My darling baby boy, today you are One! Hard to believe that one year ago today you surprised us all by making your debut eight weeks sooner than we anticipated.
I can still remember the first night, you were a floor below in the NeoNatal Intensive Care Unit and i was recovering in the Maternity ward, and i felt as if a huge part of me were missing and even though your dad slept on the floor next to me, i felt so very alone. To have you inside me, growing and living through me, and then to have you gone and not even in my arms was such an emotional shock to me, i was so overwhelmed. As i showered that night, i sang your lullabye and cried - letting my sobs drown the water...
To look at you now, you would never know that you were early, except that you are a bit behind in a few developmental milestones. And those aren't even apparent until you're playing with the neighbour's son who is eight days younger than you.
You have the most amazing smile, it lights up your face and your little pointy chin and your big round noggin', and it seems that you've just taken off in the last couple of weeks! Everything around you is a new adventure and i feel priviledged to have spent the last year with you. Your personality is developing new and exciting facets as you find things funny, or sad, or happy, or frustrating.
At long last, my little one, you are crawling with the best of 'em. A few tries crawling in the bathtub and you got the hang of staying on your knees cuz it kept your head above the water. After you figured that out there was one day of trying it out on dry land - and you were off. You lost all interest in walking with our help, and as you gained your independence suddenly you needed to be everywhere, looking at everything, and "what's this?"...."hmm, what's in here?"..... "where does go?".....
questions questions questions.
And while you can't yet verbalize, i see it on your face as you examine the world around you. When i say verbalize, i only mean fully formed words because you definitely have been trying your hand at speech. In the space of days you went from a few babbly sounds to full on attempts at speech. When you go down for bedtime, we can hear you talking away to your giraffe, Maynard, telling him about your day.
When you playing you keep discovering new sounds and the new things that your mouth can do. You're practising with tone and inflection, and sometimes you truly sound as if you're having a conversation! When you talk to your toys I often wonder what is going on in that brain of yours, what you're thinking, and what you'll do next. Oh, the places you will go.
Over this year you have completely turned my life upside down and inside out and i have NEVER been more tired, more physically and mentally drained, or more happy in my entire life. You have taken our home and made it vibrantly alive. You changed your daddy and i from a 'couple' to a 'family' and for that i will always be greatful to you.
As i have fallen in love with you over and over, so have i been falling in love with your daddy. You two are just two peas in a pod. Everything is better with Dad. He knows the games you love to play, he knows the way to make you squeal and laugh, and you both light up in each others presence. Thank you for opening up that side of your father. I love to see you two together, whether you're chasing each other around the couch downstairs, or playing EXTREMEM Peek a Boo... or just sitting together reading a book. It makes me so happy to know that you two have a strong bond.
There's no better smell than the top of your head when we cuddle before bedtime. The magnitude of love i feel for you puts me at a loss for words and any attempt i make to describe it feels weak and inadequate.
You are the best part of my day, the shining apple of my eye, the beat in my heart, you make the best parts of my life better.
And it keeps on getting better. Happy birthday little man. You are so very very loved.