Somehow my baby boy turned ONE YEAR OLD over this last weekend.
This is such an exciting and bittersweet milestone. I have definitely had a lot of mixed feelings about how fast this first year has gone as his birthday got nearer and nearer. But also, I've been feeling a certain sigh of relief that he has grown so healthy and is such a happy and sweet little fellow, and that we survived those early and bleary baby days and nights that sort of blended into a blur of constant breastfeeding.
Early in my postpartum days I remember reading a piece talking about how we grow our babies in our bellies for months and then once we give birth the days and years that come thereafter are all about helping them to establish their independence and be ok without us, only to hope they come back to us in their later years as adults.
Now, we are only at year one, so my son is far from independent from me, but it is remarkable and how much his little personality has developed and how he doesn't need his mommy at that same level of intensity he did as a fresh and squishy little newborn. And I am ok with that. More than ok with it really. It makes me happy to see him connecting with and relying on more people in his life. And as he has gotten older I feel like I have been able to devote more of my brain space and energy on myself, my career and other interests.
Don't get me wrong, I do miss that tiny little baby sometimes. The days spent learning how to nurse, cuddling and sleeping, the toothless smiles, and those first sweet coos, but I so enjoy the little human being I am getting to see emerge more and more everyday.
I had the best of intentions of writing about this milestone in the days leading up to his first birthday as I had been thinking about it a lot over the last few months. But I couldn't quite do it. Admittedly there was some trepidation as I had built up this milestone in my head. Thinking suddenly I wasn't going to have a "baby" anymore and feeling a little bit of sadness about it. Well, let's get real, as many wise mothers for all of time have said, he is always going to be my baby.
So the day came and passed. And it was a great day. We celebrated with friends and family on an unusually warm and unexpected 100 degree day. We had SO much fun playing in kiddie pools with our fellow baby friends and family. We watched as he enjoyed his first real serving of cake (and sugar for that matter), and were amazed that the kiddo skipped his nap and socialized through the afternoon happy as could be. He was in his element and loved every minute of it.
We cleaned up and went to bed, and when we woke up, sure enough he was still my little baby boy. Maybe technically we can call him a toddler now, but he will always be my baby.