This post is hard to write. As much as I enjoy writing this blog, and expressing my thoughts and feelings about my little family, I tend to project a voice that highlights the humorous aspects of parenthood. I am more comfortable with sarcasm than sentimentality. I am more wry than tenderhearted. I am more likely to laugh when happy than cry tears of joy.
But this is the post designed to highlight the significance of my son’s first birthday. His first birthday. The end of infanthood. The beginning of his toddler years. What do I say? How do I express the joy of having such a little angel in my life? How do I discuss how my intense love for him was tempered with feelings of inadequacy, as his first six months was wrought with a severe case of acid reflux that kept us up nearly every night, burned his little throat until his cries were hoarse, and caused us to spend hours in the doctor’s office?
How do I share how it feels when I see him gaze at his sister adoringly, when he gives me a juicy, open-mouthed kiss, or when he pats my shoulder in rhythm with my attempts to burp him after this morning feeding? How can I express the feelings that I get when I stroke and kiss his soft little feet dozens of times each day, squeeze his plump thighs, and caress his little blond ringlets? His goofy grin, his bursts of temper, his cuddly nature . . . all I know is that everyone else is missing out. Everyone who does not have the privilege of being his mother is missing out. I don’t know how to explain it. I just know that I was meant to be his mother and he was meant to be my son.
I realize this post is woefully inadequate. I wish that I could bottle up my love and give it to him to be released during those moments when I am not there throughout his life. I wish that I could soak up a lifetime of his reaching hands, the feeling of his face in my neck, the smoothness of his baby skin. I know as he grows up he will grow away, and I celebrate that, as it means that I am doing my job. But for today, he is my baby. He is all that is good in the world. He is a reason to hope.
I love you, my son. Happy first birthday.