Wednesday, October 19, 2011

1 Year

Dear tiniest,
Oh boy oh boy, where has the year gone, sweet one? How is it possible that you are one whole year old? How is it possible that you've been here for that long, and how is it possible that it hasn't been longer? This year has been a weird dichotomy of feeling like we've never lived without you and being astonished that the short time we've had you has gone by so fast.

This month, you've become especially committed (clingy) in your relationships. You've become very attached to certain people in your life - your dad and me, of course, are number one (thankyouverymuch). You still light up when your dad comes home from work, and follow him around like a little shadow for the rest of the night. You also had lots of fun with your Aunt Priya before she moved to Spain, at which point you missed her terribly and got super excited when you saw her on the computer screen.

You've always been close with my mom and with your dad's parents (via Skype), but the surprise best friend has been my dad, your ajja. Suffice it to say, you are mildly obsessed with him. Any time we are around him, you flat-out refuse to have anyone else even hold you (including ME!). You will cheerfully skip naps and playing and investigating all the things just to be with him. The other day, he spent the day at our place, and you were on cloud nine until he finally had to leave and had to hand you back to us, at which point you burst into very very sad tears. I've never seen you do that with anyone before. The best part of it all is that he is equally obsessed with you and literally lights up with joy any time he sees you or even hears your name. It makes me happier than I can say to see your little friendship growing.

Your communication skills have gotten quite proficient and specific this month. You now not only indicate that you want to eat, but point out specific foods that you want (alternating gestures toward salad and yogurt or by pointing to the yellow box of Cheerios on the counter). You regularly say "da" and "ma," and I've been trying to teach you a few other words - such as "more" and "ball." You obviously recognize others (notably, "airplane"), and follow easy directions (such as getting and bringing over a book, or putting food in your mouth).

Your appetite continues to astonish us. You eat so. much. food. You easily down a whole avocado in one sitting, or a huge piece of pizza. You adore cheese and apples and curry and beans and mango lassi, and rarely refuse food, except for perhaps pecan nut thins, which is probably for the best since we realized you're allergic to them. You had a pecan cracker recently, after which you developed a rash all over your face. Quite scary on our end. You didn't swell at all, though, nor did you have trouble breathing, thank goodness. Since you didn't have those symptoms, we didn't give you any medicine, and the hives went away within the hour. I'm really hoping you'll outgrow this allergy since neither your Dad nor I have any allergies, and you're not allergic to peanuts and mostly because pecans are rather delicious and I'd hate for you to have to miss out on them. You also had a brief (although it didn't feel so at the time) biting-while-nursing spell this month. Holy moly. That was a rough few days.

You continue to have a profound interest in household items, especially CUPS. Any time you see a cup, you frantically leap across the room until you can grab it and drink from it (if by drink you mean spill all over yourself, which I do). You also adore the washing machine, both watching it run and reaching into it when it's off. You've also started to take an interest in climbing - both onto the couch/bed, as well as the bookshelf. You've gotten pretty good at backing off, although sometimes you'll still start to pitch yourself headfirst to get to some interesting thing on the ground.

You got to go on your first bike ride this month. We got you a little tiny bike helmet, that you loathed while your dad put it on, but found to be the funniest thing ever once it was secured. You couldn't stop giggling at the heaviness on your head and the image in the mirror. Other interests continue to include books - you love reading them with us and paging through them on your own, carefully separating pages to make sure you don't miss any important plot developments.

Your love for animals has expanded to include cats this month, when you met your first one. You were seriously obsessed with this poor animal, and kept grabbing her fur and patting her face and whiskers. It's a wonder she didn't attack you back. You spent a solid 30 minutes either playing with her or staring at her on the chair and trying to lure her back. You were beside yourself with her movements and softness and grabbableness.

My little son, how much you have changed and learned and grown this year. Of course it's amazing to me how much you've changed and developed, and how you've developed into a smart and sweet and handsome little boy. What is more remarkable to me, though, is how much you've stayed the same. Your personality has been so consistent. From the beginning, you've been so smiley and vibrant. Your preferences are strong, and you are an excellent communicator (interestingly, as your baby blessing said). You have a way of lighting up others' lives, most especially mine.

It took a long time for me to be honest enough with myself to admit that it took me a few days to feel that fiery maternal attachment everyone hails. While I knew I loved you, for a few days, I felt a little lost and not like myself. I didn't know if I would be trapped or overburdened or incompetent. But then. Then 12 months happened, and I find myself filled with a love and protective desire more overpowering than I ever thought possible. I find myself thinking of you for more seconds than exist in a day, and smiling at the thought of it all. Your dad and I often laugh at the percentage of our time spent while you are sleeping or otherwise not with us that we talk about/look at pictures of/remember stories of you, and then continue doing it because we just cannot get enough. That maternal love that everyone talks about? Well, let's just say that it pales in comparison to what I feel for you.

You have, on occasion, stopped to look at the rings I wear on my left hand, the rings your dad gave me. They sparkle and they are pretty, but to me they are more than jewelry. They are symbols that your dad and I are together for eternity. Now when I look at them, they still sparkle, and I still remember - but I remember not just him, but both of you, both of my boys. I remember that we, as a family, will be together forever. Now when I look at them, they don't just stand for two - they mean three.

Happy first birthday, my sweet son.



Becca said...

i LOVE this.

Janssen said...

Happy birthday! Isn't it crazy how FAST they change?

Amy Jo said...

That is seriously one of the sweetest blog posts I have ever read. I truly hope I find as much joy in my children when I have them, and I am glad I have great examples of friends who do. Happy 1st Birthday to your sweet little guy!

erica said...

That post made me tear up a little. Happy Birthday Nat!

natalie said...

Aah! Making me cry! Also making me want a BABY! These pictures are priceless. How many apples a day does this baby eat? Also, are his arms and legs all tucked into something in that sleeping picture?

This is just gorgeous, and your baby is gorgeous, and I want him, and I miss you.