Cannot believe this day is here - July 31, 2013 - my little baby's first birthday. We were anxiously awaiting his arrival in the hospital at this time a year ago. My how much our lives have changed in a year.
Dear my sweet Charlie:
Today is your first birthday. Yep, that means you have been in this world for a whole 365 days now. It's been a whole year since you were inside my stomach and you could hear my heart beating from the inside and I could easily protect you from all the things in this crazy world.
I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. There are some days that it feels like it was yesterday and then some days I look at you and feel like I don't even remember what life was like without you in it. I was so nervous going to the hospital. I didn't know if I would know how to hold you or know what to do with you when they handed you over. But the first time I held you against my chest. My world changed forever. I never wanted to let you go.
And I wanted to hold you all the time. Your dad and I tended to your every need in the beginning. We struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning. We didn't know if we were changing your diaper right and we were horrible at swaddling you. Horrible. The first night we were all at home from the hospital, I got in bed and cried my eyes out because I didn't want to do something wrong. But guess what you've taught me over this last year, Charlie? You've taught me as long as I love you, there is no wrong. Maybe we weren't on a perfect schedule with feedings and naps. But it worked for us.
And guess what? Every time your dad and I thought we finally got good at something - it was time for a change. Just when we got into a great feeding routine with just nursing or breastmilk bottles, it was time to introduce food. Just when we finally learned how to swaddle you and you seemed to be content, it was time to teach you to go to sleep without a swaddle. It seems like the time was short between when you rolled over to sitting up to army crawling...that I don't even remember now what life was like when you just sat in one place and were content. And now we're done with the bottle, moving to one nap a day and you're going to start drinking whole milk. I guess it took your arrival to get your type-A planner mom to realize that I need to learn to adapt and "go with the flow" better. While I'm not crazy about being spontaneous, I do think you have taught me to be more flexible and enjoy life more. Our life together won't be perfect and there will be times when we get frustrated with each other...but how lucky we are to have our life together. Planned or not planned, I need to enjoy every step and every stage that we take on together.
You are such a kid now. Your personality has slowly emerged over this past year and we have loved watching you grow into the sweet little one year old. You run around, your eyes light up when you see a ball, you say "mama", "dada", "ball", "bye bye", "dog" and a few other unknown mumbles. Watching you at your first birthday party running around all the people that love you so much and playing with your friend, Jackson, and cousin, Will, at the water table - it was pure joy. Your smile and laugh fill my heart and give me a sense of joy that I didn't know existed until you came into our lives.
I held you in my arms last night and rocked you to sleep with a few tears rolling down my eyes knowing that this was the last time I would hold you as a "baby". I kissed your sweet face and rubbed your sweet and soft baby skin before I laid you in your crib. Thinking back to the first night that we brought you home and how I was so terrified. I rubbed your back as you fell fast asleep thinking about how much I love you and how much you have changed me, your dad and our priorities (shoot kid - we are moving to the real suburbs for you!!). I am so thankful that you were such a sweet and loving baby that always wanted to and still want to cuddle with me. I hope you always want to cuddle with me and will always be a momma's boy. Because one sweet look from you, my baby, and my heart melts. And it always will be that way.
Charlie, thank you for the best year of our lives. Your dad and I are so lucky and blessed beyond belief to have you as our son. We cannot wait to watch you continue to grow up and become a little boy. I'm sure you will continue to test our patience every now and then and it won't all be fun and games, but that's just the fun that comes with the titles "mom" and "dad". Just as I protected you when I carried you around for ten months, I will try to protect you from so many things in this world. But I know you need to grow up and learn your own way too, so God give me the strength to grant you that freedom as well. You are our world little man. As your dad would say, family over everything #foe.
Happy birthday sweet boy! Here's to many many more wonderful birthdays to come!
We love you so much,
Mom and Dad
The first time we held you!
A little Charlie burrito. So little and sweet.
Our little cutie at 6 months old!!
At his first birthday party!! A few days shy of one year old!
Our sweet little family!