Last year at this time you were busy making a mosh pit of my insides, dancing with my bladder and stretching my belly. Now you approach the finale of year one, on the outside, standing behind me while I do the dishes and poking me in the legs with a bendy straw you found in the drawer. As always, you make your presence known in a most physical manner.
Lately your daddy and I get to chase you up the stairs, open the kitchen drawers to release your stuck fingers time after time after time, pull leaves out of your mouth when you play on the grass, and crunch our feet on cereal pieces that you drop on the floor just to hear them hit. But wasn't it yesterday that we could hardly keep your little fist out of your mouth when you tried to nurse at 1:00 AM; when we snuggled with you for naps every couple of hours; when we wondered if you would ever learn to roll over onto your tummy; that we hoped you were getting enough milk; that we stared at you to watch you breathing at night? (Yeah, I know, I still come into your room and watch you breathing.) Where did the baby go?
You impressed us from the beginning by staying in late, coming out screaming, and sporting a big head covered in hair as if ready to star as a toddler in the next Gerber commercial. Now you speak complete sentences of baby jabber, have a tooth, love your rubber ducky and bath time, can't get enough of being outside, read piles of books and have your favorites, and sometimes sleep all night. You amaze us every moment.
Leading up to my first Mothers' Day, you spent your time showing me that every day as a mom is magic when I see life through your eyes. Because of you I remember to laugh at my mirror twin, crawl on the floor for a different point of view, sing in the bathtub, clap after an accomplishment, make funny sounds with my mouth, and lick my plate clean. With you I heard a bird's song for the first time, fell on my back in the grass to watch an airplane fly overhead, launched tree-seed helicopters into the air, and laughed just for the sound of it and to see your smile. I still dislike going to the grocery store, but thank you for helping me to have fun in the aisles where I can talk to you and be silly and not worry about what people around us think. Thank you for being such a great teacher.
Thank you for waking me up at night sometimes still—but not every night!—so I can see your sweet face and hear your giggles as I tuck you into your blanket and watch you wiggle yourself back to sleep. And thank you for sometimes letting Daddy get you back to sleep!
Thank you for making sure I pay attention to you by grabbing my chin and turning my face to you and by hollering "ma ma ma!" when you are ready for more food and I'm distracted.
Thank you too, son, for letting your daddy and I revisit our favorite books with you; for going on long walks with us and being interested in everything you see as you sing and swing your feet in the stroller; for reminding us that there are angels all around as you seem to stare off into space or smile at light dancing on the wall.
Thank you for letting us see you try again even if you crash to the floor several times after pulling yourself up.
Thank you for every smile-yawn-cry-shriek moment. For every sleepless-poopy-banana goo night. You are worth it all.