Thursday, January 10, 2013

1 year old

iPhone 213

I've started writing this a number of times, but nothing seems right, my fingers move on the keys, words spewing... and then.  No.  That's not good enough.  Delete.  Delete.  Erase.

This is big!  This is huge! Louie is one year old!  Be better!  Write better!  I put this bizarre pressure on myself to somehow perfectly capture his essence, to say something profound, to find the words to describe what it means to be this kid's mom.  I want to remember forever who he is, right now, one year into his unwritten life, a life that could go in so many directions, could take him so many places.  There is much promise, much unknown, what will he do?  Who will he be?

Since I became these boys' mother, I look at birthdays so much differently than I used to.  I was not a birthday person, and now, oh you better believe it, I am a birthday person.  We have to celebrate and reflect and be thankful for right now, as we have no idea what tomorrow brings.  And EVERY person, every little boy, should feel special on his birthday because there will never be anyone else like him, ever.

On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder
That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
"Life will never be the same."
Because there had never been anyone like you... ever in the world.

Louie came into our world just a little over a year ago and in doing so, somehow managed to both CHANGE EVERYTHING and also fit right into our little piece of the world like he was exactly what we were missing.  Children seem to do that.  Goodness, how do they do that?  Magic.    

This boy.  He is magic.

Louie is 1

He is mine, and I am his.  

And since I'm perpetually late in pretty much every aspect of my life, it's fitting that I would finally write about his birthday ten days late.  

Maybe I should pretend that I did that on purpose.  Okay, yeah, that's what I'm going to do.  

I'm writing today because TODAY is the 1-year anniversary of Louie's actual due date.  I know there will be many more surprises throughout life with this boy, but that was the first one, and it was a shocker.  Ten days early, this kid decided to slip in right before the new year, sort of making that "Big Brother 2012" shirt we put on Gus to announce our pregnancy look pretty darn stupid.  

Ahh well, it's just a funny part of his story, our family's story.

So Louie is one year old, and I can definitively say that doing this thing a second time around is just as special, just as wild, just as fun, and just as difficult.  Well, certainly it's been more difficult, but that's not little Louie's fault, we can place the blame for that on his energetic and very three mop-headed big brother.

At one year old, Louie is just a joy.  He loves music, loves to dance and bop and sway back and forth on his feet, especially while banging on a keyboard or shaking some sort of make-shift instrument like a box of macaroni and cheese.  That smile of his, oh I'm pretty sure sunshine comes out of it, it is infectious and easy and comforting and silly.  

He loves to eat, but already has some very strong opinions on WHAT he eats.  If left to his own devices, surely he would eat cheerios and cheese and frozen waffles for every meal for the rest of his days. Sippy cups and spoons and other utensils are his favorite, he likes choices and he likes control.

Louie is very opinionated, he knows what he wants, wants it now, and yup, he pretty much knows how to get it.  One of his very first words (besides mama, dada, no, and uh-oh) was MINE! (do you think he lives with a 3-year-old?) and when he wants something he points to it and yells MINE! until the adult closest to him figures out what he's pointing at and gives it to him.  It is hilarious, yes, but also somewhat horrifying.  

I am a little amazed by some of the quirks of a second-born kid, he seems to pick things up so quickly, always watching and learning from his big brother.  For example he has been vrooming cars around the house pretty much since he started crawling at 7 months old.  It sort of blew my mind a little, to see a tiny little baby doing something like that.  And he LOVES any Cars movie toy, even though, of course at just one he hasn't actually watched the movie.  He simply knows how important those little characters are to Gus, so those toys are the first he goes after.  Many a brotherly fight has been had over stupid little Mater and Lightening McQueen cars.  Already with the sibling rivalry, and not just on Gus's end!  Louie is quite the little instigator and I love him for it.  

I am thankful for this wonderful year.  Yes, it's been difficult, it's such a cliche but it's the truth, I'm perpetually exhausted, sleep deprived, and I shower about 30% less than I did in 2011.  But all the hard parts are just parts of the whole, which was a perfect year.  Blessed, happy, chaotic, loud, frustrating, peaceful, overwhelming, this year was a gift.  

Louie, we love you so much, and we promise to be there, mom, dad & Gus, this little family is all in it together.  We're ready to find out what's next, excited to be there as you become more and more your own person.  I will be watching you see the world, holding my breath a little as you leave your babyhood behind and need me a little bit less, or at least differently, every single day.  I'm not sad though, because truly I just can't wait to see what's next.    

Happy Birthday my baby Louie.  

*From this book by Nancy Tillman.  It is one of my absolute favorites, and was given to us by Dan's brother and our sister-in-law when Louie was born.


Andrea F said...

Such a sweet post to your dear second born. You already know how sentimental I am about the first year so I appreciated this post!

Erin said...

This post made me cry - how beautiful. You put it all so eloquently - how hard it's been to become a family of four and yet how amazing and perfect at the same exact time.

I'm emotional reading it because Ben will turn one in just over a month. His first birthday party invitations came today and the quote on them? "Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born."

I bought that book just before Ben was born and I am so in love with it. To me, it's HIS book, you know? I'm even making it the theme of his birthday party. It's so beautiful!! (Julia, if you read this, forget I said that. ;) A - told J I was going to keep the 'theme' a secret!)

And Ben was 11 days early! Was your first late? Henry was four days late. So a lovely surprise when Ben came early!

Happy, happy birthday to your sweet little man. :)

Erin said...

Oh good lord I cannot believe he is 1!!!! I mean, I knew it. But.... that means my Luke is almost 1 too and it just doesn't seem possible Such a beautiful post!

Berbs33 said...

Okay this made me tear up! That first year goes by so fast and so much changes but then you have so much to look forward to. As we are just starting to talk about Mason's second birthday I become a little sad, my baby is growing up so fast and I will probably never again have those baby/mommy moments but there are so many fun things to look forward to that I am also excited to see what is in store. This post is a great reminder that birthdays are a great time to celebrate what has been so far and what is to come! Happy Birthday Louie - still can't believe he is 1 already!

Julia said...

Love this post to death. I cannot believe he is one, it just can't be true, and I am in love with how beautifully you summarized the year.

Suzi said...

As always, this was such a beautiful post. I LOVE that book, I LOVE that boy, and I LOVE you for being such a terrific mommy :)

val said...

This whole family is better with Louie in it, and we are lucky having him for ours.

Louie, you gorgeous creature, I want your neck, your ears, your cheeks. love forever, grandma

Jo said...

We love that book too (and read it earlier today, actually)! Happy Birthday to Louie. One year is such a fun age (and hopefully, you will get more sleep and showers during the second year).

Angela said...

Happy Birthday Louie! I can't believe it's been a year. Love that he goes after the "cool" toys. I can't wait to hear more stories.

Lisa said...

I think you came up with a post more than perfect in honor of his birthday. You definitely captured his essence and how much he means to you and your family. Very well said, my friend!

leah @maritalbless said...

I'm sorry Ali, I don't see an email for you, so I'm commenting here! Thank you for speaking up about NMM! I'm debating between them and Generations, so either Abbott [and as you said a brand spanking new birth center] or St. Johns. I'm so torn!

Type B Mom Stays at Home said...

I absolutely can not read that book to either of my babies without blubbering. lol. Happy Birthday, Louie! Perfect birthday post!