I have so many thoughts and emotions on this bright birthday morning - that I'm not sure where to begin. You have been such a joy and gentle spirit to our family from the moment of your birth. Your easy smiles and laid back personality have blended well into our lives, and completed our family.
You have been by far my 'easiest baby' in that you have always been easy to please - feed you when you are hungry, put you to bed when you are sleepy, and give you freedom to play and explore your world around you.
Of course it hasn't all been seamless - there have been bumps and concerns along the way - including your slow weight growth until about four months old when you finally started packing on those cute kissable rolls and your string of ear infections and high fevers resulting in tubes - but thankfully, those have been the scariest and worst medical concerns thus far - and we are truly blessed in that respect.
You love to laugh and giggle - and hearing your big hearty guffaws makes my heart soar.
You love to explore and take in the world around you - and are no longer content to just watch it go by. You are itching to keep up with your older siblings, and follow them around the house, getting into whatever mischief they happen to find right along with them.
You are no longer satisfied with crawling - although you are a faster crawler and will often default to that form of transportation when teetering and toddling won't get you there quick enough.
At the age of one you have already figured out how to throw things - and delight in sitting amid a pile of toys, tossing them around you, then fetching them to toss again. Complete with grins and giggles.
You have four teeth - the top two and the bottom two - and I think are trying to get some of your side teeth as well. You have a tough time with teething (who wouldn't?) and it results in lots of drool, chewing on anything and everything, and night awakenings.
Your baby fine hair is growing in very very blond! Lighter in color than Anna's, more akin to your Daddy's hair when he was a little boy. It is so sweet to see it glinting in the sunlight - and I wonder how long it will stay that golden hue. There's nothing like a child's true golden blond hair - and I love that one of my babies has a head full of it.
So far your eyes are still a dark shade of blue - and I'm wondering if they will stay that same color. I hope so. Not only will it make each of the Party kids have eyes of a different color - our own rainbow so to speak - but blue eyes will forever remind me of my own Daddy, and his sparkling, twinkling blue eyes.
Mealtimes are still a challenge for you - not that you don't love to eat and have a very healthy appetite (read: three packages of Stage 2 baby food per meal) - but that you still can't seem to swallow anything that isn't thin baby food. We'll talk to Dr. Ted about that at your check-up next week - see if there is anything we need to be concerned about or if it's just something you'll eventually get the hang of. (Which is my true suspicion...)
You are a big boy - the biggest baby of the bunch - and have far surpassed your elder brother at this age. You are already wearing size 18-24 month clothes - the same size he was wearing last summer. At the age of two. That he could really wear now due to his skinny waist.
You are my last baby. I am in no hurry for you to grow up. While I am excited to see you reach the milestones of crawling and walking and jabbering and chattering and starting to say your first words, I would be lying if I said it didn't tug at my heart. I know my days of doing simple 'baby things' like giving you a bottle or rocking you in my arms are numbered.
As a mother, that is one of the biggest challenges. Loving your baby, your child, the person you knew even before they were born and encouraging them to grow up. I've written about this here before, but I still struggle with it - as I suspect most moms out there do as well.
It's my job as your mother to love you, teach you, help you grow, and eventually - let you go.
Thank goodness you are only one - and I have a few years to adjust to that idea. Although if the following years go as quickly as this past one - you'll be graduating from college before I know it.
Oh my sweet Jack - my love for you is immense. Your smiles, your grins, your temper tantrums when your siblings cruelly take toys away from you, your peaceful face when you are sleeping, your sweet little legs and feet and hands that I can't stop kissing, your love of splashing in the bath-tub and completely soaking mommy and daddy while squealing the entire time, your jabbering, your hysteria at realizing you are walking to the point that you laugh so much you fall down... all of this... all of these things... make you who you are today.
Make Mommy one promise, okay?
Don't up grow up too fast.
My sweet sweet baby boy.
Note: Pictures above are from the "One Year Banner" I created to be hung at Jack's party. Total credit for the idea goes to Kathy - where I seem to get most of my crafty ideas these days!