Happy first birthday, my sweet boy. Someday I’ll tell you the story about how long we waited for you. Imagined you. Those last few weeks of my pregnancy seemed to just drag with anticipation. Were you a boy or girl? What would you look like? Would your birth go as your daddy and I hoped and planned? To my surprise, after a blurry 20 hours of labor, you were born on the warmest Christmas Eve the East Coast has ever seen and it seemed like you’d always been here.
I will never forget when I first laid eyes on you as they held you in the air and then set you down on my chest. I couldn’t get over how familiar you looked. We both had puffy faces after the long journey we’d been through and my vision was blurry. Regardless, our eyes immediately found each other’s and I knew in that moment that life was forever changed.
I recognized you not from your ultrasound photos — those were somewhat alien-like and hard to make out — but because I could see pieces of me, your daddy, and our family history all wrapped up in your beautiful face. My eyes, your daddy’s cheeks, your grandpa’s hands. And I was captivated by every movement because I knew those squirms, yawns, kicks and hiccups not from what they looked like but from how they felt when you were still in my tummy. You still moved the same.
Almost twelve months have passed since that day and what a year it has been. They say the first year is the hardest. Sure, there have been some hard times — fears, tears and way too little sleep for all of us. But it’s also been the most magical year of my life, thanks to you. In such a short amount of time, you managed to put everything into perspective and teach us some of life’s most valuable lessons. Lessons about true love, family and what’s really important. And, oh, how my heart has doubled or tripled in size to fit you right inside. The love your daddy and I have for you is so big it’s immeasurable.
It’s impossible to write down all the things I wish for you. Love, real happiness, health, fulfillment, and so much more. Someday I will tell you them all. But for now I will watch you. I will watch as you explore the world, get steadier on those little feet and go, go, go. I’m trying so hard to commit it all to memory.
Those little hands always grabbing me, how you press your cheek into mine, the way your head fits perfectly in the curve of my neck when I hold you, the way you mold into me when I rest you on my hip. Those sloppy kisses, belly laughs, the way you light up when you look at your dad, and the absolute perfection of your puffy, still-sleepy eyes when you wake up every morning. Because all too soon you’ll start growing up and there will be new things about you for me to fall in love with. I want to remember them all.