Wow. Here we are. Can you believe it?
I’ve rewritten this opening section several times because I can’t quite find the words to express everything I’m feeling.
More than anything, I feel deeply thankful – thankful you are in our lives, thankful you are healthy and happy, thankful for the many people who love you, and thankful for the amazing lessons you’ve taught us about life and ourselves.
Being a parent is constantly challenging because you, my son, are constantly changing. I get frustrated and stressed at my own perceived inadequacies (why can’t I change your diaper without making you cry?!), and there were times over this past year when I felt completely ill-equipped to be your mother. Example: I let you CRAWL onto the People Mover at the airport until someone screamed at me that you could lose your fingers. Nice going, Jess.
But there is no one who loves you as I do and – your Dad might argue this – as much as I do. There are dozens of family members and friends who love you endlessly, but the love a mother has for her child is indescribably deep and complex. You are the light of my life.
This month marked the first time you cried when I left you at Grandma B’s in the morning. And the first time you reached out for me – me! – when someone else was holding you.
You haven’t walked or said your first word, but you’re getting really good at balancing. You love repeating “ma ma ma ma” and “da da da da,” but I don’t think they mean anything yet. We’re working on teaching you baby sign language.
The other day, you sat still on my lap for FOUR minutes as we explored a book together. I checked to see if it was snowing.
Baby Boy, can you climb! Your father and I were in the kitchen and looked up to see you scrambling onto the couch. Later that day, you scaled the coffee table. We are definitely entering a new world.
You also have quite the temper. If something doesn’t go your way (see diaper change above), you thrash and kick and flail and scream. I’m sure that’s going to be fun as we enter your toddler years.
You have six teeth, and I think a seventh is beginning to poke through. I’m not sure how much you weigh, as I’m writing this before your 12-month appointment, but I bet it’s around 25 lbs. Dad and I measured your height yesterday and we think you’ve reached about 30 inches.
You know how to high-five.
Now that you’re a year old, we have to transition from a bottle to a straw cup, which you’ve just learned to use. I know I’m going to miss our nighttime bottle. It’s my favorite time of day. You’re usually wide awake at the start, but slowly melt into the pillow as I sing soft songs and rock the chair. You rub your eyes, I stroke the top of your head and pull you close. When the bottle is empty, you roll closer to me with droopy eyes and we snuggle for a few minutes more as you drift into dreamland.
Charles, you are dream. Thank you for being my son.