Sunday, September 22, 2013

To my baby boy, on the eve of your second birthday ...

So here we are, an entire year later. 

Do you remember this kid?

Me either. 

Seems like a lifetime ago that we celebrated your first birthday. Ive spent the entire weekend trying to recall the past year, but even beyond that, the first few weeks of your life. Im amazed at how quickly my memory bank has deleted much of that time frame - how I cannot quite recall the smell of your hair before your first bath, or how I remember how tired I was with you, but I cannot recall the first time you smiled at me on purpose. I suppose it has to clear itself out to make room for the other things that its had to store there lately.

Things like how you crack us up with your dancing to the Fresh Beat Band. Or how you will rarely speak to us when we ask you to, but you are all too happy to repeat any "bad word" slip ups. Things like how you already know how to use a screwdriver, or how you arent afraid to climb to the top of the highest slide (much to my rising blood pressure's dismay).

Youve had quite a year, for being so small. We celebrated your first birthday with a huge party - our house was full of family and friends and love (and a ton of presents). We spent the fall season going to pumpkin patches, and you had FOUR different costumes for all the parties and trick or treating that we did. 

It never ceases to amaze me how you've always been the life of the party. Sometimes thats a great thing, and sometimes it means that mommy's nerves are shot, but ever since the day you were born you've been commanding attention - all eyes on you, all the time. There are times you do that with humor, and times you do that through screaming at the top of your lungs, but no matter which way youve done it, you are certainly in no danger of being overlooked.

 When you were a baby we used to say "oh, hell grow out of it". Turns out, you didn't, and you still havent. But it also turns out that this personality trait serves you well. You dont let anyone push you around. You dont easily get your feelings hurt, and you are very good at getting what you want. Though that drives us crazy now, one day that is going to be your best personality trait.

You celebrated your second Christmas, but you still werent sure what to think. 

Then we got word that we were going to move across the country. So in your second year of life, we packed up the only house you had ever known - the one we waited for you in, the one that we brought you home to, the one that we got to know each other in - and we moved across the country to the California desert. You were an amazing traveler and mover - most babies would lose their minds when taken out of their element the way you were, but you amazed us with your ability to drive and hotel hop. 

Mommy was also expecting your baby sister at this time. She was incredibly sick and there were days that she could barely get off the couch. For as energetic as you were, you seemed to know when to give her a little slack. 

Before we had you, we didnt think wed ever have a baby together. We had even given up on the idea for awhile. And then, there you were, and it was like life before you was all just a dream. The past two years have been the most amazing of our lives. Like most parents, some days we wonder what it would be like to go back to the days where we slept in, had money, could do whatever we wanted ... but we agree that life without being your mommy and daddy wouldnt be worth living. For every second that is stressful, or tiring, comes a million years worth of laughter and joy. YOU are our joy. We have never laughed as much as we do now that we have you. 

I hope that you will always be just who you are. I hope that you will always stand your ground the way you do now. I hope that you will always hold onto what you believe with such fierce intensity. I hope that you will always love as big as you do now. I hope that all the things that make you a very interesting child will make you a very interesting adult. There is no one like you in this world - there is no other John Douglas Cone that is just like you. And you become more amazing every day.

Now you are a big brother as well as a little brother. And just like with you, as soon as Gabrielle came into our family, we could not remember what life was like without her. You are a wonderful big brother - you genuinely love your sister, and already want to protect her. I hope that the two of you will remain this close for the rest of your lives. We wont always be around to take care of you, and that is why we want you to have each other. I hope that you will remember that brothers and sisters fight - sometimes big fights - but it doesnt change the fact that you need each other. Daddy and I will do everything in our power to foster a loving relationship for the both of you because its one of the most important ones you will have in this lifetime.

Its hard to believe that another year has gone by already. There are times when I am so excited to see who you are going to become, but there are other times when I want to grab the clock and make it stop going so fast. Every time we have a day that is more fussy than smiles, I try to remember that one day you wont need me this much. I remember that one day you will have your own children and your own life, maybe somewhere far away. I try to remember that this time is finite. 

I cannot believe what an incredible 1 year old youve been, and I am so excited to see what an amazing two year old youll be. 

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