Today is your first birthday. It seems like both the shortest and longest year of my life. I can’t believe you are 1 already! I remember with perfect clarity taking a pregnancy test at 6am on Friday May 24. I didn’t even have to wait the requisite 2 minutes – that second line popped right up, bold and without any doubt. I woke up your dad with these words “Aaron. Aaron. Um… I am pregnant”. He made me take 2 more pregnancy tests that weekend.
This has been a year of wonder, of fear, of stress, of happiness and magic. I remember holding you the first time and thinking “This is my child. Who the heck let me have a kid?” I won’t lie- being a first time mom is really scary!
I was so blessed to have 8 weeks of maternity leave to spend every moment with you. Dad took a week off work so we could all bond as a family. Some days were really rough – I had an oversupply with a fast let down and there were many days when you puked on me with every nursing session. Getting to take a shower was a luxury. You were really a good newborn though – you slept pretty well, you hardly ever cried, and if you did, you were easily settled. I finally figured out that I could put you in the bouncer in the bathroom and get that quick shower. You didn’t care for the swing at first, but it grew on you. When you were a few months old, you liked it swinging front to back, but side to side wasn’t your favorite.
I remember the moment I fell in love with you. You were just 1 month old (It was March 1, to be exact!) We were on our way home from the Irish Festival where you rocked your “My Best Friend is a Pit Bull” onesie and were the hit of the booth. You were so good through the whole event. I glanced in the rear view mirror on the way home and I saw your face in the baby mirror and it hit me like a ton of bricks. You were MINE. No matter what happened, I was your mom, forever and ever. Nothing and no one could change that. The depth of that love blew me away.
There was nothing better in those first 2 months than watching you sleep. Your face was so animated. You pursed your lips. You smiled. You furrowed your brow. It was amazing! Sometimes I would lie beside you and just watch you. Reveling in the miracle of YOU.
I was even MORE blessed to have a few more months where I only worked part time. You started daycare in April when you were 3 months old, but only a few hours a day. The first day I dropped you at daycare was so hard. I cried the whole way home! You weren’t taking a bottle at first, so I had to drive down to the daycare and nurse you! After about a week (and buying EVERY bottle in the store) you finally figured it out and you happily took the bottle. I was so thankful… because I was so worried about you being unhappy at daycare. I shouldn’t have worried, you were almost always happy, and quickly became a staff favorite. I will never forget walking in one day and seeing you sitting at the high chair table. Oh my gosh, you were such a big boy!
On May 11 you were baptized into the Episcopal Church by our favorite priest – on my very first Mother’s Day! It was a wonderful gift. You also took your first airplane trip to San Diego at the end of the month. I was bracing myself for a nightmare (and wondered if I ought to budget a round of drinks for the whole flight) but man, once again, you were a dream. You didn’t cry at all! You actually fell asleep before we even took off! I nursed you on landing and you were just a happy baby for the whole 3 hour flight!
June 22 was your first big development milestone – you rolled over! You’d been working on it for weeks and would get to your side, but couldn’t get that shoulder under to make it all the way. I was so excited!
On July 7, you tried your first food. You were obsessed with our meal a few days earlier, so we decided you were ready. Honestly, you were more interested in the plate.
July 24, 2 days before my 35th birthday, you cut your first tooth. And then 5 days after that, your second one appeared.
On August 13 you used a straw for the first time at the Chinese Buffet. Then you promptly forgot how and you still won’t use a straw, even 6 months later.
A few weeks later, I had to start traveling again for work. Being home with you for the first 7 months of your life was amazing! We decided that Daddy would stay home full time and care for you while Mommy was out of town. That first Monday was the most miserable day. I cried most of the way to the airport and again on the plane. I shouldn’t have worried – like everything else; you took the change with your usual chill acceptance.
Sept 21 you finally figured out forward motion and became a crawler. You’d been scooting backwards in circles for about 3 weeks and rocking forward on your knees, but it finally all made sense.
You started clapping on October 17. I think you finally figured it out watching the other kids at The Little Gym. We took your second plane trip at the end of October, so we could share your first Halloween with your aunts, uncles and grandparents. Now you clap any time someone says “YAY!” It’s hilarious.
November was a crazy time for mommy, but I’m sure you did tons of adorable things that I guess I didn’t write down. We have some video of you dancing to Ingrid Michaelson “Girls Chase Boys”. Man, you LOVE music. All kinds of music!
December was your very first road trip. We went to New Mexico to meet your Aunt Pat and Uncle Wally. You also opened your very first Christmas present! As expected, you found the tissue paper and bag to be the best part. But you also loved the handmade bear.
And now you’re 1. I can’t believe this year has passed sooooooo fast, but also so very slow. The world looks different now that I’m a mom and get to celebrate the smallest, yet MOST MOMENTOUS things in life. I have a new passion for social justice, because I want the world you inherit to be BETTER. My priorities have changed, and while I may lament in the moment that your dad and I haven’t watched a TV show straight through since you were born, we wouldn’t change any of it. Not for all the money in the world.
Kid, I love you. Thanks for making me your mom.