Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Superman!

Dear Superman,

What a year it has been!  I can honestly (and easily) say that this was the best year of my entire life...and the hardest.  My world changed so dramatically the moment you entered it and I love it! 

Prior to your arrival, I was an ESL teacher in a local elementary school.  I worked long hours, going in on the weekends frequently.  I loved what I did and considered it less of a job and more of just who I was...yes, it defined me.  I was a teacher.  Today?  I find myself struggling to find that part of me.  Sure I try and teach you lots of things, but somehow it is just different.  A great different, but different. 

You make my heart sing with every smile, giggle, and squeal.  I melt every time you reach for me, crawl across the room to sit in my lap, or cuddle up close.  As someone who struggled to sit still and focus on one thing at a time, you have shown me the beauty of slowing down and enjoying the moment.  You have taught me to see the world through your eyes...exploring how each toy works, the leaves that we find, or the planes that fly over head. 

As ill prepared as I thought I was to be a parent (because really who can really be prepared to be a parent?), you showed me that I did have skills to take care of you.  You were patient with me (as much as a newborn could be) when we struggled with nursing.  You played along and stopped crying when we tried out our new skills that we learned from Dr. Karp's book and video (although your dad was really the rock star when it came to many of the soothing techniques compared to me).  And when I would freak out about one thing or another, you would cuddle with me and over time show me that really, everything was going to be okay.

In the first month we had lots of visitors and I had lots of help taking care of you.  However, my favorite time of day that first month was about 3-4am when I would wake up to feed you.   The whole house was quiet, I had a strange amount of energy, and it was just the two of us.  You loved to cuddle and it was at this feeding that I got your first little smile as you fell asleep in my arms.  It was great to have so much family around, but I cherished having those moments with you. 

As the next several months went by I loved watching you learn new things...from holding onto toys, to holding your head up on your own, to actually playing with your toys for the first time.  However, once June hit I felt like you started taking on more and more skills that added to your personality.  You rolled over and could sit up on your own (once we put you in the seated position that is) that month which just opened up the world to you.  I could no longer put you down in one place and expect you to be there when I returned!   You also were babbling more and more and laughing at the things you thought were silly.  In August you learned to do the army crawl and you were on the move.  Then September came and you began to learn to get yourself into a seated position and pull yourself up to standing.  By October you were a cruising around the living room!  We spent November and December saying that you were going to walk any day, but you had other plans.  You focused on getting more stable on your feet, exploring your new world, and teething molars (the most pain I think you have been in since you were born).  You are getting closer and closer to the day that you will walk independently though, standing on your own for a few moments while you play with your toys and taking a few steps here and there...I have no doubt that you will do this in your own time (and once again your actions are reminding me that slow and steady is a good way to go through life). 

Watching you with your dad is one of my most favorite things to do.  You love your dad so much...giving him huge smiles (and sometimes squeals) when he walks into the room.  Your dad loves playing with you, giving you baths, and reading books with you at night.  I look forward to seeing your relationship grow as you get bigger. 

This upcoming year will be an exciting one as well.  You will be learning more and more about the world around you, will begin to walk and talk, and find new skills that I can't even think of right now.  You will also become a big brother this year! 

I had hoped that I could adequately describe how much you mean to me, but I don't know if there are adequate words to do that.  So I will leave you with a huge 'thank you' for being my son and teaching me so much this year. I love you up to the moon and down to the sharks and around the world a million, billion times!

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