My baby is one. One year old. That's it. The end of another chapter. We will never again have another child under the age of one.
"But you hated having a child under one!" my friend responded, when I admitted I had been feeling a bit melancholic about the whole thing.
I know. It's true. I have never really enjoyed the baby-baby stage. I started digging parenthood when they started doing "stuff"...you know, tricks: waving bye-bye, giving kisses, saying Mama, walking. That whole getting-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-constant-feedings-just-laying-there-or-crying-stage never appealed to me, no matter how good that newborn smell is.
So the whole past year (especially the first half) I've been thinking about this day, looking forward to it, waiting for it. One year old. We've crossed the threshold from true baby into near toddlerhood. So here we are.
I don't know what it is. Maybe it's because we know for sure now that the "shop is closed." Maybe it's just experience and maturity...the knowledge you gain when you've already parented one and realized that in spite of how slowly the bad days seem to pass, in the blink of an eye he will be two and then three and then four. And you will look back on the pictures of this first birthday party and barely remember it...or remember every single detail...but still be amazed. Amazed by how "cute" he was or how "little" or how "funny" or how much he "loved that present" or how that little one-year-old in the pictures feels very, very, very far away and long ago from the child you have now.
When Hubby tried to convince me I should not be melancholic, how it did not make sense, how we love parenting so much more after the one-year-old mark, I compared it to your son growing up and getting married: you are happy (unless you really don't like the girl, but let's not even go there...I have already been warned that I will not get along with any of the girlfriends) because you want your son to be happy, to find love, to start a family. But still, at the wedding, you're gonna get teary, you're gonna be emotional, you're gonna be melancholic. Well, Aidan Kai turned one. I wanted him to turn one. I am excited he is one. I do not want to have any more children. This is a good day. But I am still a bit teary, emotional, and melancholic.
So Happy Birthday to my baby, my Aidan Kai, my ball of fire...my little boy who came into this world with so much drama and turned our little family a bit upside down with his colicky shrieks, his indignant wails, his deep belly chuckles...who knows just how to tilt his head and bat his eyelashes in order to completely melt me...who can recover from a nasty fall (or drop or shopping cart accident) in a flash...who can make you smile simply by wrinkling his nose and flashing his dimples...who will pull you up by your hair (literally) if you even attempt to doze on the floor while he is playing. Happy Birthday to the little boy who has completely stolen my heart and made me so glad that I caved and had "just one more."