This time last year, we were headed to the hospital, excited and scared all at once. I was 39 weeks pregnant and happy as all get out that after a week of contractions, you decided to just get it over with already and make an appearance. So giddy was I, and so over being pregnant, that I don’t think we really had any idea just how much our lives were about to change. After all, I spent most of the day at the pool lounging around until I finally had to call your dad to come and pick me up because I couldn’t muster up the energy to walk back up the hill to our home. It wasn’t a very big hill, either. I’m just glad my water didn’t break at the pool. That would have been a big no-no.
You came into our lives at 2:44pm on Friday September 3, 2010, sharing a birthday with your Uncle Tim. I was secretly hoping you would be a 90210 baby, but you had your own plans, which I can now recognize is a distinct stubborn streak. It’s okay though: I don’t think the name Steve Sanders Jubboori would have worked out so hot.
You were not at all what I imagined you would be. I imagined a tiny version of Daddy. Or even me. But you were very much your own person as soon as you hit this world. You had an angry frown line and eyebrows, and your hair- it was reddish blond when you were born. I thought to myself, I love this kid already. So it goes to show you, mommy is not as narcissistic as we feared.
While I had a tough recovery, I do clearly remember looking over at you in your clear bassinet and seeing your little hand rise in the air. I thought, “Oh look! He has a little hand!” I suppose you were just too much to take in all at once. I hope most new parents feel that way. A feeling of protectiveness, but also curiosity, as if to question “Is he really all mine?”. It is scary and thrilling and overwhelming all at once.
I finally got to hold you for the first time the day we left the hospital. I finally felt like a real mom. Not one tied up to IVs passing out every couple of minutes and escorted to and from the bathroom by nurses. You curled right into me, and I knew, you were mine. You belonged to us. Frown lines, angry eyebrows, tiny nails and a head full of reddish blond hair. And I loved you so very much already.
Little by little, you started to grow from gangly little newborn to cheerful and chubby baby. And I mean chubby. But all that fat helped to fill in your frown lines, and your eyebrows went from permanently severe to permanently delighted. And your cheeks! Rosy red, and plump, plump, plump! People often comment that they would like to eat your cheeks. And I’m lucky, because I actually get to. And I don’t stop there- your tummy and sausage foots are delicious, too.
As you grew and I walked around with you, people commented on how you were a real life Gerber baby. And mommy may have gotten a big head from hearing that repeatedly. (But still, not narcissistic! You still don’t look anything like me!) You smiled at strangers, always ready to put on a show. You’re a really easy kid. I like to joke that God gave me what I could handle- I can’t handle too much.
You started to learn new skills, ones that became increasingly helpful to your sleep-deprived parents. Forget walking and talking- when you held your own bottle for the first time, I was the happiest mom alive. You were starting to pull your own weight. Daddy and I still remember when you first began your attempts to put your pacifier in your mouth, by way of your eyeball. We may have laughed. With you! Had you mastered laughing at that point.
We moved to Boston in February during the blizzard. Three days after we moved, you rolled over for the first time. Which was amazing. Except we had stairs in our apartment. Obviously, we now hated the apartment, which was a record for us. We usually took an average of 4 months to decide we had to move.
Your first word was “Kitty Cat” which is totally understandable since the cat hates you and you are the reason we have a prescription for kitty prozac on file at the vet. (Update: he still dislikes you. Strongly. Sorry). You followed up with Da-da, and Gog (for Dog). Still haven’t said Mommy. But it’s cool. I still love you.
You have an aversion to cuddling, much like I do, but run up to strangers at your classes and sit in their laps. Much like I do. Just kidding. “No stranger anxiety there, huh?” the other mothers like to joke. But they can’t help themselves and try to cuddle you, but by then, you are off to the next.
You learned to walk this week and you are loving every minute of it. The devilish grin on your face is enough to make me laugh out loud every time I look at you. But I often find myself laughing out loud at your antics. You like to join me sometimes, laughing a silly little belly laugh, so clearly pleased with yourself for making me smile. It’s a great funny inside joke- luckily, you and me? We’re on the inside.
You’re very clever and like to push your limits. And because you are our first, we let you get away with it. Like when you stand up in your seat in the shopping cart, to wave at
your loyal fans fellow shoppers. I call you the Mayor of Target and I laugh, because, well, you crack me up. Dangerous shopping cart stunts aside.
You often surprise and impress me with your newfound skills. You love to sit and observe older children, and before I know it, you are mimicking them- whether it be learning to crawl or climbing up the slide (the wrong way). You just sit and watch. And then, it’s time to DO. You’re a daredevil, constantly seeking out danger it seems to me. You are all boy, all the time. And I love you.
I love you despite the fact that you have a stubborn streak worse than my own. And you are reaching the phase where you must get your way. But we are kindred spirits in this way, so if it means that much to you…..
In one week, we move back to DC, which is fitting, since one year ago today, one of the best things in the world to happen to us, happened there. So our little family returns to the place it all began to begin your second year. I still can’t believe it’s been a whole year. It’s gone by both so fast and extremely slow.
I love you, I love you, I love you, Colin Michael. Always.