Today, you turn one year old! In short, I am in awe of the 12 months that has just gone by...but there is more to say than just that!
I can count on one hand the number of times your mum and I have been out of the house, at the same time, without you in the last 12 months. I can count on just over one hand how many nights I have slept away from you, on business or whatever. Unfortunately, I cannot include those same nights as counting the number of times I’ve slept through the night in the last year, as I’m so conditioned to wake up at random intervals expecting to hear you crying out in the dark. And then there's your mum who noted just the other day that she's not slept away from you for even one night in a whole year. That's something she can't say about anybody else in her whole life.
I can’t begin to count the number of diaper changes, crying fits, ear splitting screams, lost hours of sleep and free time, and loads of laundry that have flashed before my eyes in the last 365 days.
This doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement of parenthood, nor of your existence.
Contrary to all the negative images just noted, immeasurable is the joy in my life that you alone have brought me. Life was great before you, make no mistake, but it’s definitely been taken to a whole ‘nother level.
What is so remarkable about the last year is that with each passing week and month, you produce another surprise for us, another marker or milestone that seems to us a miracle, but the likes of which you will never be able to recall. Opening your eyes and seeing the world, your first smiles, the first hints of an ability for interaction, and the first gurgles of language, and laughter, eating solid foods, and then sitting up on your own, and the flapping of your arms and legs in excitement, and the appearance of perfect little teeth, and crawling, and waving, and clapping, and so much more.
When you first arrived, when all I could do to help you was change you, pick you up and put you down, you felt like a bit of a house pet to me, as I then liked to say. But you’re my Pinocchio, and to be sure… you are a real boy now and I thrill at being able to watch you grow.
Also at the front of my mind in past weeks is how incredibly fast this year has gone! How can it be, that despite being awake (I say jokingly) for 50 per cent more hours every day, thanks to your sleep patterns, that life could still seem to fly by? Shouldn’t longer days make for slower days? Well, it is not the case, and the first year of your life is already in the books.
Happy birthday my little buddy. We are so fortunate that on your first birthday, we feel like the ones with all the gifts.
Your mum and dad
Not sure about this whole birthday cake thing...
No wait! I like it!