Monday, April 12, 2010

An Open Letter to My 1 Year Old

Dearest Hayden,

I have been lamenting for a while (note no post for weeks) over writing you the "right" birthday letter. I constantly read beautifully written blogs that embellish and over-emote their child's 1st year accolades. How could mine ever measure up? This is YOUR mother though, not always organized, many things unsaved, relatively last-minute, with an abundance of memories stuffed in her brain. What I also have come to realize already know, is that I am not great at tracking your achievements and for that, I am so sorry. I don't have a baby book for you and I don't have every moment of your life categorized in chapter after chapter of "firsts." BUT, I do however, have this blog. My sole reason for starting this was to find a place to put my memories in case I ever got hit over the head resulting in permanent amnesia (yes, I think about that happening...because I am a Mom...and sometimes crazy).

You have grown so quickly and have eclipsed your brother's first year in a blink of an eye. It's all a blur to me. Where did the time go? As I sit here choking back the tears and typing you this letter, I will do my best to account for what has been a most joyous and memorable year, with an unimaginably content, loving, pleasant and beautiful soul called Hayden Clay Freeman (or as Ryder has lately been referring to you... "Ruby"...nickname, "Ferb").

You were born on your Great Grandma Rena's 102nd birthday, April 1st. You started alerting me at about 5am and I wasn't sure you were serious, but called the doctor anyway. He said I'd better come in. Good thing, because my water broke in the wheelchair on the way into the hospital. Another interesting fact is that on that same morning, GG Rena was featured on Willard Scott's "Centurian" segment on the Today Show.  To add to the coincidence, you were born at 8:30am, the same time that segment aired. Strange? Yes. Only 5% of babies are born on their due date - I'd say from that moment on, we knew you were extremely special.

You have been very eager to get going and grow-up. You pretty much followed the "What to Expect the First Year" growth plan...although this second time around I was not with it. With the first baby you are always a chapter ahead. In your case, I would say I was two chapters behind. This resulted in common questions at different milestones like..."What should you be eating? Is it time for solids? When do we start rice cereal? What kind of train is a sleep train? Seriously, I want to thank you for making this easy for me. When you were tired, I put you to bed. When you grew out of your co-sleeper I just put you in your crib - no questions asked. The bigger issue was how we were going to transition you into sharing a room with Ryder. Thank you for making that work. Phew!

You were alert from the get-go and quite an observant little guy. You started crawling around Christmas, but that was only after you had been pulling up on all of the furniture and cruising around. Frankly, we never thought you would crawl. Thankfully, you did. A good friend of mine told me about a study that was done that said kids who didn't crawl first couldn't learn to read (actually, it said they read later, but my neurotic Mommy gene changed the study to "never"). You turned one April 1st and took your maiden journey of over 2 steps across your bedroom last Wednesday, April 7 (note the documentation..finally).

You are blabbering on-and-on and we LOVE it. Your favorite exclamation is "Doooohhh" with a gravelly inflection. "Doh" for short I am thinking is "dog" and you have mastered "Mama" "Dada." When you play, you say what I think is "Boo" a lot. I guess we are not very nice to you since we seem to always be scaring you. I know you are my son, because the only food word to date is CHEESE, although it comes out more like a sound effect..."chssssssss"...but worry not, I speak cheese in all languages. 

Speaking of food, I find we are less careful this time around. We have thrown you whole sized items that you happily whittle away at with beaver-like grace. You have 8 teeth now, 4 on top, 4 on the bottom, and are quite skilled at biting....hopefully, you will not adopt your brother's habit (we won't discuss that here).

We celebrated your first birthday a few days early at the cabin with Daddy, Ryder, Boppa, Grandmere, GG Ida, Bob and the dogs. I made you my first layer cake, EVER. Of course it was Funfetti, because I LOVE will too...and did. You mashed your slice with your hand until it was unrecognizable prior to your first taste. Once the first fleck of frosting hit your lips, that cake knew it had met it's match...and like was gone. I proceeded to make another cake for our second family celebration on Easter. I hadn't realized your birthday would share another holiday so closely.  We had a nice second celebration and yet another Funfetti Cake, which your brother helped bake. Of course, it is now YOUR favorite *wink*.

You have been such a wonderful addition to our family and I have never felt more fortunate in my whole life than I do today with you and Ryder in my world. You have been such an easy going little guy. You are so full of happiness and cuddles that you bring a smile to every face that catches a glimpse of yours. I never knew that motherhood could bring so much joy and satisfaction to my life, and I thank you for going easy on me. I hope this is a glimpse of our future together, although I know we will have many moments where I will probably need to come back to this blog entry and read it to remind myself of how great you are. I promise to do my very best- and please understand that I already know that we may not share the same expectation level on this one.  

Right now, as I eat my lunch...away from home...away from you, all I can do is think about how much I want to hug you and smell you right now, how I want to hear you giggle and feel you put your head on my shoulder and say "hahh" which I have decided is "hug," and how I want to give you coffee a magic pill which keeps you this size for just a little bit longer. Every day that goes by brings so much joy, but a little bit if sadness shares a corner of my heart as I watch you grow from being an infant to a toddler, and so on. I know we will not be like this forever. I will savor every moment.

With all of the love in my heart.

Mommy (Daddy feels the same way)


  1. What a beautiful letter from a beautiful mother/family. I loved every part of this, except for the crawling/reading study. My son has refused to crawl. I guess I should start reading him more books : )

  2. Aw, thank you. It was my attempt recalling the past year. Oh, and don't worry about that study! I just googled it and found a lot of psychotic Moms worried about all sorts of things...oh wait...I am one of them.

  3. This is a tear jerker, so I'd say you've pretty much stomped on all those other "birthday letter blogs" that intimidated you. Great, heart-felt letter to a lucky little boy. Hope we can meet him before he's in High School. I loved it. Well done Mommy.