This is the sound of my heart quietly weeping as I type that. Seriously, one year old! How and when did that happen? Have I been asleep? Where is my newborn?
It is so bittersweet this growing up thing. I just can't get used to it. I'm never been the fastest to learn or adapt to things and children just never stop changing and needing something new, day and night and it's hard to keep up.
This morning began much as your very first morning here with us began. You lay in bed between mommy and daddy as brother and sisters snuck into the room a few at a time. Except, instead of sneaking in to see their new baby, whether it was a boy or girl, they were sneaking in to get me to do up a party dress because it's your birthday, they must look pretty. They were also sneaking in to complain about each other to me, which was my cue to get up too. Instead of just laying there sleepily you sat up and crawled and grinned at us, making happy to see you noises. You snuggled your head into my face, somewhat violently, grinning the whole while. Then, when we left the bedroom, in instead of me carrying you, you crawled to the door and opened it yourself.
You, little boy, are really making the switch these last few weeks from baby to boy. You don't walk yet, but you climb everything. Incidentally, you had an uncle who did that and he's a professional stunt guy now. You sneak up the step stool beside me in the kitchen and when I turn, there you are, 2 feet off the floor, big grin on your face, standing on the top step holding the railing and grinning in pride. I'd put the thing away for a while if I didn't need it every 4 minutes just to get dinner on the table.
You smile, all the time, at everyone. You love to have people around you. The story of a 4th child is never just yours you know. It's also the story of how you fit into and interact with the sibling who have gone before. It's the story of how your presence affects them and who they are because of you. You are good for us. You bring out the best in everyone. Your big brother swells with the pride of being able to parade you around on his shoulders and show you his cars and the trains we have saved since he was little for any little boys, or girls, who came after and wanted to play with them. Last night he was with you in the bathroom and noticed just in time that you needed to poo and plopped you straight onto the potty, holding you there making cue noises for you until you were finished. It was only the second time you have ever pooped in the potty. I was so proud of both of you.
They still all have a race in the morning to finish their chores you know. The first one to finish is the first who gets to hold you when you wake up. You aren't all that fond of being held anymore, preferring to crawl and play and climb and bounce but they still all race for the privilege. Sometimes you are gracious and let them.
You are the only thing your biggest sister sees when you are in the room. She's the first to notice if you put something in your mouth, the first to call you. She would stare at you and play with you 24/7 I think if I, or you, let her. At least, whenever there's something else she rather not be doing staring her in the face. She's your strongest advocate, saving you from dangers real, and imagined.
Little told me today that you were her "bestest wittle baby broddur ever!" I guess that means she loves you too. She still likes to torment you with kisses.
You take all this love in stride, warming to it, bestowing gracious smiles on everyone, and affectionately pulling their hair or bashing their teeth in with your super sized skull. When they all leave you behind with mommy to go off on an adventure you crawl the rooms searching for them. You love to be part of a crowd.
At blogher you made friends with everyone. All you had to do was crawl up to someone and smile for them to hand you their smart phone, or their jewelry, or swag, or even let you dump the entire contents of their purse, all the while smiling at your adorableness. And when you were tired of being a ladies man you just conked out completely in the swing or stroller and even then they stopped just to look at your feet for a second. I think they all missed their babies. Thanks for being my party date little man. You were the cutest guy there.
For your birthday dinner we had Navajo Fry Bread and beans. You can eat the beans. I made coconut lime rice pudding, so you could have a gluten and dairy free treat for your birthday. We had to keep you from falling asleep in your high chair before you saw the candle, and then we had to keep you from grabbing it.
We decided to buy you a water activity table for your birthday. It's perfect, you can stand and splash, two of your very favorite things.
I have been sad about losing my baby. I have felt that the time went too quickly and I didn't spend enough of it just looking at you. But a week or so ago I looked at you and you look like a boy just beginning, and I wondered what you would say when you can talk, and how long it will be before you do actually walk and I made the switch from sad to excited to see who you are in another year, and what kind of person you will grow into. So we threw a party. I'm glad you are you, and I'm glad you are getting bigger.
I love you so, so much.