"The days may be long, but the years are short."
I have no idea who said that, but they're right. It's not crazy to me at all that a year has passed since we first met Caleb in the hospital room, just the two of us with our doctor and nurses. It feels like a year. But I can still remember that moment and those first newborn days like they really were yesterday.
I didn't get to put him to bed last night, so I snuck into his room after he was fast asleep. I scooped him up and sat in the rocking chair for a while with him, just soaking up his last night before he turned one. I'm not a terribly sentimental person, but I just wanted to cuddle and rock with him one last time before he turned one. He slept through the entire thing, like he always did for night feeds in those early days. I thought about all the changes that have happened since then, how much he's grown into a little boy. The swaddle has long been traded for his own big kid blanket, footed pjs for ones that give him room to stretch his chubby legs, his favorite paci for his beloved monkey.
So much changes in a year, doesn't it? For any of us. But especially for babies and toddlers. So much growing and developing. Thinking back on these last 12 months doesn't make me long for the baby days again, but instead it makes me really excited for the next year ahead of us. Watching Caleb learn to walk and talk, become a big brother, and continue developing his little personality.
I'm going to sit down tonight after he goes to bed and write him a letter. Maybe that'll become a birthday tradition, like our visits to the local donut shop. I'll probably write things in it like how from his very first day, people have commented on how calm and content he is. How he has always loved to take in the world around him and has never been in a hurry to do anything other kids his age may be doing. How he looks so much like his dad right now (minus that blonde hair). How he passionately loves to eat. How he makes us work pretty hard for belly laughs, but it's worth it every time.
While I think I'll always feel like my children's birthdays are special to me, I never want to make them about me or me always reminiscing with them about the day they were born. If they're interested in that story, I will tell them. But I want to focus so much more on who they are, who they are becoming, and celebrating them. We've sort of got a busy day ahead of us with lots of non-birthday things, so tomorrow I think we'll got to the book store to pick up Caleb's free dessert (he loves to eat!), buy him a new book (he is fascinated by books right now), and take a trip to the water park (it's like toddler sensory heaven there!).
Happy birthday, Caleb! We love you so much and are so grateful God put you in our family!