My dearest Malcolm,
Although your first birthday was yesterday, today's date celebrates the first day I woke up as your mother. Granted, I fell asleep a new mom (at around 3:00 am when all was said and done) that very same day, but that didn't take away from the strangeness of waking up and knowing that I had really and truly birthed you into the world ...
That you weren't just a dream.
You were here and you were mine.
From the moment I knew you were inhabiting my womb, I loved you, yet I didn't fully understand what that all meant until I laid eyes on you for the first time ... You were pink and squishy and oh-so-angry at being expelled from your little cozy nook of thirty-nine weeks, but, despite it all (or maybe because of it) you were gorgeous. Unabashedly so. I was (and still am) amazed at how absolutely beautiful you looked after a long labor (for both of us) ... But I guess you could have had two heads or extra fingers and it seriously wouldn't have mattered.
I was so in love.
Complete and all-encompassing.
It wasn't gradual or slow-growing (like the romantic love that developed between your father and me), but big and loud and BAM! Immediate and instantaneous when I looked into your little, gray eyes.
Like a clap of glorious thunder at the beginning of a large, powerful storm.
Your dad and I often recall how strange and surreal it was falling asleep in that hospital room after you had been wheeled away to the nursery. Although there were only two of us in the room, we were no longer a couple, but a family ... A family with three members.
Mom. Dad. Baby.
We knew, from that moment on, that our lives would be different. We would be different. But we were so excited to take that journey with you. To figure things out as we went along. To learn and grow and become a family together.
To say that you have filled our lives with sunshine would be a tremendous understatement. Through each stage of your babyhood, through each milestone you reach, you have been a complete joy. It is such a trip to just sit back and watch you now, to see how big you have become in such a short amount of time ...
You have your own preferences, likes and dislikes regarding your toys, clothes, food, activities ... You make faces and noises to suit your mood. You constantly babble and chatter, getting all the more closer to your first "real" word. You laugh (Oh! How you laugh!) at pretty much anything. You are "on the go" nonstop ... Crawling, pulling yourself up on the furniture, throwing yourself back to the ground (and doing it all over again). Your personality is ten feet tall.
Yes, you are less a little baby now and more a little person.
You're a little boy ... Our little boy.
And we are so incredibly blessed to call you our son!
Not a day has passed since our very first one together, that I do not thank God for all that He has given us. By no means have a been a perfect person (friend, daughter, wife etc.), and yet I have been gifted the most precious, perfect thing of all ... YOU!
I will spend every day that I have appreciating and celebrating that fact. Life is too short. We need to make the most of it. In the blink of an eye another year will pass us by. And then another ... Before I know it (God willing), you will be grown and starting a family of your own ...
But, today, you are still my baby (albeit my one-year-old baby) and I love you exactly as you are. Dirty diapers and all.
I will love you forever and always regardless of how old you become and will never forget the way you changed my life on the day you were born.
The way you changed me.
I hope you had a very happy first birthday, my little love.
We (still) have so much to celebrate!