My sweet pickle,
Tomorrow marks the day one year ago when I found out my big baby boy would be born two days later.
January 7, 2010, was a day of waiting, anxiety, fear, waiting, laughter, silliness, waiting, determination, joy, relief, and--oh yeah--WAITING. We entered the hospital at 3 a.m., and around 4 p.m., you, my baby boy, were placed in my arms. You didn't want to come out! During a c-section (at my request), you did with a "WHOA" from the doctor. You were 10 pounds, 7 ounces and 24 inches. That's a big boy!
I wish you could tell me what my face looked like. I know yours, with your button nose, puffy cheeks and squinting eyes, was just perfect. Mine, I'm sure, was a look of shock. What was I going to do with you now? I did my job keeping you warm and safe in me (a whole week past your due date), and now you were there--exposed. When we were getting you ready to take you home I looked at your daddy and asked, "They're just going to let us take him? Like this? No one is going to tell us what to do when we get home?" You will come to know that I am a person who needs instructions and a plan. Your daddy is not, which was reiterated when he replied back "AH. We'll be fine. It'll be like taking care of the dog."
Over the next couple of weeks, you and I got to know each other pretty good. We never established a real routine because when I finally adapted, you changed. You stinker. I have a feeling you'll be a lot like your dad--trying to keep me from being too rigid or structured. Those first 10 weeks I spent with you, day and night, were more precious than I can explain to you. Every minute with you is special, and I make the most of it.
I memorize every part of you and when you change, I memorize your new features.
I thought nothing could be as cute as your gummy grin and grunting laugh, but now, your six-toothed, opened-mouth smile and deep chuckles bring a warmth over me that's incredible. I do whatever I can to get them out of you, and no matter where I am or what I'm doing, if I think of you cracking up, I crack up.
Your hair is just crazy. When you were born, you had a lot and as you grew, it turned into a mohawk. Now, it's just crazy blond curls everywhere. They're amazing and cannot be tamed.
I love holding your chubby feet. They've never really been small, but they're small enough to still be engulfed by my hand. Sometimes they stink, and when I tell you they stink, you think it's funny and stick them in my face.
Your little fingers hold mine when we sit on the couch. We started holding hands like that when you were just days old. We'd watch Desperate Housewives for hours and hold hands.
You have a big belly now that I am quite proud of. I know I've filled it up with the best stuff I could--breastmilk; homemade, organic baby food; and now, fresh, mostly organic finger foods. You love bananas (I mean, LOVE bananas), and the other day I could have sworn you were going to kill me if I didn't give you some of daddy's homemade perogies.
Your eyes are sparkling blue framed by eyelashes any girl would die for. Your lips are so kissable that your daddy and I have made a pact to tell the other when they're wide open for a smooch.
Your once fragile, floppy body is now sturdy, and your strong legs work hard to get you to walk much earlier than a lot of babies have. I tackle and tickle you (carefully still), and you love it. You chase me (and the animals) around the house and climb the first couple of stairs quickly, you bad boy, before we catch you. Also, you're substantial enough now for me to really get a hold of you when we sleep. While your sleeping, I run my finger through those curls and stroke your cheeks. I pat, rub and scratch your back and play with your soft hands.
I love watching you take everything in and learn. I also love watching you be a person--doing things like playing by yourself, feeding yourself, flipping through books, going through the fridge. You're so smart. You can say dada, kitty, doggie and na-na, which is what you call me.
Your personality is the most amazing thing about you. You were sweet to me all during my pregnancy, your birth and now, my darling, you exude a sweetness I never knew existed. Everyone loves you. You warm up to others fast and are very easy to please. There are a lot of people who love you. You're easy to love. At times, you're a weirdo. When you get silly, you like to hit your head on the wall, scream just to scream, and blow raspberries on any exposed body part--yours or someone else's. I like that you're weird. You fit in with us.
Someday, I hope you will know this wonderful feeling inside me because of you. I don't know if you could, though, because I am your mommy. I think mommies are something special. Strong and soft, tender but firm, smart but confused, and dedicated. I know I'd do anything to protect you. Thank you for making me a mommy. Thank you for challenging me everyday. Thank you for making me smile everyday. Thank you for loving me like I know you do. How wonderful a feeling. No one has ever or will ever love me like you do and I, my Lincie, will never love anything the way I love you. You are the reason for everthing I do, and you are my everything.
So much has changed in just a year, and it'll keep changing. We're a family and constantly evolving and adjusting. Your daddy and I were a little uneasy at first, a little lost, but now, with your cues, we're having such fun with you. We're not perfect, though, no one is. We don't and won't ever expect you to be perfect. We want you to be you and happy. No matter who you become, we will love you. Don't ever do anything for someone else, including us, if it's not what you want to do for yourself. Be respectful, honest, empathetic, tolerant, patient, kind, and all that other good stuff I know you can be.
Happy Birthday, Pickle.
P.S. I could fill pages and pages with throughts and feelings of you, but you get the gist.
Erin Hill is a first-time mom to Lincoln, who was born in January 2010. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing
everything a new mom goes through while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.
Erin is a full-time technical writer and features freelance writer in her "spare time." She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest.