How many times have I began composing letters to you in my mind? There are only one or two tucked away in my journal, but nothing to do you justice. That is part of my problem. You are amazing, and no letter seems to be able to capture it.
To my great joy and utter amazement, you made it to your very first birthday on Tuesday. I say amazement because you are my child who has fallen head first off my bed (twice before we finally put the mattress on the floor - though by then you were quite aware of the edges). You are my child who learned to crawl all the way up the stairs in one attempt while I was upstairs changing laundry, with the result that you tumbled down them the next day before we could find a new gate to put up. You are my child who has eaten strange quantities of dog food - especially considering we do not have a dog. You are an incredible scavenger. You seem to have a sixth sense that alerts you to when anything new, and especially esophagus-shaped, items land on the floor. You make me so aware that the demands of parenting infants are so great because they are so life-threatening - but we made it!!
In the midst of graduation festivities and weddings, we have not yet celebrated this great accomplishment. Well, you might argue, we did sing to you when you woke up - and many more times during the day - and we did give you all the blueberries you wanted all day long (which I discovered today was a tad more than I probably should have allowed), and we did go on an adventure to an actual retail store (other than a grocery store) and buy you two special things. Yes, you are right my boy, we did make the day about honoring you. You proudly came home with your new red mini-potty chair to compliment your big brothers chair in the potty corner. Soren was excited to come home and open your new wooded stacking train and help show you how to play with it. You were not entirely excited about how much Soren was dictating which pieces you could play with. You slapped him clean across the face! Then, a first we shall probably not forgot, you enjoyed your first time out on your first birthday! The timer set for 1 minute, and you showing off your ability to sit on a bench by yourself. You sat well, and have not smacked him since. It was a celebratory day, but we have not yet had cake...and no first birthday celebration is complete without cake. I think it is coming this weekend =)
Perhaps because you knew it was a special day, because you woke back up after going to bed at about 9:30, and stayed awake with your Dad and I until 11:30. You delighted to roll around and snuggle with us in bed and spent a good 3 minutes reaching over and poking Dad with your finger declaring "Da!" This is not a new word for you, but you delighted in it's repetition all the same. You are creating your own words of multiple syllables that I do love to hear, but still do not understand. So far we have agreed on Apap, Anana, Mama, Bskt Ba, and Uh as your noises for Apple, Banana, Goddess Who Sacrifices Daily to Meet All My Needs, Basket Ball, and Up. I am very excited to embark on more serious conversation with you in the months and years to follow.
I do hope that you will also learn manners from your dear older brother, who this very morning, after I finished vacuuming said "Thank you for letting me help momma", and then, as I put the vacuum cleaner away told me "Thank you for cleaning my house for me momma."
I think that you are already well on your way to showing appreciation as you quite enjoy giving us spontaneous hugs and lovely open-mouthed, drool-filled, kisses. My favorite is when you take Daddy's face in your hands and turn it towards you while he is filling me in on all his business adventures of the day and then lay a big wet kisser on him.
There are too many moments over the last year to try to capture here, but they are treasured up in my nearly overflowing heart. One of the things that has impressed upon me the most in the last six months with you is that I will not always be the most important woman in your life. This is as it should be. This is what I desire most for you - especially as we have gotten to spend good time with so many of your possible future brides. As I have been there each night to stroke your little, yet growing, head while it gradually has filled with hair, I have been acutely aware, that some other woman will have her hands on this same little head as all these lovely strawberry curls fall out (which they will...sorry to say there are too many bald men on all sides). I know this is true, because I am helping to rub away the last of your father's hair each night as well, grateful that his devotion to me is singular (taking serious the command to leave and cleave), because it makes our marriage stronger.
As the reality of your new life on the brink of toddler-hood looms large, I am so excited for your future. You make me laugh everyday. You are constant charmer. How someone so young can have as strong a wit, as perfect a timing, and as merry a chuckle is beyond me. I love each day that I get to know you a little better and I sincerely hope that you won't stop needing snuggle time with me anytime soon.
Praying, as always, that I will be responsible with this precious gift God has given me to be your mother, and praying, as always, that you will develop a desire to know and submit to Truth, comfortable before the world, and more importantly before God, to be just who He has designed you to be in every stitch of you He knit together not so very long ago when you lived in my belly - a place you still love (Thank you!),