It seems impossible that we stand on the brink of your first birthday. Wasn’t it just the day of the Marine Corps Marathon, the day we drove to Virginia by way of Maryland, the day we walked into the hospital and had you in our arms three hours later?
But stand on the brink, we do. Or, I should say, you do, because no longer are you content to snuggle lazily as you did on that first day, or even to sit and watch things happening around you. No, you must be standing in the middle of the action, at all times.
You are readying yourself to walk, but I’m not fooling myself. You’re really gearing up to run.
That seems only fitting, since as I look back at the last year, it feels like it’s been a sprint. At times it’s left me doubled over, gasping for breath, wondering how I could go on at this pace. But like every good run I’ve ever been on, it’s also brought incredible highs and left me feeling so very proud of what we’ve accomplished.
Consider just *some* of the things you’ve done in your first year:
- Frequented our neighborhood restaurants
- Watched the Patriots win the Super Bowl (yup, you were up)
- “Saw” Oscar-nominated movies at Mommy and Me movie dates
- Put your toes in the ocean (not a fan)
- Met four of your five cousins (you’ll meet Max soon, promise!)
- Rode the Strasburg railroad steam engine
- Snoozed while Teddy jumped around in the splash park at Dutch Wonderland
- Took two long road trips to Boston (also not a fan of long car rides, it turns out)
- Visited the National Zoo, the American History and Natural History museums, the cherry blossoms, and the FDR and Lincoln memorials
- Stood (well, rode in the Ergo) on the steps of the Supreme Court the day after love won
(You also brought home a stomach bug that took down our whole family in one fell swoop and woke up in the middle of the night every single night, but let’s put those aside for now.)
You were born into a family where you weren’t loved only by your parents, but absolutely beloved by your big brother. We were expecting some sibling rivalry, or some jealousy on his part – but if anything, he’s been jealous of us, that we get to spend so much time with you when the two of you could otherwise be together. Remembering the sound of your full belly laugh the first time he cracked you up – and every time since – is one of my happiest memories of the last 12 months.
You waited while we figured out that it was dairy that was making you so, so unhappy for the first six weeks of your life, and you even forgave us for trying to feed you alternative non-dairy formula that smelled like cat food. The lack of dairy has presented no obstacle to your baby rolls, which you added each month like a tree grows rings as it ages. I take great pride in that chub, especially as I know now how quickly it will vanish.
You settled into daycare without blinking. You became fast friends with the siblings of Teddy’s daycare buddies, and the pictures I get of “the next generation” bring huge smiles to my face, knowing how important those daycare family friendships have become to all of us.
For the last few months, you had us faked out into continuing to think of you as a baby, even as you’ve swiftly scooted – not crawled, scooted – into the kitchen to pull on the water line behind the fridge with a sly grin on your face. But now we can look to the calendar to confirm what’s been true for a while: you’re an infant no more. Toddlerhood awaits.
And oh, how much is ahead of you, there. Not the least of which is seeing your first baseball game. (I let us both down on that account this year. We’ll make up for it with some spring ball in Florida in March.) Your big laugh and adventurous spirit are going to serve you well in toddlerhood.
You’re moving fast toward such a bright future. I just want the world around us to slow down a bit so I can take it all in. (Sleep would be okay, too.)
Year two, here we come.
I love you with all my heart,
Here were my reflections on Katie’s birth and first weeks at home.