To My Sweet Boy on His First Birthday

Mr. Alex,

It’s 1am and I should be sleeping but, much like so many other moms of the world, my mind is racing and while bed would be best for me, here we are.

Sweet boy, you are one. ONE! How did that happen? When did that happen? I feel like we just left the hospital with you. That’s one of the big questions of motherhood…working selflessly, tirelessly, endlessly and feeling like your days blur together bringing you to the brink of insanity just to blink your eyes and suddenly see a baby who’s not such a baby anymore. The blink of an eye and a lifetime all at once. Where did the time go? 

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Before I go on I have a confession to make: I was so scared to have you. We wanted and planned for you but when I found out you were going to be my little boy, I felt like my parenting world had turned upside down and I wasn’t sure what to do. I was used to your sister – pink, bows, and all things girly. I questioned how I could ever love a little boy as much and worried I would treat you differently since you would be a boy, not a girl. I remember telling your daddy I didn’t think I’d kiss you as much because “I don’t know, do you kiss little boys that much?” Oh, I was wrong, Alex. More wrong than I’ve ever been about anything. But I was right, too. Let me explain…

I do treat you differently. You are my boy, my bubs, my little man. You got a mom who was confident in being a mom.  I knew my parenting style the moment you were born. I didn’t second guess every single thing I did. I embraced the good, bad, dirty, funny, yucky, whatever-it-is-you-can-name times with you instead of wondering what I was doing wrong…or rather, wondering what was wrong with you. Lucky for you, your big sister was the guinea pig and you got to reap the benefits.

You get more kisses than I could ever begin to count…how silly of me to think that I might not feel inclined to kiss a little boy. Your cheeks are the perfect roundness to plant endless smooches on and I take full advantage anytime I am near them. I snuggle you for the better part of each day and if I’m not holding you, you usually have at least one hand on me making sure I don’t go far. You have blown my idea of what it means to love a little boy out of the water.

I think of this last year and the overwhelming feeling I have is happiness. You have brought a new level of joy to this family that I didn’t know could exist. New babies are hard but ever since you figured out how, you’ve been smiling and that smiles makes it all worth it. You have filled my heart with more love than I ever would have thought possible. There are times when I watch you and feel like my heart could literally burst out of love. Sometimes I watch you take in the world around you, or play with your sister, or even try to get up and walk for the 57th time in a row and my breath is taken away by the silver lining you seem to see in everything around you.

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You’re charming in a way I didn’t know any baby could be. The flirtatious smiles and laughs you have are contagious. Taking you out anywhere always takes longer than it seems like it should…not because you’re a baby, but because people want to engage with you. You draw people in with those huge, happy blue eyes and belly laugh and they just can’t help but stop and say hi.

The year was seemingly short and quick but not so much when we think of it in baby time. You covered a LOT of ground! You’ve gone from my sleepy baby blob to a master of sitting, crawling, standing, and cruising. Just yesterday you started taking more than 2 baby steps and I can tell your mind knows it’s time for growing up and the next step…literally. You’ve learned to give high-fives and the sweetest, wettest kisses. You’ve love eating and are working on your sign language.

You’ve shown me that I didn’t need to worry about my heart being big enough for 2 children – it has grown exponentially and there is more than enough room. You’ve reminded me that having kids means feeling all the things, and feeling them hard. Nobody ever tells you that when you become a parent your emotions turn so BIG. I have felt every single thing the last 365 days in a down-to-your-core kind of way: pure terror, exhaustion, frustration, and bliss. I have little things like the smell of your hair and the weight of your sleeping body memorized, but also the sound of your baby laugh and the sparkle in your eyes when I come into your room first thing in the morning. These are not fleeting moments I will forget as time passes, but experiences ingrained into my memory not to be forgotten.

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So for now, I’ll be fighting my own version of a mommy civil war: I despise the thought of you growing up so quickly but at the same time I can’t wait to see the little man you’re going to become. So often people are quick to point out similarities to me or your dad or other relatives but I’m enjoying watching you be uniquely you. I went into your first year with preconceived notions of what it meant to have a little boy and you’ve shown me how wrong I could be…So for now, I’m going to enjoy watching you be Alex, my bubs, my little man, and my sweet boy. I cannot wait to see what this next year holds for you.

I love you SO. MUCH.
~Mommy

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