To My Last Baby on His First Birthday


Dear sweet baby boy,

Tomorrow you will be one. ONE! Your first 365 days on earth have been, at the same time, the longest and shortest year of our lives. We all experienced our first pandemic. Fortunately, you won’t be able to remember it. But I do want to reflect some on your first trip around the sun as we celebrate your first birthday.

Halfway through our pregnancy, your father and I decided you would be our last baby.

first birthday

You didn’t make it easy on your mama before you were born! Of course, it was 100% worth it. But knowing that we would have one last set of firsts – first laugh, first steps, first words – made us treasure each milestone so much more.

You arrived as expected, but made a grand entrance when you peed all over the doctor. You were NOT happy to be here. You screamed. A lot. Loudly. I think you just wanted to make your feelings clear! And that’s something you’ve been doing ever since.

The first night in the hospital was great. The second night, I didn’t know how we were going to make it. You didn’t sleep. At all. But even as you cried and cried, we snuggled up close. From that moment on, often, I felt like we were the only two people in the world.

It’s been 12 months of no sleep. I cut out dairy and soy for 3 months because we thought you couldn’t tolerate it. Turns out, it was peanut butter that made your tummy upset. I’m sorry we didn’t figure that out sooner. But you and me, we’ve been peanut-butter-free for going on 9 months now. Missing out on Reese eggs, pumpkins and Christmas trees has been tough, but I’d give them up forever for you.

Just 6 weeks after I returned to my teaching job, the governor shut down the schools for the rest of the school year. It meant extra time at home with you. I want you to know, I treasured every minute (even the hours awake at night). I got to be there for all of your firsts. I got to watch you grow. I got to watch you become aware of your parents, your brother and dog.

Watching you interact with everyone was simply amazing.

You’ve been in such a hurry to do everything. Sitting up at 4 months, crawling at 6, first steps and first words at 9. Sometimes, I’d wish you’d slow down a little. It seems like you haven’t been a baby for very long.

But at night, when I get up with you, I’m reminded how little you really are. With you pressed against my chest, your hand playing with my hair or rubbing my cheek, once again, I feel like it’s just the two of us in this crazy world.

Even as you grow, you will always be my last baby. I love you to the moon and back, buddy.