It's the evening before your first birthday and I don't want to put you down. Luckily you hate to be put down when you're sleeping so this isn't really an option anyway. Right now you're snuggled up with your precious head on my chest, and you periodically slap me in the face to remind me you're the boss. You've got a cough because a month ago you started daycare, the hardest day of my life so far, and you've been sick ever since. You smell sweet, like lavender, remnants of the bath we fought you to take almost 3 hours ago. You hate baths right now, by the way. You used to love to splash, but now you refuse to sit down in the tub, and you want nothing wet above the ankles. You're a bizarre little creature and I wouldn't have you any other way. You've reached up in your sleep and edited this message no less than 9 times...I wish you'd stop adding random letters in.
Your personality is your mother's baby boy. This is funny for the moment, but I pray at least some bits of your daddy show up in you as you age. I have so many wishes for your future little man, and I know I could never lay them all out on paper even if I tried. If you're going to continue to act like me, my wish is simple: don't be afraid to be YOU! I wasted so much valuable time trying to be the me that everyone else expected, and I missed out on so many things I later found myself to enjoy. I figured out who I was, eventually, but if I would've calmed down & been unapologetically myself, I would've been much happier much sooner. So be YOU baby man. Be loud or don't. Be obnoxious or don't. Walk tomorrow or wait till you're 2. Be superman or play with dolls. Swing a bat or play the flute. Be a democrat or be a republican. Be a doctor or be an artist. Be YOU. And know that you're loved regardless of who that is. It occurs to me that this is an underlying theme in all my letters; I love you. I will always love you no matter what, and my prayer is that you know this if you know nothing else.
You're a jokester, and because of this I can't end this letter without sharing some of this beautiful year with you. You are so funny. You are charming and cunning and smart, and all the things a mother dreams for her son to be. You are perfect. Here are some of my favorite Jonas moments and memories from our first year together.
1. Your expressions. You've had the most expressive little face since day one! You've got what we call the "Spock eye" and you're not afraid to use it. You can only say 3 words (hey, mama & dada), but you speak so freely with your face I would swear I know what you're thinking. You can make me feel 2 inches tall when you give me one look, and your excited, open-mouthed smile lights up a room. You also know how to stick that bottom lip out and break my heart in two.
2. Our breastfeeding bond. You're going to cringe when you read this part one day, but I'm not sorry. You have loved nursing & I have loved nursing you. You taught me to be your mother through breastfeeding, and I subscribed whole heartedly to the "when in doubt whip it out" mantra. We've traversed this road together & I am so proud of us! It's given us an unbreakable bond that I will forever be grateful for. We've nursed in public & ruffled some feathers, but you've been healthy & well fed, and I've found something I'm proud to stand up for. My initial goal was to make it to one year with no formula & here we are!! We will nurse until you're ready to stop, my man.
3. When you were 6wks old, we fell down 12 stairs. Your daddy & I were going on a date, and I foolishly wore heels, then tried to nurse you down the stairs. Before I fell I thought, "this is a bad idea, I could fall," and then I did. I was mortified and sobbing, but you never even unlatched! My strong, hungry boy, you were unhurt!
4. Your first food was pickles. Mother of the year right here!! At 5.5 months I knew better than to feed you, but I had heard dill was great for teething pain, so a pickle you were given--3/21/15. You loved it! You ate it like a champ & thank God you didn't choke! You have since only met one food you don't like, bananas. You now have an intense sweet tooth, which is also like me.
5. That time I asked your dad not to put you in a crockpot. And he put you in a crockpot. It was an adorable picture, but babies don't belong in pots! Your dad is always trolling me one way or another, like his father before him. I'm sure you'll be a little troll too.
6. When we took you to the beach. And you hated it, but ate a lot of sand. Like a WHOLE LOT of sand. Yikes! Our 4hr trip home took nearly 8...
7. You hate sleep, man. This is not a highlight of your life, but something you should know when your son refuses to sleep for you. You did awesome until you were 3 1/2 months old, then you revolted. There was a time you were up every 30 minutes & we were zombies. Currently you're restless until roughly 3am, and you only want to sleep while being held in the recliner. If your dad and I have arthritis by the time we are 30, you & this chair are to blame. We love you anyway, but as soon as you'll sleep more than an hour at a time in bed I'm having a bonfire with this chair.
8. You're a nudist. You hate wearing clothes and you surely won't sleep in them! Luckily you're a cute nude & don't revolt against diapers, but you surely put up a fight when getting dressed! We keep you naked at home and that makes you happiest.
9. Once we took you to Ruby Falls without realizing it's an underground cavern and not baby friendly. You had an ENORMOUS blowout and spent a tiny smidge of time naked underground. We also had to throw your clothes away!
10. You sir are a serious flirt! I don't know where it comes from, but it's definitely a hobby of yours. Just yesterday we took you to a pumpkin farm, where you completely ignored the pumpkins and instead flirted with 4 teenage girls who couldn't get enough of you. You'd wave and smile and shrug all coy. It's very cute, it's no wonder they can't resist!
11. Last weekend we found out you're very likely allergic to penicillin and you had to be put on steroids for the reaction. While checking out at the doctors office, you held up your hand and very sassily shook your head at the lady behind us who was trying to play with you!! We blamed the steroids, but your attitude came out to play that night!
12. When you first began to crawl you thought we were too dumb to catch on. You'd wait until we turned our heads then crawl across the room. When we turned back you'd be looking all sorts of innocent like you had no idea how you got where you were! You crawled a solid two weeks before you ever let me witness it.
13. You're a singer and a dancer. You sing (wail) when I attempt to sing you to sleep, and you looooove to dance to Taylor Swift's (I hope she's not obsolete by the time you read this!) Shake it Off. Your favorite sing along songs are Baby Beluga & Rooftops, and you love to sing in church. Coincidentally you also love to fart during prayer.
14. Sometimes you smile & laugh in your sleep & it's so cute I can hardly stand it.
15. You've truly not had many big blowouts in your little life, but we'll never forget your first one. Daddy didn't quite know what to do, so he gingerly took off all your clothes and diaper and carried you to the bath in a plastic Walmart bag. You know, the ones that say "not intended for children," and "this bag is not a toy." A plastic bag. On my precious baby. I would've killed him if I wouldn't have been laughing so hard.
There are so many more memories than these, sweet one, but you are stirring because, as I mentioned, you hate sleep. But I know one day you won't rest in my arms or wake me when you're uncomfortable, and I'll miss these days. Thank you for giving me all of these and a lifetime of memories; I am so proud to be your mama!!
I love you so much,