Dearest Child of Ours,
And just like that, you’re 1.
As I say to your Papa, this year has been the longest, shortest year of my life. It feels like you’ve been with us for years and years but then on the other hand, it feels like we just met for the first time.
This year has been the best year of our lives and that’s all your doing, Kid. I don’t know what you have done, but you have changed us.
The way we view life, the things we want, our feelings towards the world, they have all shifted because of you. We are more sensitive, more emotional, more caring about the world we live in and we want it to be a better place more than ever, for you.
You won’t really understand any of this until you have your own family and then the penny will drop and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. So for now, I’ll tell you things you will understand when you read this, one day.
Your Mama and Papa love you like nothing else in this world, it is deep and strong and is part of who you are. You are a boy who is loved beyond measure by his parents.
You are so happy, all the time. You laugh and smile from the moment you get up until you go to bed and I have no idea how you have the energy to keep that smile going. I always look at you and hope your smile and laugh stays with you regardless of what life brings.
You have recently learnt how to give hugs. You will pull our shoulders towards you and wrap your tiny arms around our neck, your little fingers push into our skin and your head nuzzles into the nap of our neck. You stay like that smiling and laughing and it sends waves and waves of euphoria throughout our bodies and then our hearts explode from happiness. It’s a powerful hug you have there, Thomas.
At the age of 1 you have some loves and hates.
You love Toby, there’s no question about that. You love his tail and playing with it. You love icy poles and drinking water out of a cup and then opening up your mouth to let the water fall out rather than swallowing it. You love blowing raspberries and having raspberries blown onto your belly which makes you laugh. You love belly flopping onto any surface and wiggling your bottom in the air, you got that one from Toby. You love showers and having a cuddle while the water hits the top of your head. People smiling at you puts the biggest smile on your face. You love touching the keys on our laptops. You love scratching and feeling new surfaces. You love playing in the dirt with your Papa just before you have a shower. You love climbing. You love going into my sewing room, the only room that’s out of bounds. You love being in your Papa’s arms while you listen to music, you don’t move an inch, you’re just so content being in his arms paying attention to the music. You love it when I kiss you all over your face.
You hate having your nappy changed. You hate lying down on your change table. You hate eating, most of the time. Having things taken away from you that you’re not supposed to be playing with makes you upset. You hate staying still when we try and have cuddles with you in bed. You hate long car rides. And today we realised you’re not a fan of the Happy Birthday song.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how your likes and dislikes develop as you get older.
I don’t know what kind of man you’re going to grow into. But from what we have seen so far, an awesome one. Regardless of what you want to do with your life, we desperately hope you are happy and kind. That’s all we hope for.
As you grow up we hope you see us as parents who you’re not afraid to be open and honest with. We hope you see us as parents who are happy to sit down and listen to you, your opinions and all your questions. We are here to help and guide the person you are. Not change or control you.
This letter to you was pages long but your Papa said the second half of it was too personal for the Blog and should be words for your eyes only. It’s some life advice for future you, I have it so when you read this one day, make sure you ask me for the second half of the letter.
Today I have kept thinking about what was going on this time last year. You had come into the world and your Papa and I were both absolutely taken away by you. We kept saying to you, ‘Hello, Thomas, we are your parents’, ‘We can’t believe you’re real’, ‘This doesn’t feel like real life.’ That first day of your life was an out of body experience. That week with you in the hospital was the best week of my life, nothing will ever beat it and I’m holding onto those memories and hoping time doesn’t fade the clear pictures in my mind and the feelings in my heart.
This morning your Papa read out a card he made for you with words that had me tear up. He loves you so much, Thomas. We then went out and you had your first baby chino which you devoured. We went to the park for lunch where you played in the dirt and chased the ducks with Toby. When Papa got home from uni we let you do all the things you love. We built you an epic fort you climbed and tumbled all over which had you in fits of giggles. We let you bang the keys on our laptop and you had an extra long session playing in the dirt. This evening we sang Happy Birthday to you and you looked at us like we were evil the whole time and when we finished singing you were on the verge of tears. As soon as I saw a tear drop leave your eye I presented you with your cake which cheered you up. You grabbed and squeezed the cake in your hands, making little worms pop out between your fingers.
Next week will be your birthday party and there will be lots of people there that love you dearly and who will be apart of your life forever. They are going to be there while you grow up, they will love you and care about you and those people will be part of the reason why your life will be such a wonderful place.
I hope you enjoy reading the little snippets of what you did in your first year of your life. I’m not going to continue them because I don’t think the world needs to know the ins and outs of you as you get older. Those letters, I’ll keep between us. I just want you to know that in your first year of your life you turned us into parents and it was a role that took our breaths away and injected so much happiness into our lives.
You are perfect and we love you more than what those words hold.
Happy First Birthday, Thomas River.
Love Mama, Papa & Toby
^ 03.02.2016 – Our family on your first birthday, Thomas. I’m looking forward to continuing these family portraits every year on your birthday and watching you grow and change.
^ Your face while we were singing ‘Happy Birthday,’ to you.
^ You weren’t happy about it but…
^ Happy Birthday, sweet, sweet boy.