It’s hard to believe, but my baby boy is already 1.
It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital in the tiniest little giraffe-print outfit, loving every minute of the experience and wondering just what in the heck we were going to do with two kids.
Now, I look up from my easy chair to see Owen flailing his way across the living room in that way that newly-walking toddlers have, hellbent on destruction — gotta knock all the DVDs off the shelf, then dig in the recycling bin, then a leisurely stop at the kitchen cabinets because that shaker of cinnamon isn’t just going to spread itself all over the floor on its own, mom.
And guess what, a year later Michael and I still wonder — at least several times a week — what the heck we are going to do with two kids.
Owen has always been a happy soul. There was nary a cry for the first several months, or at least that is how I remember it. I’m sure there was fussing here or there, but when I think back to those first few months with Miles, who’s temperament is much different from his baby brother’s, I know just how easy I have had it this go-round. The nights were sleepless — aren’t they always — but the middle of the night nursing and snuggle sessions were filled with giggles instead of cries. That was quite a relief — since his older brother Miles posed more difficulties in that area as a baby.
Looking back I wonder if the difference was in the babies, or instead in the mama who was much more relaxed and confident the second time around.
Baby O, as we often refer to him, and I have spent thousands of hours over the past year in my dad’s old green chair I inherited. That’s my “nursing” chair. While I struggled with breast-feeding Miles, Owen and I have had a healthy breast-feeding relationship since Day 1 that is still going strong. And as any breast-feeding mom will tell you, that stuff can cure all the world’s ills. And I have loved every minute of it.
Well, maybe not so much all the biting, but other than that it’s been an amazing experience.
The interesting thing about raising babies is not how much work it is — the lack of sleep, the constant messiness or any of that stuff. Instead, it is how quickly you integrate all of those things into your daily life. It becomes the norm.
What once seemed like a huge mess on the living room floor now gets a weak shrug: “Meh, I’ll pick it up tomorrow, maybe.”
When in reality tomorrow will be gymnastics or we’ll decide to spend the evening at the park or going to cMoe — there’s always something and it is most assuredly more fun and valuable than a tidy floor.
There was a time when five hours of sleep would’ve left me staggering through the day, ordering the bucket-sized iced coffee (with sugar-free vanilla flavoring) just to keep my eyes open until lunch time. Now, five hours of sleep is practically a dream come true.
None of these are complaints, of course — it just goes to show you how your priorities, and life, change.
All of those long nights, messy floors and bite marks are completely worth it when I see that beautiful little face each morning, smiling that cute gaptoothed smile of his, wrapping his arms around me and delicately placing his head on my shoulder when I lift him out of the crib. I am reminded, once again, that I am doing exactly what I was meant to do with my life. This little boy — along with his big brother — has made me the happiest mom in the world.
Happy birthday, Owen.