To my Big Kid,
I remember 3 years ago, when I was running around with your sister, hugely pregnant, during COVID times, trying to figure out a way to still have fun with a toddler and be safe while pregnant. When the parks opened back up, we flocked over there, usually alone, and I still climbed the playground equipment after her, trying to be the Momma Bird to keep her safe under my wing while hauling a huge belly around. As a petite woman, I’m the type that looked more like a beached whale at that time, with you jutting out and hanging super low.
I remember how tired I was and how when I’d sleep, you’d totally pass out, flopped inside of me. Even on the outside, you have always loved sleeping and eating and turned into a foodie for sure.
I remember the day before you were born, when I looked at my naked body in the mirror, confused and bewildered by how much my body had changed. Carrying you was totally different than carrying your sister. It’s crazy how different two children can be.
I remember the day you were born and going into the maternity ward for the second time due to contractions. The obstetrician on rotation said, “How about we have this baby today?” I wasn’t sure you were ready since it was almost 2 weeks away from your due date but you, Mr. Firecracker, were ready. I went in on July 3, assuming you’d be born then, on my aunt’s birthday. My family had a friendly pool going about whether you’d be a Yankee Doodle or born on her birthday instead.
Totally exhausted already, it became a long night of having a different birth experience with you.
You came out furiously into the world, screaming a great, “AHHHHHH,” not even a “wah wah” like other babies, just straight up screaming. You peed on the nurse and the doctor, unabashedly announcing yourself to the world. You were bigger than your sister was when she was born. I loved your beautiful hair and tiny face immediately. Once I held you, you stopped crying.
I found out you were born just 56 minutes after midnight. One of the nurses made you a diaper cake for being the first baby born on the holiday. All day we heard fireworks and saw them from the window of our hospital room.
For your first birthday, you gingerly licked your cake and laughed. We played in our kiddie pool and splash pad. For your second birthday, we made a super ugly cake from a fire truck cake pan that my mom had. My dad decorated it with fruit for the wheels and red icing. Though it looked crazy, that didn’t phase you at all and you joyfully ate it with just a diaper on.
What will you do this year? Who will you become? I see you growing into a new person every day. “Soon you’ll be a big man,” I tell you.