Dear Baby N,
Your dad had to go to work early this morning, so I was up early too. It gave me time to think. And I thought about you. It’s fitting since this time last year, I was so eagerly awaiting your arrival. You were more than three weeks early, but I was ready to hold you in my arms. As I watched you sleeping this morning – as you had been all night long, by the way – I thought about last March and how our family was forever altered in the best way possible. As your little chest moved up and down with each breath, it was a little like you were exhaling your babyhood and inhaling this new adventurous little boy. It hit me how fast you are growing up, how quickly my baby is leaving, that my baby will soon be gone. It made me a little sad. I have tried to be as present as possible and to enjoy each little phase of this first year; I hope I haven’t missed anything. But it also made me hopeful for the amazing little boy and, eventually, man that you can be. I’m not wishing away time, as it will pass quickly enough, but I can’t wait to see the awesome things I know you will do and the things you will teach me. Parenting is funny like that. I often wonder if I’m not actually the student in this scenario.
I am so glad you are a part of our family and my education. You have taught me things your brothers haven’t. One of the things I love most about you is that, like Dr. Suess says, “… you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Sometimes we get caught up in a comparison game and, I’ll admit, I’ve compared you to your brothers many times. Those two always seem to be trying to one-up each other, but not you. You’re content to move along at your own pace and in your own time. You’ve taken the expectations I’ve gained from them and completely turned them upside down. And I am so grateful for that. You remind me just how unique and individual all three of my boys are. I love your little independent spirit. You love to feed yourself and try new foods. You are determined and stubborn, which isn’t surprising and has only mildly frustrated me thus far. Like when you insisted on standing on the bench at church yesterday. You are always happy and ready with a smile, even lately while you’ve been trying to cut those teeth. You have brightened so many of my days. You are so laid back and easy going, and while you’re becoming more mischievous every day, you are a wonderful little guy. You’ve finally found your sleep groove and average 6-8 hours at a time at night. This has been a Godsend and I am so thankful you figured this out earlier than your brothers did. You are not like them at all, just you’re just like them too. In a nutshell, my Baby N, you are amazing, you are you, and I love you. Don’t ever change the things that make you my Baby N. And I promise I won’t always call you “baby”. At least not out loud.
So, my sweet boy, while you try to master walking, when those teeth finally do come in and through each milestone that takes my baby further away, remember that I am here and will always love you. I love watching you grow and become a boy, even if that means losing my sleepy little baby. I want you to go out and have adventures, explore the world and learn new things. Be brave and conquer your fears. But, please know that it’s okay to need your mommy sometimes, too. I know I still need you. Happy Birthday, sweet boy; I love you.