My Sweet Little H:
You are ONE!
I can’t believe a whole crazy year has gone by so fast. You’ve learned and developed so much over the last year, and yet the teeny tiny infant that you were is still clear in my head. Part of me still wishes that you were that tiny baby, so sweet and bright eyed with tiny fingers. And the other part cannot wait to see what you will learn, how you will develop and who you will become. And here you are – not the past or future version of yourself, both of whom I know I love, but the present, and you are wonderful!
How did I live before your funny little laugh and your sloppy fish-lipped kisses, your constant desire to bounce up and down or your sweet voice as you talk to yourself in the morning or as you “nom” on your food? Your favorite thing to do right now is read. You’ve discovered how fascinating books can be, with the words and bright pictures. You’ll find a book you love (usually Subway) and bring it over to me. You instantly crawl into my lap and plop yourself down, demanding to be told a story. You’re quite insistent. If you can’t get comfortable or if I don’t read right away, there are great protestations. I hope you always keep this love of stories and reading.
You’re very funny, little man. You like lean over sideways when you eat or bonking heads with whoever is feeding you. It’s a constant battle to try to get you to stop banging your toys on Meemaw’s brand new coffee table. You love using the remote but can never seem to pick what you want to watch, hehe. I think you just like watching the remote light up when you press the buttons. The toy versions won’t do, of course. You’re too smart for that. You know the real one from the fake one.
When you were only a few days old, you’d been under the billi lights for your jaundice and I was changing your diaper in the middle of the night. It must have been around 2 or 3 in the morning. I’d gotten you all nice and cleaned up and was just about to put on a new diaper when SPLAT! You pooped all over the wall next to the changing table! Just suddenly, splat! and then green baby poop dripping down the wall. Panicked, I tried to stop it from hitting the wall and ended up with poop all over my hand as I’m calling out for help. Thankfully, Meemaw came to the rescue and got you cleaned up while I cleaned up the wall. Poppy and Uncle Reece slept through/ignored the whole thing! Can you believe that?
It’s these silly moments, even the messy ones, that make you so much fun. I miss you every time I can’t be with you and I’m so sorry that I have to work so much. I miss trying to get you to eat the Third Foods (basically chunkier versions of the same baby food you’ve been eating) and getting frustrated every time you spit it out, but will eat the food of my plate (just as chunky, if not more so, I’m just saying). And I miss chasing you around the couch saying, “I’m gonna get you!” and you running away with a big smile and the chorus of giggles when I catch you and tickle your sides. And I especially miss tucking you into bed at night and kissing your head and helping you wrap yourself up in the fuzzy white blanket with the bear on it.
Please know that I would do this every night if I could. But sometimes I need to work, silly thing that it is. I know money doesn’t bring happiness and it’s certainly not going to repay me for the time I’m missing with you and those little moments of your babyhood, but I also have to make sure that you are fed and that the bills are paid (seems like a banal excuse, but there it is). And while I will do whatever it takes to take care of you, including working these crazy 60 hour work weeks, please remember that the whole time I am thinking about you and remembering why I need to spend this time away from you in order to make sure that we are taken care of. And remember, one day, it won’t have to be like this.
I don’t resent that I’m doing this on my own. I’ve never felt like I’m on my own completely. Meemaw and Poppy have been so wonderful in helping us and taking care of you. Sometimes I worry that you love them more than me. But then I realize how selfish that is. They love watching you grow and learn and bonding with you in a way that many grandparents never have. You’re all so lucky to have this time together. And soon enough, baby boy, you and I will get to spend tons of time together too. I’m not always going to be working like this. I’m going to make a good life for us, for you. And I’m going to make up all this missed time to you (even though I know you won’t remember it).
It’s so thrilling to watch you grow and learn! You’re getting so smart! In the last year, you’ve figured out how to: roll over, sit up by yourself, clap your hands (or Mommy’s hands, which is really your favorite), bounce and jump, crawl, walk on the furniture, play with an iPad, eat solid foods, then eat “grown up” foods, fall asleep all by yourself, pick things up, talk and chatter, kiss (big, open-mouthed fish kisses), and have even developed an affection for football. You sat down once and watched some of the Broncos’ game with rapt fascination, eating your baby Cheetos and just staring at the game.
You’ve even learned a little bit of sign language, which I’m definitely going to try harder to teach you. You definitely recognize the signs when I sign to you (milk, especially!) even though you rarely sign them back any more. Looks like we’re going to have to get you some more Baby Signing Time videos, which I know you love! They’re great little movies!
And your most recent accomplishment is the one we’ve all been waiting for – you took your first shaky little Frankenstein steps four days before your birthday on 12/16/2013. We were decorating Christmas cookies on the kitchen table. I stood you up and took a few steps away, then held my arms out for you to come to me. And you did! Three or four steps right into my arms. I squeezed you so tight – which you did not appreciate. You wanted to play and getting a big bear hug from Mommy was not your idea of fun. You didn’t walk again the rest of the night but you’d figured it out, you knew you could do it. Your body still sometimes got ahead of your feet and you’d fall, but you weren’t afraid of it anymore. You trusted yourself to walk, all on your own.
I hope you keep that confidence and trust in yourself, to take that first step with no one else holding you and to just know that you can do it. And know that I will always be behind you to catch you if you fall or to help set your right when you start to tumble.
I love you more than I can express, baby. You will always be my sweet H!