(from his first birthday...just us three)
This time last year Phoenix was 9 days old. Yesterday was my dad's birthday and last year on his birthday we bundled P up and went out to lunch at a local biergarten. I was so nervous, so fragile still. He was so tiny. He mostly slept and cooed as we shared beers and I nervously picked at my giant pretzel and sausage. I remember everyone in the restaurant coming by to congratulate us and feeling both happy and oh so nervous that they were breathing too close to him. The germs! By the time we got home and my parents left I was a bundle of nerves. I collapsed on the couch and cried. That was so exhausting, I thought. How am I ever going to leave the house with him?
Those days were long ones. Packing up our tiny East Village apartment, hosting friends in a jumble of boxes and diapers, and learning how to be parents. The computer was constantly open to a mess of informational sites having to do with sleeping/nursing/pooping...
Trips to the pediatrician were an all day excursion and grocery shopping felt like a outward bound adventure. We worked so hard to decipher all his little cries, studied several diapers, and counted the pitiful hours of sleep we were getting. But we were so happy, so in love. Still riding high on the birth and meeting of our three hearts.
Scott and I spent countless hours studying his face. Trying so much to memorize the quiver of his chin just seconds before he let out a cry, the tiny “o” shape he made with his mouth, and the great big stretches he would take when he woke up. Seemed like so much for such a tiny creature.
One year ago we had hit the ground running on this whole parenting adventure. I was over the initial shock of birth and my full days of overwhelming tears were more like half days of kind of delirious tears. Scott and I were getting lost in the world of Phoenix and making sense of this new family of three. Life was good.
One year later: it's better. And get's better every day, every moment. There are still challenges. There are still days that leave me in tears, and days that end in a much needed glass of wine. I don't think those days end. The challenges and the expectations change, but the frustrations stay the same.
Phoenix is now one year and nine days old. Unbelievable. I still don't like saying one year old. It sounds so official. So I stick with 12 months. Months mean baby to me and I'm going to stick with baby for as long as I can.
Twelve months has brought us such an incredible amount of fun! He walks! He talks! He climbs things! Eek! We have an honest-to-goodness toddler and it is all at once exhausting and exciting. Each day brings so many new experiences and tricks. And pride. So much pride. For me, of course, but his little face is so lit up each time he figures something out on his own. Heart swelling.
The baby that never slept and had a sensitive tummy is, all of a sudden, sleeping like a champ and eating everything in sight. As you can imagine, we are overjoyed about all of it, especially the sleep. It took him some time to figure it all out. But he did it. On his own terms. And when he was ready. It was so worth it.
I think often we forget what tiny, fragile beings newborns are. As adults, we never have to worry about someone forcing us to do something (usually). But for some reason, most people feel comfortable forcing their infants to eat something, sleep at a certain time, or schedule themselves into a baby frenzy. Personally, I feel like it takes time to figure out....life, really. With so many things going on in that developing brain every moment of the day and night, I imagine it's difficult to keep a schedule in mind. In any case, I'm so happy we didn't push Phoenix.
A year ago we were knee deep in diapers and trying to stay afloat in the deep sea of having a baby. While things are much smoother these days, I have a feeling that year two has just as many happy adventures and glasses of wine in store for us.
Cheers to one year!