Happy Birthday, beautiful boy!! A year ago you joined us. You did not want to come out. You were ten days late and still you defied 24 hours of medical inducements before you changed your mind. After days and hours of stubborn resistance, however, once you set your mind to coming out, you wanted to come out NOW and there was no slowing you down. You are truly your motherâ€™s boy, you know. You fired yourself down the birth canal so quickly that despite the fact I was in labour for an entire day, your head was as round as a cherubâ€™s. Just three, maybe four, pushes and out you came with your little fist clenched and held over your head in victory. Ouch.
Frankie, do you know how much you have changed my life? Do you have any idea of the gifts that you and your brother make of every single day? The transition from no baby to one baby in life is obviously a huge change, but who would have guessed that the change from one to two would be just as, perhaps even more, traumatic â€“ and eventually, jubilant.
Every day with you has been a lesson that two siblings are not two of the same child. Just when I thought I had at least the basics of mothering a baby down pat, you came along and showed me I still had a lot to learn. You were easier to nurse but a terrible sleeper. You did not want to sleep through the night, and you especially did not want to sleep alone. You vocally and even tearfully preferred me to any other human being for the first few months, and I was secretly flattered and pleased, although it wore a little thin after a while. You were hungry, hungry, hungry and you pulled milk out of me like you were drawing it not from me but through me, as if I were a straw that dowsed the milk from the very air. And you grew, my little baby. You started out a whopper at ten pounds, and you were off the charts from the word go. Mama donâ€™t raise no tiny babies in this house.
You have the most wonderful way of scrunching up your face when you smile. We call it your â€œscary babyâ€ face, and it is so adorable my heart soars just thinking about it. You are a mischievous soul, and I call you â€œpesky babyâ€ as you move from one source of trouble to another. No coffee cup may rest on a table, no stray piece of paper may remain within reach, no heat register shall remain unexamined in your quest to discover all the universeâ€™s secrets. You love to remove things from containers. I have given up on refolding the tea towels, aprons and oven mitts before I put them back into the drawer you empty four, five and six times a day. You love to put things into containers, and you do not take kindly to me preventing you from putting bits of food from your high-chair tray back into the bowl I am feeding you from. You love to hold something in your hand with your arm outstretched and flex your wrist back and forth, and I love to watch you do it.
You donâ€™t really speak yet. You have mimicked the musical sound of â€œuh ohâ€, but I havenâ€™t heard the words pronounced. You donâ€™t quite walk yet, although you do â€œcruiseâ€ the furniture, and just last Sunday you decided to walk across the living room while holding on to your little walker toy. And you even did it while Daddy had a video camera near at hand, you clever boy! You can crawl like nobodyâ€™s business, and you can get to the top of the stairs so quickly that youâ€™ve nearly given me several heart attacks.
You are incredibly tolerant of your older brother as he snatches things from you, pokes, pulls and shoves you and even rides you like a pony. We tell him to be careful, because we bet that one day you will be the â€˜biggerâ€™ brother and heâ€™ll be sorry. Just this weekend, you both set your sights on the same truck and for the first time you would not relinquish it to him. Weâ€™re in trouble now! It makes me giddy with joy to think that I get to spend the rest of my life watching you two grow up together, to think that I have created brothers.
There are simply not enough words to tell you how much I love you, to tell you how happy you make me, to tell you what a difference you make in the world.
Happy birthday, beautiful boy!