You are now one whole year old. As Johnny says, "Hank now one! Not zero." No, my little guy, you're not "zero" anymore.
This first year with you has been an important one, not just because you have blossomed from a (not-so) teeny tiny newborn into a full-blown walking child, but also because I feel like I have finally blossomed as a mother.
You have taught me to let go of all of the things I think I need to do and just sit and play with my boys. Yes, there are cobwebs and dust bunnies and dried splotches of food all over the house, but I've learned not to worry about it. And I'm a much happier person because of it. When I used to sit and watch you and Johnny play I would feel incredible guilt that I should be doing something more "productive" like keeping the house clean or making dinner or folding laundry. But then you started growing so fast and I felt like the ten minutes I spent cleaning were a waste of time if that meant I'd miss out on what you and Johnny were doing.
You have taught me that I actually do know what I'm doing. I figured out early on what each of your cries meant, which is something that I'm not sure I ever learned with Johnny. I learned what you needed to fall asleep and what you needed to feel comforted. I feel so in tune with you that I almost always know what it is you need at that moment. And you have rewarded all of my hard-won knowledge with great big smiles and cuddles just for me.
You have taught me that I can handle being exhausted. Yes, I still get pretty moody after a weeks' worth of night wakings, but I now know that I can keep you and your brother alive and happy even though I feel like I'm about to keel over from exhaustion. There was a time when I was sure that I needed 8 hours of sleep a night; now I know better.
You have taught me so many things, Hank, which is amazing considering you're my second child. I'm told that one of the unfortunate things about being the second-born is the lapse in memory when it comes to various personality quirks and milestones. So here are things I want to remember about you in your first year:
- The look of complete and utter admiration whenever Johnny walks in the room. In the morning, when Johnny comes downstairs for breakfast, you have a huge smile on your face and a squeal of glee just for him.
- Your "monster" noise that you make and how you laugh so hard after I do it, too. You've even learned to do it after Daddy sings, "Hey, Hey, I feel like a monster!"
- How badly you want to try all of my food. Whatever I'm eating, you want a piece of it.
- The way you point at birds, balloons, lights and fans and say, "Bubble!" so clearly. And then when you want to go outside to play with bubbles you say, "Bo bubble!"
- How you need to be bounced (well, squatted is more like it) and patted on the back in order to fall asleep for naptime or bed time.
- Your back-arching, twisting, kicking fits that you throw whenever I have to change your diaper.
- How you soothe by pulling out large handfuls of my hair.
- How well you entertain yourself with our little play kitchen and all of our toys in the playroom. I could spend hours watching you open a cabinet, take something out, show it to me and tell me something about it, and then put it in a different drawer. Over and over again.
- How you run to Daddy when he gets home from work and give him a big hug.
- How well you fit in my lap when you snuggle in to read bedtime stories.
You will change as you grow, I know this from watching Johnny, but I hope that your interest in the world never wanes, along with your desire to drop whatever you're doing and give me a hug if I ask for one. It has been a wonderful year to be your Mommy, Hank, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I love you.