Happy Birthday! Today is your 1st birthday. Thank you for all the joy you have brought to our lives for the past 265 days. You wake up every morning full of smiles, giggling and often hiding under your blanket to pop out and make us laugh. When we put you to bed at night, you smile up at us, blinking those big eyes.
It’s funny to think that just a year ago we sat and wondered if we were having a baby boy or girl and what it would be like to add someone new to our family. Then you came along and fit right in. You added something so special to our family that we never knew was missing. Your easy going, happy go lucky personality makes our days so bright.
I always tell Daddy, please remind me you were the best baby I could ever imagine. Some day, if your a terrible toddler or rebellious teen, I want to remember that as a baby, you couldn’t have possibly been any easier. Perhaps part of it is me, and by the 3rd time around, I finally caught on to how to take care of a baby! Also, by the 3rd time around, I’ve also caught on to just how fast it goes. It used to drive me nutty when strangers would tell me “enjoy this, it goes by so fast”. But it’s true. When I was getting out all the tiny newborn clothes last year, I remember glancing over at your sisters. One was making a bed and the other was drawing pictures and practicing writing words. I thought, my goodness how have they gotten so big in just a few years. I so badly wanted to put them back in the teeny baby clothes and rock them to sleep, but knew I couldn’t. I thought about that a lot over the past year with you, how it was less about making sure you were eating and sleeping the exact amount of hours the baby book said and hitting each milestone at the right moment. It was more about the special moments cuddling you and smelling that sweet infant smell. To be perfectly honest, I can’t tell you how many weeks old you were when you slept through the night or rolled over, but I really, truly enjoyed every bit of you being a little baby.
You’ve spent a lot of your first year being woken from naps and carted around to keep up with your sisters’ schedules. I knew ahead of time it might be that way, so I made sure to extend our hospital time as long as I could. Your birthday definitely could have been November 2nd, but when it was 11:30pm, I knew if you arrived in the next 30 minutes that would count as our 1st night in the hospital, so I did all I could to make sure you waiting another 30 min. Sure enough, you were born at 12:04am on November 3rd, giving us an extra night of peace and quiet. Our first few days were so peaceful and wonderful. Being that you were my 3rd baby, the nurses and doctors left us alone and we didn’t see many visitors. It was just us, hanging out, getting to know each other. Your quiet first few days ended abruptly when your sisters came to pick us up from the hospital sick. It became a wild game of keep the baby away from coughing and fevers. It made me realize that with 3 kids, there would always be chaos but when it was quite to stop and enjoy it for a few minutes. 12 months later, I still try and remember this. Our mornings are pretty wild and crazy, trying to get out the door for school. There’s a lot of rushing, yelling, missing shoes, etc. But when everyone is off to where they are supposed to be and it’s just us, I take a deep breath and watch you smile. Really watch your sweet little face. You point at trees and birds and giggle, and make my days so happy.
You see, the weeks leading up to your arrival, I started to panic about adding a third child to our already more than chaotic life. I knew it would get easier as you all grew older, but kept telling myself the first year might be a bit of a “survival”. Tommy, this year has been anything but. It’s been the most joyful year of my life. Your addition to our family makes us so happy and your mild nature makes us all feel more at ease. Having a 3rd baby made me let go of a lot of the thing I used to stress over and made me finally realize it’s ok to ask for help. We’ve had a lot of help. When people offered to help, I used to smile and say “no, we’re ok” and now I saw “yes please!”. Someday I’ll repay all the favors, but for now, I’ll take the help and let our life be less about survival and more about joy. Thank you for showing us that.
A little more about you:
You have 4 teeth and they are the cutest little teeth I have ever seen. Your hair went from black and spiky to light and curly. It hasn’t stopped growing and you’ve already had a haircut. To our surprise your eyes are still blue. Your favorite food: everything. Seriously, from carrots to meatballs, you love eating. You are constantly on the move. Since the minute you started crawling, you haven’t stopped. Your favorite things to do is chase the kindergartners around the basketball court and playing outside. You also really love going on the swings and seeing fish in fish tanks. Your favorite toys are balls and trucks. You have to dig through a lot of dolls and Barbies to find them, but you always find your trucks!
You love your sisters so much. They are wild and crazy with you. They carry you around like a doll and wrestle you like a puppy. At first it made me super nervous, but you laugh hysterically and chase after them for more. When you see them, your eyes light up. They love going in your crib to get you in the morning and they taught you to jump on the bed. You really like making them laugh. You figured out months ago how to make them laugh at the dinner table and haven’t stopped since.
For 12 months old, you sure have a lot of friends. Most of them are 4 and 5 year olds, but you are always surrounded by your sisters’ friends, classmates and neighbors. You try your best to keep up with them and sometimes I think you have no idea you are any younger than they all are. You love being around people and you really make them smile: siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. You have so much love in your life.
Happy Birthday Tommy. Thank you for all you’ve taught me and given me over the past 12 months. Thank you for all the big, bright smiles. I can’t wait to watch you grow and continue to bring joy to this world.
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