... Since Jack came into our life. We're having a blast this weekend hanging out with family and celebrating Jack's big day. He has no clue what's going on. He doesn't know what a birthday is. He doesn't know what it means to be 1. He has no idea that he's growing old. And so, since he doesn't know that this party is for him and since his only remembrance of this weekend will be what he sees in pictures and videos, I think this moment is a little more for me than for him.
Has it really been a year since I woke Jon up telling him this was the day? Has it really been a year since I held Jack in my arms for the very first time? Has it really been a year that I've been changing diapers, playing with fingers and toes, and watching my boy for any hint of a smile? Has it been a year since the world stopped revolving around me, and occasionally my husband, and suddenly was all about that little man hiccuping in his bouncy seat? Has that car seat been there for a whole year already? Was it a year ago that I first started referring to myself as Mama? Alas, we all know that indeed, the answer is "yes" and "yes" and "yes" and "yes."
In reality, I'm happy that the seasons change. Thank the Lord that I'm still not a sleep-deprived mom, staring at a grumpy 2-week old, wondering if he's as unhappy as he looks. I miss so many parts of this past year, but thankfully time moves on or I wouldn't have the memories to miss. And so as excited as I am about my growing little boy. As happy as it makes me to hear his boisterous laugh, to watch him explore new territory, to see him grow and experience new things, I can't help but feel a little sad that the first year is behind us. So yes, I'm being a touch sentimental this weekend.
Long ago, when I first started realizing how quickly little babies grow up, my mom bought me a book called "Let Me Hold You Longer" by Karen Kingsbury. I haven't read it too many times because, let's be honest, it always makes me cry. It starts out:
Long ago you came to me,
a miracle of firsts:
First smiles and teeth and baby steps,
a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away
and leave me to your past.
And I will be left thinking of
a lifetime of your lasts...
The last time I held a bottle
to your baby lips.
The last time that I lifted you
and held you on my hip.
The last night when you woke up crying,
needing to be walked.
When last you crawled up with your blanket,
wanting to be rocked.
That's only the first three pages, so you can see I still have many more "lasts" to get through with Jack. The book goes on through the little boys' childhood, teenagerdom and then he's moving out and off to college. The last page is a picture of the mom looking through a photo album and says:
I'll watch you leave and think how fast
Our time together passed
Let me hold on longer, God
to every precious last.
And this is why, as much as I complain, I don't really mind snuggling with my fussy, cranky boy when he needs some extra lovins', or changing all those stinky, dirty diapers, or dodging Cheerios being thrown across the kitchen. Because some day, when I'm not paying attention, it will all end and we'll move on to the next thing, and all that's left will be memories.
And this is also why I will always take lots of pictures and videos, and keep writing down our stories. Because Jack will never remember these days, but I will certainly never forget them.