A Letter To My Son On His First Birthday
It simultaneously feels like this past year flew by and crawled by. Last night, as we were all getting ready for bed, I excused myself and quietly stepped into the shower and proceeded to cry my eyes out. I wasn’t fooling anyone though, within a minute I could hear your sister asking if I was laughing or crying, then your dad cautiously asked “Nicole?” (Long pause, then I attempted to sniff back a sob but instead started crying even harder). “Is this about Owen turning one tomorrow?” Cue more sobs, and Emily telling me that she is Moana and how the water is a friend of hers, so I don’t have to cry in the shower; and you obliviously and happily chanting “Mama” over and over again.
The thing is, I knew this was coming. Obviously. I am fully aware that one year ago I was pushing with my entire body to bring you into this world. It’s just, I guess for some reason I did not think it would hit me as hard as it did. Maybe I naively thought because you are my second baby, that I was prepared for the emotions of “my baby turning one”. Or maybe I’m just that good at avoiding something that is extremely bitter sweet. I just look at Emily now, who is independent and smart and funny, and it feels like memories of her as a baby are a tad faint. And that could just be me being paranoid, but it truly is astonishing how quickly time flies.
And as time passes, looking back, even the hard moments are somehow sweeter. I want to always remember those “first year” moments. Moments when you held my hand and stared into my eyes as you nursed; when you rolled over for the first time and had the proudest smile on your face; when you looked positively shocked when you first tried a blueberry; or when you first said “Mama”. If I could, I would freeze time just to hear your sweet baby giggles, because I know that will be changing soon too. I always want to remember how you grab my hand with your sweet chubby fingers and just take off walking around the house, never letting your grip on my hand go. I want to remember how you and your sister laugh the hardest with each other, and how that bond formed the first time she held you in her arms. I want to remember how you love to crawl all over your dad and how you find it so hilarious when he gently tosses you in the air. I love love love your sweet chubby thighs, those rolls are everything. I love your soft baby skin and hair, and wide innocent baby eyes. I want to always remember that feeing when the nurses placed you on my chest, and though it probably only lasted a few seconds, the moment you stared into my eyes I knew I would never be the same.
You and your sister have changed my world in ways that I honestly could have never imagined. They say once you have children, that your heart will forever be walking around outside of your chest, and I could not agree more. Your hurts are my hurts. Your joys are my joys. This past year has been everything: amazing, challenging, wonderful, stressful, beautiful and filled with so much love. Between the NICU, pediatric cardiology, urgent care visits, countless doctor visits, sleepless nights and numerous colds, first time rolling over, sitting up, crawling and taking steps, giggling, saying Mama and Dada, and just brightening up our lives, I would not change a single thing. You are such a bright light and joy, and such a happy baby and we love you so very much. I thank God that you are in our life and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for you, my sweet and beautiful son. I love you more than my words could ever begin to express.