Thursday, March 24, 2011

16:40 -- Happy Birthday

Dear L.E.,
Today is your first birthday. I can't believe it's been a whole year since you came into my life and turned it completely upside down. I was pretty cool and collected before I had you. Sure, I had my neuroses but I still managed to make it to work on time and rarely, if ever, had some food-type product on my clothes or in my hair. My socks always matched. I was rarely without makeup. I even wore heels, if you can believe it. Your dad and I would go out to dinner a lot and were always at happy hour on Friday nights. We slept till 9 am on weekends. Can you believe that?
Then you were born. And from the first moment I looked at you, while you were screaming your head off, I feel head over heels in love with you. You didn't really seem to care about that. You were mostly pissed because I'm sure it was cold.
They told me you had hip dysplasia and it made me love you more. I would do anything and everything to fix you, just like I did with your woof-woof Porter. My dysplasia kids.
Those first few weeks were tough. You seemed like you hated me and your dad. You cried and we couldn't get you to stop. You didn't like me nursing you so Daddy would bottle-feed you while I pumped. I missed you during that time. I got a lot of reading done but I missed holding you.
When Daddy went back to work and left you alone with me, we had some rough days. But then you started to smile at me. I loved the way your eyes lit up when you would wake up and look at me. Your little personality started to shine through. You loved music so we would listen to "Hey Soul Sister" and dance. I also played you lots of U2 lullabies. You seemed to really like sleeping then. Funny how things changed when you discovered you had your own free will.
You met all of your grandparents within two months. You even flew on a plane to see my Pap. I've never seen him so happy than when you smiled at him instantly. He held you like an old pro, even though I'm sure he hadn't held a baby in over 30 years.
You started daycare and made all kinds of new friends. Everybody loved you. Your caregivers were very protective of you in your brace. It seemed like you loved daycare more than being at home! That's why we took you as many places as we could on the weekends. You loved being out and still do.
Right around Labor Day, we sensed your first tooth was coming in. You just weren't your normal happy self. I felt the bump and was happy to discover why.
Your first road trip was to San Francisco when you turned 6 months old. You had so much fun exploring a new city. We went to Golden Gate Park and you saw some penguins that made you crack up. You were the hit of the drunken Irishmen when we watched the Steeler game. You saw the ocean for the first time. The trip was punctuated by you sitting up by yourself for the first time ever. It was so great to have you sitting unsupported.
We had you baptized in October. The holidays flew by. For Halloween, you were a beautiful flower but you hated your costume. Thanksgiving was spent in Portland with your godparents, highlighted by sitting on Santa's lap and telling him what you wanted for Christmas. You learned to crawl a week later. Your grandma and grandpap spent your first Christmas with you and spoiled you with all of your favorite toys. Your other grandpa, G.G., came to visit soon after.
You love TV, especially football. Sadly, the Steelers were not meant to win the Super Bowl the first year you were alive. But there's always next year. (We hope.)
All the while, you grew and grew. New teeth. New milestones. Soon you were pulling yourself up, high-fiving and waving on command. You're such a happy baby to be around. Everyone loves you. But I'm pretty sure nobody loves you more than I do.
Happy birthday, sweetheart.
Love always,
Mom

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