Today you are a toddler, and I am just as confused and dumbfounded as I thought I would be. How did an entire year just go by? I have been telling myself to play it cool, and just accept this day for what it is- but it has really hit me that milestones are there for a reason- to reflect. So that’s what I have been doing.
The past 12 months have been about making you feel at home here with us. It has been about soothing you when you are upset, never letting you go hungry, and gaining your trust in us as your parents. In your first year, we have rocked you, nurtured you, sang to you, snuggled you, taught you the importance of routine, family, and one of the most valuable things you will ever learn in your life- how to laugh. We have given you nightly bubble baths and wrapped you in your shark towel, warm out of the dryer every time. We have encouraged you to read, and taught you how to dance when music comes on. You have gained a huge sense of comfort and community surrounded by our friends and family who think just as much the world of you as we do. You know how to say the things that are most important to you- like dada, mama, teddy, eat, and up. Your little innocent voice is so big and bold to us. We never want you to hold back from telling us what is on your mind.
Most, including your dad and I, would say this entire year has been revolved around taking care of you and teaching you about life day in, and day out. What I have been realizing more and more as this day has slowly crept up, is how much of a team effort this has been for all of us- even you.
You have taught us to be fearless. To make moves as soon as we want to and not let anything get in the way. To continue to get back up again every time we fall. That it is okay, and completely necessary, to cry. You have taught us that dishes can wait and laundry can pile up and, somehow, we can still manage to have a happy home. Through you, we have learned an incredible lesson on perspective. We look at the most simple things in life- like clouds moving in the sky or a crayon moving against paper- and we see it all through your big, innocent eyes. You have taught us that the world is just as beautiful and miraculous as you view it to be. We have learned to go with our instinct and stop second guessing. You have encouraged us to lean on, trust, and spend more time with our families the way that you do- with a big heart, and open arms.
I think we all know there is no hiding how messy life has been. We misplace everything. We repeat ourselves, constantly. We misunderstand each other. We don’t listen as easily as we hear. We fail at a lot of the things we try. We forget so much. We’re late, most of the time. We do what’s easiest. We don’t always eat organic and sometimes we realize we are out of toilet paper just a little too late. Okay, a lot of times. Our goal has been to eventually teach you that life isn’t always clean and perfect- but, in turn, it is what you have taught us.
All chaos aside, it has been absolutely, without a doubt, the most beautiful year of growth that we have ever had, thanks to you. Your dad and I have never been better partners. We have grown closer with each other and our families. We live every day with such drive and purpose. You may be a toddler now, and I will continue to encourage you to hold the book and turn the pages all by yourself, but you’ll never stop being my baby. There is nothing more fulfilling in this entire world than raising you.
Happy 1st Birthday son. I love you.