Baxter Boy, Buddy Boy, Baximus Maximus, Bam-Bam,
We already have a slew of nicknames for you, and it’s been the fastest year of my life. I’m writing this on the eve of your first birthday, and remembering back to that day a year ago when you joined our family. It certainly has been a whirlwind…on fast forward…with a lot of chaos.
When I found out I was pregnant with you, I felt a strange combination of shocked and scared. My other baby was still a baby, and here we were, going to have another baby! But the moment you made your speedy and extreme entrance to the world, and when I heard Dad say “It’s a boy!”, I felt such an intense elation. I didn’t know how much I wanted a boy until I heard Dad laugh those beautiful words in the hospital room.
‘We did it’! I kept thinking. ‘We did it, together, and now I have a son!’ The “we” was you and me…we made it through an exhausting pregnancy and a fast and scary delivery–and now you were here to complete our family. We were instantly more full, as though we didn’t know we were missing you until you actually arrived.
“Yeah right”, you’re probably saying to that last statement. “Moms have to say stuff like that”. But you needn’t take my word– the sheer proof of this is Charlotte’s instant and unending love for you. From your first week at home she has looked after you, comforted you, brought you diapers and toys and eventually snacks and teething rings, and made you laugh more than any of us combined. When you cry, she says “Oh, Baxter’s crying”–not a complaint, but empathy–and she looks for ways to help. When you laugh, she aims to make you laugh harder. And when you try something new, she is your biggest cheerleader. “Oh, THERE you go!” she exclaimed when you fell to your knees, but got right back up. “Are you feeling better Baxter boy?” she asked this afternoon, when you woke up from your nap with a runny nose. She has to be able to see you at the dinner table, so that she can show you how to do things, and see if you like the new foods you try. And SHE was the one who deemed you “Bam Bam”, because you’re “always banging around on things”. She’s your protector. And her wholehearted acceptance–no, overwhelming love–for you is the surest sign that you have made us complete.
You are a determined little monkey, and you don’t do anything cautiously or quietly. I’ve never read anything about the circumstances of one’s labor and delivery being an early indicator of their personality. But for you, Bam Bam, the way you entered the world was the exactly the way you live in it each day. You are fast, you jump feet first into anything new, you’re loud (for a little guy), and you don’t take no for an answer. You’re a risk-taker, you work hard at things, and you are not shy to make your needs known. I have never seen a baby do such a fast army crawl, or take to eating finger/table food as quickly as you. Your current favorites are macaroni and cheese, salmon, anything orange, and bananas. You eat at least one “monkey food” every single day, and more if we let you!
But this, my Buddy Boy, is the side you don’t show to everyone: you are sensitive. You need some comfort and contact amidst your chaos. You’ll be busily ripping the playroom to shreds, but after ten minutes you’ll crawl around to find me, bury your face in my knees, and give a big deep sigh. Sometimes it doesn’t last, and you’re back to the mayhem in another 30 seconds. Sometimes it does, and you lay comfortably in my lap to clap my hands or fiddle with my cheeks. I love these moments. I love them because you interject cuddles with craziness, and those cuddles are often reserved just for me. You may not always stop to hug your mom, but you used to. And it makes my day, every single time.
So, Bax, you are now one. Leaving babyhood, and becoming a toddler. People say it happens before your very eyes, and they are right. I blinked, and you went from a blob to a boy. You’ve made us all laugh and you’ve made me lighten up quite a bit in the past year, so I can only imagine what the next one will bring. I can’t wait to see you take your first steps, start to talk with us, and grow into your very big personality. I know you’ll do it all with that mischievous little twinkle in your eye, blowing your raspberry spit face at us. And we’ll laugh right along with you!
Ready with big cuddles anytime you need them,