My Dearest Calvin:
You came into this world exactly one year ago, today. I first heard your voice when only your head was through the birth canal–but your tiny cry encouraged me to keep pushing. Within moments, I was holding you in my arms.
Your Aunt Vicky excitedly asked whether you were a boy or a girl. But even before your Daddy answered, I already knew. I had known for months that you were indeed, my son. Was it the 32 weeks of heartburn and vomiting that tipped me off? Or your consistently lower-range heartbeat? Or your excessively strong kicks against my kidneys? Maybe it was all of those things combined. But deep down, I secretly wanted you, my firstborn, to be a son.
You were born healthy and strong with a beautiful pink complexion. Your Daddy and I couldn’t get enough of you. We held you, cuddled you, and gazed upon you while you slept (even when we should have been sleeping).
And for the next 7 months, we didn’t get a single good night of sleep until you were able to sleep through the night–finally being able to offer you your own room helped you sleep undisturbed, at last.
Your favorite time of day has always been the mornings. You can’t wait to start your day with mama’s milk, and exploring and playing in your room. A close second to your favorite time of day is when Daddy comes home from work to play with you–it’s a close tie with bath time. You’re especially thrilled when you get shower time with Daddy when he comes home from work–double dose of attention and play time and WATER!
You’ve always loved the water. We first let you “swim” on your back in the tub at 2 months. You very quickly outgrew the tub and had little room left in which to swim. When we were able to take you to the outdoor swimming pool, you kicked and paddled and swam (and drank) to your heart’s content even if it made you extra hungry and sleepy. To this day, you still love nothing more than a relaxing soak in the tub.
Another one of your great loves is food. You don’t just love food when you’re hungry, you love food when Mommy and Daddy are eating. Actually, you love to try what Mommy and Daddy are eating. Even if you have your favorite avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, or apples, you won’t be satisfied until you’ve at least tasted the adult menu. Most of the time, you palate other foods quite well. Yogurt took a little while, but now you love it. The most plain and sour stuff in the world, and you gobble it up!
At one year, you have 8 teeth, with a couple of others tentatively poking through. You can say a handful of words: Mama, Dada, All Done (with sign), This, That, (sign for “milk”), beckon when you want something, and point when you want to be taken to something in order to touch it.
Also, you can wave, clap your hands, pick up a ball and throw it, walk (which is quickly becoming almost a run), climb up and down stairs, climb down from the couch, push around anything with wheels or even things without wheels by pretending they have wheels (like books and dining chairs). You like to stack toys on your wheeled horse and push them around.
And, if you’re desperate for attention and we’re not giving it to you fast enough, you inevitably pout, whine, and then with a huge exclamation mark, you hurl every toy, book, blanket, and unbolstered item from your room and chuck them over the baby gate into the hallway. “There! That’ll show ’em”
We’ve been working on potty training with you since you were 4 months old. You love the face-to-face time and the songs we sing while you’re on the potty. When you were 7 months old, you were consistently going to the potty almost every time we sat you on it.
These days, if you have to go when you’re on it, you’ll go. If not, you’ll try to get off the big potty all by yourself, and I have to prevent you from pulling all the toilet paper off the roll and falling off the potty onto the floor…because you are like, “Hey, I’ve got places to go. Quit holding me up!” As far as figuring out when you have to go, well, that’s still a mystery to me, but your Daddy seems to have figured you out.
Another interactive thing that you love to do is read books with us. You will sit quietly on my lap and pretend my arms are your arm rests in a great big easy chair. We’ll just hang out and cruise through 4 or 5 board books before you get bored and ready to conquer your toys. There was a time when Daddy pinned you down to read to you every single day: The Bible and Dr. Seuss. What more does a baby need?
But even if we don’t get to storytime when it’s convenient for your schedule, you will beat us to the punch because to you, books were made for eating, studying, and adoring. Another reason why it’s so obvious that you take after your Mommy and Daddy.
We love you so very much. You seem to be pretty fond of us, too. You’ll give tight hugs around my neck. If Daddy’s holding you, you’ll say my name and reach for me. And then, you’ll reach for Daddy if I’m holding you. Just gotta make sure you get equal carry time from your two biggest fans.
In the past week, you’ll give us forehead nuzzles at bedtime while we sing you your lullabyes. Tonight the forehead nuzzle was more of a loving billy goat head butt, but I love you still, even though you knocked my nose silly.
Your Daddy and I pray for you each day–that you will you grow up knowing, loving, and desiring to serve Jesus every day of your life. May your next year be even more adventurous and exciting–we can’t wait to see what you’ll learn to do NEXT!
With all my love and affection,