I started writing this May 22, I finished July 30. Sound familiar?
To sit down and blog anything meaningful means to avoid something productive (right now I'm avoiding my hot, soon to be wrinkled, laundry in the dryer. Always number one of the avoidance list.).
It dawned on my the other day that I've taken pictures and videos of Gideon, but I haven't journaled much about his first year of life. (My dad is faithful to remind me too.) The first four months were a series of highs and lows, as you may remember. I cried copious amounts of deep happy tears, took lots of pictures of uneventful moments, forwent most of my to-dos in order to snuggle him, and let others talk me out of my post-par tum crazies---which meant letting go of a very real fear that Gideon would suddenly be taken from me. I was so afraid that this most magical experience of my life would end abruptly. I know, how sad that that's where my mind went, right? But I never saw it coming. And I was completely side-lined by the love I felt for this new life.
And I wasn't ready for it. And I am so grateful for the other, more seasoned, mommies in my life. They walked me through it. And prayed with me and distracted me with their teachings of how to keep a clean house and make my spaghetti sauce from scratch.
And he continues to grow and change with no regard for my request for him to stay small and round and cuddly and curious.
But I must say that after 16 months (now 18) I am thrilled to announce I finally have a boy who walks on his own! I thought it would never happen. I think my friends thought it would never happen. I think Gideon's friends thought it would never happen. But alas, he wobbles without mommy or daddy's hand for reinforcement, shakin that cute lil booty. I'm sure you've already seen this video:
He has an obsession with hats and books lately. The main reason is because he can perfectly articulate both words and he is so proud of himself for that. When I get him from his crib in the morning his first word is "hat" (with particular emphasis on the "t") and he points to the hat hanging in his room. His next word is "ball" (which "haT" replaced) and he wants to touch the yarn balls I have hanging from his ceiling lights and fan.
It's all super charming to me still, seventy three days later. And this may sound strange, but I love getting him out of bed when he wakes up in the morning or after a nap and his "bug-ah" (pacifier) smells like baby spit. I said it's strange. But I really do cherish these moments because I know that when he's fourteen, he'll have bad breath and pimples and he will allow me no where near his face. And there's a part of me that really knows that these baby moments are so fleeting, one of the advantages of having a child later in life I think.
Most days I remind myself to take it all in. Because just yesterday he was a little nugget balled up on my chest.
I make it a point to store up all of the passing comments from doting mom's at Target:
"It goes by so quickly."
"Wow, I remember that stage."
"It seems like just yesterday he was that little" (with her 14 year old next to her, sporting a black AC/DC tshirt).
And the one that's sunk the deepest...
"If I had known then what I know now, I would've cleaned all night and played with her all day."
said by my bosses cleaning lady, whose daughter just graduated high school. (I have hot tears in my eyes after just typing that one out.)
I try to remind myself not to sweat the small stuff (though I have my crazy-fried-I can't do this- moments) and take those days to read the same book 8+ times and play blocks and drag his head across the ottoman and then the couch and back again, soaking in his painful laughter. I realize that being at home with him is a privilege for us both. He couldn't be happier and I couldn't be happier. And we are grateful to God and Stephen for giving us such a gift.
So, if you'll excuse me, I need to go stare at my big belly boy and watch him sleep and breath and just be a baby for one more day.
Storybook images: (c) Beth Morgan