The First

Julian: 52 Weeks Old

Dear Julian:

Today you are 52 weeks old. 52 weeks! I still can’t believe how the time has flown.

52 weeks ago, we began the final leg of the long journey we took to meet you. It would be two more days before we would finally see your face, and hold you in our arms, but we were so ready. What an amazing ride this first year has been.

One year ago I could not truly have known how you would change my world, or make my heart grow. You have made me both a stronger person, and a softer one. I can’t even begin to count all the little gifts you give us daily – your first morning smiles; the sweet smell of the top of your head; the way you reach out in the night to pat Daddy, then me, and then murmur softly before you settle back into a deep sleep; the way you squeeze your eyes shut, wrinkle your nose and wiggle when you taste something new for the first time, before waving your arms and leaning in for another bite; the way your whole face lights up when I walk through the door in the evening – these are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart forever.

fried plantain!

You started walking for real this past weekend, and for the last few days I have been greeted not just with your smile, but with you toddling over to me, clutching my skirt or pantlegs, arms up and ready for me to scoop you up for a big kiss when I get home from work.

The gift I cherish most of all, though, is being able to watch you experience things, to grow and learn, to watch you figure out how the world works and what your place is in it.

You take my breath away, kid. The reality of our life with you is better than anything I could have dreamed up.

I want to make the world a better place for you. I want to be a better person for you. I want to always be someone you look for first when you stumble, need comfort, or just want to know that you’re not alone.

Daddy's boy

Those earliest, near-sleepless first nights after your Daddy and I brought you home from the hospital, a helpless baby burrito in a floppy swaddle you’d always squirm out of, have already faded to fuzzy scenes in my memory. There have been so many firsts since then, and there are countless yet to come. I hope that when you look back at these firsts someday, and at the picture of your childhood as a whole, that the feelings are overwhelmingly happy. I hope you can say without hesitation that I did right by you, that you felt safe and nurtured, supported and most of all loved, totally and unconditionally.

Goodnight nobody. Goodnight mush.

I can’t wait to celebrate your first birthday this Friday, to celebrate the person you have become, to kick off Year Two with lots of smiles and laughter, and to thank you for bringing such incredible joy into my life. Here’s to you, my little love.

Love you forever,

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5 responses to “The First

  1. This is beautiful, Jen. Also: can’t believe it’s been a whole year!
    Happy Birthday, J. Here’s to so many, many more.

  2. Christine

    A year! Already? Time flies! He’s such a handsome little guy, Jen. And he looks like a total joy.

    Happy birthday little man! Here’s to many many more!

  3. So beautifully said, I am tearing up. It is an incomparable journey, and one that does fly by to quickly.
    Happy first birthday to dear Julian! :)

  4. (*too quickly…hard to type with one hand while a baby is on my lap.)

  5. eli

    phew … so beautiful I’m tearing up. Happy birthday, little dude !!!

    (ps. I LOVE THIS BLOG !!!)


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