Friday, January 6, 2017

When your baby turns 1

When your baby turns 1, it's like it all hits you: you have a kid. You're a parent. You've spent the last year of your life loving and taking care of another human. And not just any human; YOUR human. The one you carried and anticipated for 9 months, the one you dreamed and wondered about. The one you nicknamed and danced with and loved to a newfound degree of wow.

When your baby turns 1, it's hard to express the tumble of emotions that roll around your heart and mind. It's a milestone that feels so significant and inexplicable. A year. Really? Already? You're faced with the fact that somewhere between those soft, blurry newborn days and this 1st birthday you entered true, daily parenthood. You fumble less and find a rhythm of diaper changes, meals, bath times, bedtimes. Certain things used to be monumental and are now second nature. I don't think I felt the shift when it was happening, but I certainly see it now. My baby is no longer a baby. His amazing thick thigh rolls have thinned into healthy mini kid legs, prepped for walking (whenever the motivation kicks in). His quick funny movements have become more focused and experienced as he crawls at full speed, pulls himself up onto the couch, feeds himself crates of blueberries and plays with his favorite toys again and again. His gurgles and spit-bubbles have turned into constant chatter. He is this mobile, talkative, funny little person. And I'm left wondering where in the world my newborn has gone.

When your baby turns 1, you suddenly realize that this insanely fast-paced year is an indication of how quickly life will be going by from here on out. I think I've been in denial for a while that I'm no longer a "new mom"...that I no longer have a newborn. Every month gone by has taken me by surprise. When the waitress asked me how old my son was today, I choked on the word "one". I am so unprepared to have a 1-year-old. Measuring each hour, day, week, month by the growth of a child brings new meaning to the brevity of life. This year has been the best of my life. As each day passed, it became harder (and now, impossible) to imagine and remember life without Will. I carry his heart in my heart, and he absolutely carries mine.

A year ago to this very moment, I was spending my very first hours with my gorgeous baby boy. Those moments are so vivid in my memory, I can hardly believe there's so much distance between those memories and where I currently sit. Time has beautifully shaped us into a family of 3. William is sleeping upstairs, his birthday coming to an end, and he's sweetly unaware that it was different than any other day. When your baby turns 1, you celebrate the amazing life you've gained (and cry a little) and look forward to many more years of unbelievable change, growth, love, delight. Happy 1st birthday, my beautiful darling William Boyer. We are so glad to be yours.