I met a baby about your age once in my early twenties. She was calm and sweet and she clung to her mommy’s hip like she was attached to it. The moment I met her, I looked forward to having a baby that was 10 months old. A baby who wasn’t helpless and crying; one who was calm; and above all else, clung to my hip like he/she was attached to it.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: you have wildly exceeded any expectations I had about this time of your life. And yet, you’ve exceeded those expectations for reasons that you wouldn’t expect.
Your newborn phase has come and gone; much quicker than I would’ve liked. Sure, there were nights when I wished you would just go to sleep, or I wished the late night feedings away. And yet, toward the close of your midnight snacking, I realized that I was really going to miss the still of the night, when all you needed was to be held, rocked, and fed. I realized that these were my moments with you…those few and precious moments when it was just us…and I was all you needed in the world.
After the “fourth trimester,” you began to find your hands and feet. You started to play with toys and belly laugh and show your sweet personality. I started to think that when you sat up and didn’t move, it would be the best time of infancy…and it was. But mostly because I’d gotten to capture those sweet moments with you before. The still, quiet moments that are so fleeting and I find myself journaling to remember it all. You and I have almost made it to a year, not without some tears along the way. Sometimes, you cry to tell me that I’ve forgotten something; you’re uncomfortable or hungry or sleepy. Sometimes, I cry because I just don’t know what to do to make you happy. But most of the time, I find myself crying at the strangest moments. Sometimes, you’ll crawl to me and ask to be held. Sometimes you’ll stand in your crib after a nap time and smile, brimming with pride. Sometimes, I watch your daddy holding you, showing you the world, and I will get choked up thinking about the man that you will become. The truth is, if you’re anything like your daddy, the world will be a much better place. If you’re anything like your daddy, I will know that I have done my job, and I have done it well. And then I cry at what could be. And I cry at the idea that you will become a man much sooner than I am ready. I cry thinking that my time is numbered with you; I cry in hopes that I savor each of these moments and take care never to forget the sweetness of this time. Right now.
This month, I think we did our fair share of activities to make some wonderful Christmas memories. We made an ornament, met Santa, had time with your cousin Taylor, rode the Pink Pig, went Toys for Tots Shopping, went to showers and parties, went to the Callanwolde Mansion for cocoa and caroling, had a Christmas movie marathon, baked a million cookies, and even made our way through a stomach bug. You went to our annual Christmas Eve dinner at Pasta di Puncinella, and although you were restless, it was so much fun having you there. We saw the beautiful lights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, and you loved each of them, until it was a little past your bedtime, and you let us know it. 🙂
You had two Christmases; the first was with Nana, Papa, Aunt Colleen, and Uncle Brad. You got a fun play quilt with cars and trucks, a remote, a book, and a vest. You opened each in your jammies, totally unaware of how to open gifts…but oh so thankful when you did. Christmas morning was so special and precious. You played with every single toy and lit up every time there was a new toy to play with.
You are crawling and pulling up. You walk just about everywhere with our help…though you’re definitely strong enough to do it on your own. I have a hunch you’ll be walking sooner than I’m ready. You’re eating just about everything, although you definitely tell us when you don’t like something.
You’re silly and sleepless these days. I’m hoping that passes soon. But then again, I’ve wished away the tough times and they’ve flown by too quickly. So, I guess I’ll take the dark shadows under my eyes for the rich memories with you, my little boy.
I love you.