July 08, 2012
One Year Old
Being an older mom is different in a lot of ways. One way is that I probably don’t have as much energy as I did when I was in my twenties. I take Oliver to the park and I climb up the ramps and ladders and slide down the slide with him. We do this over and over until we are both worn out and ready for a nap. And I take Oliver and Jack Henry to the pool and we play gutterball and I chase Oliver around on the steps. And at night I fall into bed and it only takes me about three minutes to fall asleep. I’m a former night owl who used to stay up into the wee hours of the morning getting work done that I didn’t get to during the day. Now, I sometimes fall asleep at my computer while looking up curricula.
But even though I might not have as much energy as I used to have, I’m also much more laid back than I used to be. I don’t worry as much about things that don’t really matter. I know it’s OK if the best I can do for dinner some nights is sandwiches or cereal, and I don’t care that this is the third year in a row that I haven’t planted any flowers in our flower beds. I know how fast time goes by and that some things can wait or aren’t worth the trouble. I know that the nights of waking up to cries and toting a baby around while I try to fix dinner go by so quickly. I knew and heard what so many people told me about babies when Lincoln was born, “Enjoy them while they’re young. It goes by so fast.” I knew this in theory. Now I know from experience how true this is.
This first year with Oliver has indeed gone by fast, and yet we have soaked up every single second. We have watched him smile his first smile, giggle his first tiny giggle, and laughed with him at his first baby belly laugh. We have clapped for him as he rolled over for the first time and cheered him on as he tried to crawl. We have taught him his first words and loved hearing the names he calls his siblings -- Bubba (Lincoln and Jack Henry), YeYe (Lillie), and Ghee (pronounced with a hard "g" and a long "e" -- that's Mary Margaret). We have snuggled in bed with him at night and taken long naps with him on the couch. He has been to the beach and to many ball games. He has helped move Lincoln into the dorm and has spent many long days waiting for ballet rehearsals and auditions. He has visited grandparents and cousins, and is greeted with "Hi, Oliver!" when he goes to our neighborhood bagel shop.
He has laid claim to his very favorite toy, a basketball, and has sat on my lap while we read book after book. We have given him his first bath and watched him graduate from the baby bathtub to the big bathtub. I have rocked him to sleep more than a thousand times, rubbing my chin against his soft hair and breathing in the scent of Baby Magic. He has heard stories of the older sister he doesn’t know and has come to the cemetery dozens of times to sit with me. He has come to literature class with me every Friday to play while I teach, and he has been passed around and loved by friends and family. We have felt his first little tooth on his gums and watched as more popped through and filled in his gummy smile. He has been prayed for and baptized, and has gone from sleeping through the entire church service to pulling out every toy on the church nursery shelves. We have dressed him up in his first Halloween costume, watched him open his first stocking, taken him to his first Easter Sunday service, and been grateful for all the many "firsts" that we have been able to celebrate. We have enjoyed him, loved him, soaked him up, and thanked God for him. He has been a blessing and a joy to our family. Happy birthday, Oliver! We love you.