in midnights and cups of coffee
in inches, in miles
in laughter and strife
five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
how do you measure a year in the life?
-Jonathan Larson (Rent Soundtrack), Seasons of Love
Okay, I usually try to avoid re-using the same songs, and I used this one 2 years ago to celebrate Jay's first birthday. But I simply can't think of a better song to mark the end of Luke's first year. (Even if you know the song, listen/watch the video above. It just makes me happy!)
This year has seen sunrises & sunsets, and I've seen more midnights & cups of coffee than I can count. But I can measure this year in loads of laughter, and I'm so grateful that I've had the opportunity to watch him grow from a tiny newborn to an adorable smiling, crawling, giggling, crazy-haired little boy. Most of all, I'm measuring the year in the way my love has more then doubled by having two kids.
(baby yawn - my fave baby trick!)
It's interesting to get to this point for a second child. The awe I felt at seeing Jay roll over for the first time, take his first steps, give me those first grins ... it's different with a second one. I'm not so amazed by watching it happen, but I'm more proud of his accomplishments - for himself. The first time, I was so overwhelmed by it all, and it was somehow about me experiencing parenthood for the first time. With #2, it's all about him. I'm grateful for the chance to take it in, to really be able to fully observe and appreciate all these milestone moments. And really, they're all milestones. It's not just the first smile that's worth celebrating. The silly grins with 2 crooked teeth are just as adorable as the toothless ones, and this time around I've been better able to appreciate life's little moments of joy.
You know, sometimes I feel a little sorry for him as a second child. I feel like he misses out on some of the attention lavished on a first child, the "specialness" of being the first. His first birthday party was a little smaller, a little less carefully planned, a little less original than his big brother's. But there are some real benefits to being second. I'm so much more laid back this time around and have been able to enjoy him more. Those first months at home with him were the best of my life. I spent a lot more time snuggling, less worried that letting him sleep in my arms would create bad sleeping habits. I will let him pull the pots & pans out of the cabinets and bang to his heart's content. So what if they end up with scratches? I give him the chocolate-covered spatula. I let him be a boy, even if it's a little messy and a little loud and a little crazy. That's life, and he's helped teach me to lighten up and enjoy it.
(Yes, he really did put a hurtin' on about half the cake. And some of it really did make it to his mouth. And he really was smiling while he ate most of it ... by this point, I think he was going into a sugar coma.)
I will certainly admit to a touch of sadness about his first birthday. I will miss being able to think of him as my baby - though he's been more toddler than baby for a while now. "Mr. I'm too cool for bottles" is a sippy man these days. I know he'll be walking any day now. He's always been my snuggler, and I hope that turning one doesn't mean he won't need to be rocked to sleep anymore. (See, I really don't care about those bad sleep habits!) And while I can hardly wait for the fun toddler stage, I will miss these baby days. They are gone in the blink of an eye.
So Happy Birthday my dear baby boy. I am so proud of you and all that you've learned in your first year. I love watching you grow up and I can't wait to measure your next year in steps and words and laughter. Measure your life in love.