I came across a series of articles on Huff Post this past weekend that examined childhood at different stages. The article that focused on year one hit home for me, as we're just one short week away from the little man's second birthday.
I've spent the past couple of months answering the "how old is he?" question with, "he'll be two in February." Seems as though once we passed the 18 month milestone, it was silly to continue counting in months - so somehow Hayes' age just got rounded up to the next whole number and we forgot about the second half of year one. Reading this article reminded me that my little guy is still just that: one. Such a tiny number for such a big age. And I'm happy that I read the article with a week left in his first year so I can really try and slow down and enjoy the last 7 days of him being that small, innocent number - a number that doesn't have an illiteration to go along with it, a number that carries little expectations.
After reading the article, I decided it would be nice to pen my own letter to Hayes, as I would tell it to him if we were sitting at the kitchen table 16 years and 1 week from now... So here goes:
You seemed to go from being an infant to being a big boy almost overnight. One day, you were completely immobile, exciting us when you rocked on your hands and knees, ultimately falling over to the side with a smile on your face, unable to grasp the motor skills necessary to crawl but knowing you were on the brink of something huge. Crawling quickly turned to walking and you were off. Your curiosity was fascinating - the way you picked up EVERYTHING we did, without us even knowing. You amazed us everyday with your smarts - especially after we were forced to examine whether you were developmentally delayed compared to your peers, we would look at each other every day and say, "did you know he knew how to do that?" or "guess what he did today?!". You understood when things were silly - putting on goggles outside of a pool, tearing off down the hallway completely nude, wearing silly hats that were seemingly a necessary part of the outfit when the urge to twirl struck. And you understood when things were sad - when someone was hurt, you were the first to approach with open arms and a big wet kiss. You loved balls, cars, stickers and coloring. You loved to help me cook. You couldn't resist trying on your dad and my shoes, even if those shoes happened to be wedge heels. You loved watching sports with your dad and would scream at the television when Daddy was angry that his team missed a shot or clap with gusto when they got that last minute free throw. You were mellow and easy-going, but passionate and determined at the same time. I would look at you sometimes and think, how did we get so lucky? How is such a handsome, sweet boy all ours? And how can we bottle this moment up and hold onto it forever? When we started talking about having more kids and the reality of that struck in, I would literally lose sleep at night worrying that I might not be able to love the next one as much as I loved you...
Like the writer, Rowley, I could go on and on - and I probably will in the baby book that I keep for Hayes, full of a mother's sentimental blabber that in all honesty I write more for myself than I do him.
We're celebrating Hayzey's birthday this weekend with a party at the house - the theme is "Come have a ball!" because, well at one year and 51 weeks old, Hayes loves balls ;-) So while I will most likely be crazed and distracted with getting ready for all of that hoopla this week, I will also enjoy the last few days of this age, trying to squeeze in as many snuggles and nonsensical conversations that I can before he becomes "terrible" or "trying" or whatever other t-word you want to slap in front of his next age!
I love you, Booginhead - my big one year old boy ;-)