want that!”) but you are working very hard on beginning to communicate with us (and we are working very hard to keep up).  It amazes me how much has changed in the past year.  One year ago today was only our third night home with you from the hospital.  I’m very proud of myself, and of your dad — we’ve learned an awful lot in the past year, and we’ve gained a great deal of confidence.  But mostly, I am proud of you.  You are growing into such a lovely, sweet, smart little boy.  It is hard to believe that is has been a year already.

I’ve heard people say that with children, the days (and nights) pass are long, but the years go by so quickly.  It must be true.  I remember late nights that felt very long, but I can’t believe that over 365 days and nights have passed since you were born.  You’re growing up so quickly to be so big and strong and smart.  A year ago, I wrote about how much I love you.  In addition to the deep, unwavering, fundamentally profound love I have for you, is an awe for the person you are becoming.  You have such a big personality and a strong sense of who you are already.  You are so loving.  You love to cuddle with me, your dad, your grandma . . . but only for a moment, because your boundless energy cannot be curbed for long.  You are always off to investigate something new, to try to conquer a new challenge or master a new physical feat.  I hear stories from other parents of how they set their child on the floor to play with a toy while they accomplish some task around the house.  I know nothing of this.  You aren’t satisfied with any one thing for very long, and you’re always off to try something new — living on the edge all the time.  I love it.  I love to see your enormous curiosity and the perseverance with which you attack a challenge.  You are not to be dissuaded from anything!  You want to learn about what the dog is chewing on, what happens if you climb on a stack of your books, how durable a toy is, what will happen when you slam a door, what’s in all the cupboards, whether you swing on the laundry drying rack and many other adventures in your day.  You are always discovering something new, and you are always keeping me on my toes (because you seem oddly attracted to things that could do you harm).  You also love to help me with things around the house.  You love the vacuum (and you sing to it by imitating its sound whenever you see it) and you are fascinated by the washing machine (water, movement and bubbles to capture your attention).  But life isn’t all work and discovery for you — you love to play.  You hug and kiss your stuffed toys.  You destroy towers of blocks that we build for you — often with your favorite push car.  Anything musical makes you happy and will inspire you to dance.  You literally were dancing before you could walk — sitting and moving to whatever tune you hear.  And you love to jump on our bed and dive into a pile of pillows.  I love watching the way you play with your daddy — he plays much more roughly with you that I do.  It is wonderful to watch you play with my mom (your grandma) who you love so much.  (You get so excited when she comes in the front door!)  It is amazing to me to see how fascinated you are by your Aunt Margaret, and how much she is fascinated by you.  What a wonderful little creature you are!  How fortunate I am to fill my days with you.

I have changed, too.  My perspective on absolutely everything is different.  I now see everyone in the world as someone’s child.  The people I interact with all the time are people who are loved by someone the way that I love you.  That makes everything in the world a little more poignant — the joys and victories I see of those around me are sweeter, the sadness and fear are more painful.  I am still trying to be the best person I can be so that I can be the the best mommy you could possibly have.  I’m doing pretty well, but I still have work to do.  I love every single minute of being your mommy.  I’ve been frustrated, scared, overwhelmed and confused at times during the past year, but never, for one moment, has my love for you been less than absolute, nor have I doubted that you are the most wonderful thing to have ever had in my life.  I feel so very fortunate to have a wonderful, healthy, happy, darling child in my life — and it is you!  You are the most wonderful person I have ever met, and I love you absolutely.  I wish that I could hold on to every moment I have spent with you so far so that I could remember it as we move forward together in life.  I am so excited to see what our futures hold.

There is really no way I can express what this year has meant to me.  I love you more than anything.  I am so happy to see you learn and grow (which you do every day).  My life is completely different than it was a year ago, and it is more wonderful now than I even thought it would be.  I wouldn’t go back to what my life was like before for anything.  Having you in my life, and being your mom, is the most wonderful way I have ever spent my time.  I am so unbelievably grateful for having you in my life.  I love you, my darling boy.  Thank you for being my child.  Keep being you — I love it.

Happy birthday, little one.

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