Dear Baby | The First Year
You are one. You are 365 days of love and change and growth. You are 12 months of gratitude.
Your bassinet is still sitting next to my bed. Did you know that? You’re far too big for it now, but in all these months you’ve been in your crib, I still haven’t been able to touch it. It’s been there since before you even arrived. I used to stare at it late into the night, when you’d keep me awake with your belly kicks, and I’d dream of the day your little toes would wiggle inside of it. So I hope you understand why I’m struggling to move it. To me, that bassinet is a sign of all the dreams I had to become your mom.
The first time someone mentioned your first birthday (a few months early), I snapped. It wasn’t very gracious of me, but I wasn’t ready to plan a party. To me, you were my firstborn still as small as the day I met you. You were the near-invisible bean in the ultrasound picture still tucked under my pillow. You were my baby. Oh, sweet one, how did you ever get so big? This first year has been magic with you.
Daddy and I were so proud to bring you home. We hugged the nurses and hurried down the hallways so we could show you your home.
“You are 365 days of love and change and growth. You are 12 months of gratitude.”
You’re so funny now. You belly laugh over blowing bubbles. You can dunk a basketball like you’re getting drafted tomorrow. You can break dance, and hide behind curtains, and say ‘mama’ over and over and over again. You love yogurt and cheese and pasta (which means you’re definitely not vegan despite how trendy it was the year you were born). And you love a crowd more than anything else.
My favorite time with you is in the morning, when your sleepy eyes find mine, and you nestle into my chest. We open your curtains, and say good morning to the trees, and to the birds, and to the sky. I always tell you it’s going to be the best day ever — because it always is.
“You have a way of turning everything to magic”
A part of me fears losing your newness, your dependency on me, your sweet baby smell. I fear losing the memories of our earliest days together, when you would sleep on my heart after a long hour of nursing. I even fear losing the panic of new motherhood, in those first days home from the hospital. I had no idea what to do.
I fear losing your toothless smile. The sound of your first words. The joy of watching you take your first steps. I’m trying to hang onto every part of who you are right now, while also letting you go — so you can fall in love with this world all on your own.
You and me — we’re old friends, sweet boy. Your heart, your soul, your movements — it all feels like it has been a part of me forever. Part of my hopes, my dreams, my plans — and now, my every day.
Happy 365 days of best days ever. I’ll always be right here.