I'm sitting here on the eve of your first birthday thinking back to one year ago when I was alone in the living room watching Law & Order reruns while your brother and daddy slept, reading birth stories on my phone, and wondering if tonight would be the night you made your appearance. I finally fell asleep around 1am only to be awoken three hours later with a contraction that I just knew it was the real deal. What I didn't know was just what a hurry you were in to be born. With your brother I really had to labor hard just to get him to leave my comfy belly and join us in the real world, but you were exactly the opposite. There was no keeping you inside, and trust me, several nurses tried. You were gonna do things on your own time in your own way and everyone else better get on board or get out of your way. I remember holding you in my arms afterwards and looking at your serious, sleepy little face and wondering if that labor and your birth would be indicative of your personality. Now, one year later, I can say wholeheartedly YES, that is you to a T.
You are headstrong and determined. You see an obstacle and your eyes light up because you have to overcome it. You don't require an audience or applause or any prodding, you just get a personal satisfaction from overcoming every obstacle you see whether anyone else notices or not. (But don't worry, mommy always notices and mommy's always cheering you on.) Just today we went to the playground but everything was too hot to touch. Did you give up and walk away? No. You touched the stairs from several different angles just to make sure it really was unpleasantly hot. Then you touched the railing and decided that was ok to touch. And then you taught yourself how to walk up the stairs using the handrail instead of crawling up like you normally do. You never once cried for us to help you or thought about giving up. You were going to make it to the top of that playground, the only question was how.
You are playful and serious, loud, but also quietly calculating and scheming, you're sweet and stubborn, you love to follow your brother around but deep down you're a leader. You are so intelligent. Too intelligent. I think the phrase "curiosity killed the cat" was coined specifically for you. Everyday you make me laugh with your funny little facial expressions, the way you snort like a bull when you're frustrated, or do a long, wound up fake cry to make your point. You love to joke around with us and you're always the first to laugh at anything daddy says. You understand so much but you choose to listen only half the time. We know it's a calculated choice and not ignorance because you give us a pointed look that says I know you want me to stop but I'm not gonna. You keep us all on our toes and if there is an escape route open or a child proof lock that isn't fastened correctly you instinctively know it and head straight there.
Everyday I marvel at the world as you see it and I feel so proud and blessed that I'm on this journey with you. One year is short but at the same time it feels like you've always been a part of our family. I am so excited to see what the future has in store for you. Or, perhaps more accurately, what you have in store for the future. Your daddy, brother, and I love you more than you'll ever know. Happy birthday sweet boy.