Happy birthday, son!
I can't believe you are a mere two days shy of hitting the one year mark of your life. It doesn't seem possible you could be so big already. At the same time, though, I can't remember a time without you here. You have slipped into the swirling busyness of our lives without a hitch or a stumble as if you were always there.
You are, quite simply, the sweetest baby. You have a cheerful, easy-going disposition with a crooked little grin and floppy blonde hair. You have soft, pudgy cheeks and a round belly and two fingers in your mouth most of the time and you are so ridiculously munchable that I can't even talk about it without decompensating entirely into baby talk and cheek-nibbling nonsense.
Both of my babies leave me that way, mumbling and googly-eyed and useless. My little girl is my sunshine-- my ray of light and laughter overflowing with sparkle and energy. She's the fizz in our soda. You are a soft, warm breeze- steady, constant, and smelling (you guessed it) sweet like honeysuckle in the summer. Someday, I imagine you will be for someone what your daddy is to me: at once an anchor and a cocoon.
Sometimes it hits me and leaves me surprised how very different you are from your sister. Bug has always been an interactive, communicative little thing. To her, playtime is a group adventure. When she was very small, she tugged on our fingers to join her in her games, eager to show her playthings as she jabbered and flitted like a little butterfly from room to room. You, my son, are so very curious. You are independent and brave. In the afternoons, Bug often goes for a nap before you are ready to sleep, and you and I trek downstairs to the basement for play time. I sit on the couch and watch you with wonder as you crawl around contentedly all by yourself, carefully picking up each block and studying it, trying to learn how it works. You often pause for a minute and smile to yourself, bobbing your head to some imaginary song before returning to your purposeful exploration.
I imagine that someday you will be an engineer. That, or a very happy potato farmer.
I've tried to think of some funny quirk of yours, some silly little thing about you that would flesh you out beyond World Greatest Baby, maybe something for Bug to hang her hat on, to identify with her future therapist as, "yeah, my parents thought my brother was perfect but really, he ______". You want to know what I came up with?
You spit up on me all the time.
Really, you do. I mean, if you haven't urped some amount of white, curdled formula on to some difficult to clean surface, the day hasn't begun. Bug, our little princess who as a baby never found occasion to regurgitate any amount of food or liquid that was sent down, now regularly finds herself calling out in a state of mild panic, "Mama, he CHEESED!" This, of course, is code for "Buddy barfed all over the place and is now sitting, happy as a clam, sucking on his fingers and looking quite pleased with himself." It's gross, son, and I really hope you grow out of it.
You also hate to have your head rubbed. One of your Daddy's favorite things to do when he gets home from work each day is to track you down (a job that's been easy to do recently since you crawl around clutching the string to the still-afloat football balloon you stole from our family Superbowl party. I can just scan the house for that bobbing mylar football, and there you are!) Once he finds you, he puts his hand firmly and flatly on the top of your head and just waits. At first, you'll generally shake your head back and forth like someone politely declining more water from a waiter while their mouth is full, but when Daddy doesn't move the hand, that shaking quickly escalates to shouts of displeasure and regular head thrashing. It is HILARIOUS.
But then, my little cherub, when the hand is removed, you lock eyes with Daddy and shoot him the most dazzling little grin. Just like that, you've returned to your own little self, the contentedness radiating out from your center. I know it sounds dramatic, but here's the thing: you've got soul, son. I don't mean that in the way the judges on American Idol assign it to every R&B singer who tackles a Whitney Houston song, either. I mean that there is something deep and still at the core of you, and even though you are so small I can still feel it in there, grounding you here, right here, right now, in the heart of our family.
We love you, little squirt. Daddy is obsessed with you. Bug adores you. And Mama?
Well, Mama loves you all the way to the moon. AND BACK.