Monday, October 25, 2010

Party On(e)!

The day after his first birthday, we had a small, simple gathering for close family at the little park down the street. Dylan spent time on a blanket, marveling as each new loved one arrived (and at the colorful boxes and bags they toted with them).

The Birthday Boy Greets His Guests

Dylan and His Girlfriend Under the Photo Tree

Recognizing that this was probably the birthday Dylan would be least excited about until he turns 40, we tried to keep things simple. But, we did do a few special things to mark the occassion. One was a photo display documenting big and small moments in our last twelve months. M. hung images on a lovely oak tree across from our picnic tables.

Then we ate some dinner and played with a pinata one of the guests brought (fun!) while all anticipating the big moment of most first birthday parties. Eventually, we propped the kiddo in his boster seat in the middle of the table and all gathered around.

Our Wish Come True!

As I brought out the goofy giant cupcake I'd made for him, all I could think of while the candles flickered was how MY birthday wish for so many years was to become a mother, and here was my precious, special boy, surrounded by so much love, and generating so much joy.

We helped him blow the candles out and then coaxed him to taste the cake. It was his first nibble of artificial sweetness. We weren't sure how he'd respond.

Baby's First Taste of Cake

He likes it. He REALLY likes it!

Yep. He loved the chocolate frosting with sprinkles and the yellow cake and ended up eating quite a bit of it. (To our relief, it didn't seem to negatively effect him at all.)

And then he started playing with it...

The Obligatory Cake Smash

Dylan really seemed to enjoy the afternoon. He was especially friendly and had lots of belly laughs to share. We are thankful for all of the nice, thoughtful gifts he received, and especially that we could gather together to celebrate the occassion.

It was a very happy first birthday!

On the Move!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Big One

I'm one!

Dear Precious, Special One,

A year ago, when you came into this world, your Daddy and I knew our lives would change forever. We had been hoping and planning for you for so long. There was an empty spot in our hearts that ached to be filled with love for a child.

So when you arrived, too purple and grunting for breath, we were fearful, and nervous, but oh so happy! We touched your soft, soft head and marveled as you opened your big dark eyes. What a strange world this must have seemed to you then.

Now our world revolves around you...and you seem to know it. This year has gone too quickly. After your first weeks in the hospital, you have been a thriving, healthy boy. (In fact, we haven’t had to take you to the doctors – other than for a checkup – at all yet!) Though I don’t miss the sleep deprivation, I do miss getting up with you to snuggle and feed in the wee hours of the still morning, when it seemed like we were breathing together, one peaceful being.

You aren’t much of a baby anymore. Of course, I want you to continue to grow and develop into the healthy little boy you are becoming. But, oh, how I will miss those dimples on your hands, those gummy smiles that light up your face, and the way you curl your small legs under your diapered bottom to fall asleep in your crib.

Now, each morning, as we are waking up ourselves, we hear you starting to squawk and rattle Puppy, your plush little dog with a tiny blanket body that has become your “lovey.” When we go into your room, you are already standing up, smiling from ear to ear. As your face matures, the dimple in your right cheek becomes more obvious. Your hair, with its soft auburn curls, is all fluffed up around your head. You practically jump into our arms, you are so excited to start a new day.

Yes, chasing after a now-toddler is exhausting and sometimes leaves us with little energy for anything else. You’ve expanded our patience, and flexibility, and our appreciation for each other. Through you, I have learned so many wonderful things about your father, and seeing the bond you two share is a wonderful reward. You’ve brought so much warmth and light into our lives, and to our family.

Happy Birthday, Dylan. To me, you are the bright shining sun, my son.