As much as I want to, I can't. I can't bring myself to cry or be overly emotional on or near your birthday. You are such a blessing, and I am too happy to even shed a tear. I cannot imagine my life without you. I couldn't cry at 12:12 PM on 09/03/11, but I could smile and feel so much joy.
Just like yesterday, I remember rubbing my stomach and walking around the house while daddy slept peacefully. I remember washing your Clemson blanket and packing the hospital bag. I even jumped into a hot bath because you were causing so much lower back pain. I cannot remember the book I attempted to read, but I remember so well how much I felt you. Ahh, the pain baby boy. In a weird way, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed walking around feeling those contractions and even the the sciatic nerve pain because I knew I was going to meet my wonderful baby boy soon. How could any pain trump the joy I would feel when I met you? It wouldn't. I relive those moments...daddy and I driving in the truck on the way to the hospital, the excitement we felt when I was admitted, and the relief I had when I gave in to the epidural. All of a sudden I was at 10 cm and it was time to push you out. In 20 short minutes, I saw you. I was in love; daddy was in love. Baby boy, you have been such an awesome blessing. I love you, I love you, I love you.
8 lbs 9 oz, 21.5 inches long...committed to memory. It helps that I am a numbers persons and can recite all of SSN's, my driver's license, and any pin number someone gives me. Your stats are a permanent sktech in my brain. I cannot believe how fast a year passed.
Just yesterday we were trying to squeeze you into a newborn outfit when clearly you were already too long for it. We couldn't button the entire outfit, but it was all we had, so we let it go, put you in the car seat, and wheeled us to the truck. Daddy loaded you up, and he helped me into the truck. We were going home a family.
Once you were home, we learned what mom should and should not eat. We stayed up late, watched football, and rocked you all night long. You were a champ at breastfeeding, and daddy loved to encourage you to clamp on like a snapping turtle. At first, I experienced pain, but it was a wonderful bond. I enjoyed that time I spent with you.
Then mom had to return to work, and that's when I had my first real cry. I loved every hour I was able to spend with you, and I could not fathom being seperated from you. But I found my routine, and I enjoyed my time that much more with you. I love my career, and I love my family. We all adjusted, and that's when daddy and I found out that we needed to temporarily share our bed with you. You did well with us. Then at 6 months, we needed to break our bad habits.
It was hard on me to put you back in your crib, 30' away from me. I cried more than you cried baby boy. I was heartbroken. No longer would I start my mornings seeing you before work, but mom adjusted. I found changing my computer screen pictures to the latest, adorable photo of you got me through the day. You put a smile on my face when the days were rough.
At 8 months, I decided I could no longer continue my relationship with a breastpump, and you easily transitioned to formula. It's like you knew what to do to help mom. I love you for making the transition easy on me; I needed your help desperately. At 9 months, our latch was no longer needed, but we found other things to connect. You started crawling up to me (thanks to tubes) and shortly thereafter, you were giving your kisses. Gosh, baby boy, you know what mom needs after a long day of work.
You fought all of the major viruses and diseases with a smile on your face; I know how much fight and willpower you have in you, and I hope you get that from me. Why be sad and sick, when you can smile and cough through it? I loooooooove your personality so, so much, baby boy. Please keep your happy go lucky personality.
Did I mention how proud I was when you had your first hair cut and behaved so well? It was such a wonderful family moment to enjoy, and you did so, so well. All these milestones make me so happy.
Can I say how amazed I was when you took your first steps? I remember the following day being so excited to pick you up from day care so we could temp you to take more steps. The excitement was like having butterflies in my stomach! After you took a few steps, you turned into a wild boy. Pulling pillows off the couch to dive into, trying to stand up in your rocking chair, and throwing toys around to get to others. Your energy level has skyrocketed, and it is so much fun to watch you become so excited.
While I will miss your gummy smile, I look forward to those teethy grins now that you have some descending. You managed the pain so well, even though you were bombarded with many teeth coming in at once, but that's what happens when your teeth wait so long to come in. Guess daddy and I will have to be careful with your mouth so our fingers aren't bitten. :)
So here were are, you are one year old. One year, one year, one year. 9 months pregnant, one year raising you...what did I do before you ever existed? I didn't know living until you came into this world. Really, baby boy, I love you so much. I have so much love to give you.
Okay, maybe I can cry. I was strong until I wrote you this letter, and all I can do is wipe the tears streaming down my face. Beautiful boy, you are my life. I love you so much it truly hurts. Please know how much mom loves you. I cannot believe you are a year old; this has been an amazing journey, and I am so happy you chose to share it with me.
But what's next baby boy?
Daddy and I want to build our forever home. You'll have the chance to grow up in the country, enjoying 26 acres of freedom. You'll hopefully be a big brother and grow up enjoying the outdoors. I cannot wait to teach you more about swimming, and I am sure daddy will teach you hunting and fishing. We have so much to look forward to, and I hope the next year goes by slowly and we can enjoy it without it surprising us when you are 2!
So enjoy your cake. Take your time walking. Think about what you want to say first. And love your dogs. Love Bo, Love SoCo, Love Cuervo, and most of all, Love us so much. Give us your hugs and kisses. Share your food, gosh, baby boy, just love, love like you do so naturally.
Mom needs a box of tissues. I never knew how much I could love someone until I met you. Love, love, love.
Love you baby boy,