April 29, 2013

Happiest Birthday, Johnny!

Dear Johnny,

You will get a lot of unwanted advice from me, and you will mostly take it for granted, but believe me when I say that the best way to celebrate a birthday is to have your family, friends, and neighbors over, and stuff them with food, shower them with attention, and enjoy them for who they are.  Add a little sunshine, lots of giggles, and some cake, and you have it all!

I love you, Johnny.  We all love you so very much!  Happy birthday!

April 24, 2013

A Year in Review

Dear Johnny,

When we gave you life, we couldn't have known that we are also creating a new life for ourselves. It's been a year, and it is very clear that this new life is very different from what we knew before, and even what we've anticipated, but also much better.  In fact, it is the best thing that could have happened to us.  I began writing this blog a little after you were born so that when you grow up, you can read it and see not only the way you changed and grew, but how much we, your parents, benefited from your presence here with us.  Parenting isn't something anyone can teach you, but know this: it is the most amazing kind of love, and learning to love despite the worries, the pains, the fatigue, and the confusion is the greatest lesson we humans can hope to get.  You are love, Johnny.  Love that sprouted inside of us and found its way out into the world to change it forever.  You are still very little, but you carry an entire universe with you, endless possibilities, tremendous power - to live, to love, to learn, and to helps others do so too.

This past year was eventful for all of us.  We traveled, we stayed home a lot, we slept very little, we played and we laughed, and we discovered a thousand different reasons to go crazy, and equally many ways to stay sane.  We became inventive, more humbled, and we found appreciation of time and health and work we didn't have before.  We grew with you, Johnny.  It's awesome.

You did well.  We helped you a little, yet ultimately you were pretty much self-sufficient.  You were born big and strong and very alert, and you held your head up on your own, and you latched right away, and you were a very easy and regular baby.  You cooed at 2 months, you laughed out loud at 3 months, you had your first set of teeth at 4 months, you started eating solids at 4 and a half.  By the time you were 5 months you were sitting and by 6 moths you had started to crawl.  At 7 you were standing up, and at 8 you were very stable on your feet.  You could clap your hands together, speak in multi-syllable baby language, and you were starting to use tools.  You were sleep trained at 9 months, and you took your first steps then!  At 10 months you could stack cubes and you communicated at the level of a year old.  You were always a few months ahead in your development, Johnny, and sometimes it's hard to keep up with you, but mostly it's a great thing to witness.  At 11 months you could walk independently, and you pointed at things and naming them.  And now, almost at 12 months, you are a big boy, doing things older children still can't do, displaying a hilarious sense of humor, playing elaborate games, and even though you are still very sensitive, you are exceptionally curious and smart and good.  This is the best part, Johnny.  You are a good kid, and you are a happy kid.  

I put together my most favorite images of your first year below.  I will do another post here in the next week  to feature your birthday party, but that will be it.  This is your life so far, Johnny!  Celebrate it - we surely do.