Bump. Baby. Birthday. BOOM! Where has the last year gone? WHO is this one year old eating my Bata sandals (deshi mom alert!)? How did I ever live without knowing your pudding face? You have officially completed one full circle around the sun, lived long enough to see two Eids, and taken over as the ruler of our household. I suppose next thing we know, it will be your graduation!
Your first birthday evokes so many fond memories. Of the joy that washed over me when the Clearblue test flashed 1-2 weeks pregnant. Our first sight of you, small and squishy on your 20 week scan. Of furtive butterfly movements of your little limbs gaining strength. Of furious walks by the docks trying to get you out of my tummy. Of that life altering moment when I saw you in flesh for the very first time. You were bloody beautiful. Quite literally.
I feel so blessed to have witnessed all your magical milestones: from turning over for the first time to eating your first solids to sitting up unaided to standing up on your own two feet to learning to explore and play. It’s hard to believe you were once so frail, you couldn’t even lift your head. Now you flail your little arms in excitement and insist on eating with your fingers, bless you. I cannot get over this adult-baby you. I keep going through my iPhone photos to remember your newness. It baffles me how THAT you is now THIS you.
I suppose this birthday is also a big milestone for me. Happy Mommyversary to me! I have gone through more in these twelve months than my 30 years combined. I have felt happiness, anxiety, elation, loneliness, joy, fulfilment – all that and more in their extremes. I have been stretched to the limits of my physical thresholds. That first pang of induced labour. Stitches so dry I couldn’t sit. Doughnut rings. Cluster feeds. Mess everywhere. Inconsolable crying. Burping. Stinky vomit. Sleepless nights. Breast pads. OVERFLOWING LAUNDRY. My life was a hot mess as I poured every ounce of my body and soul to nurture you. Whilst still holding on to my selfish ambitions and goals. Cuz baby, you define them. You make this mommy want to be better in every way. You have taught me to forgive myself and give myself grace when I could not keep on top of it all. Because cuddling you when it all goes wrong, makes everything right. If only in that moment.
It isn’t easy, this parenthood thing. But your innocence makes this world a hundred times better in one thousand different ways. Your innocence transports us away from the mundane worries of daily life through the sheer happiness only a child’s unconditional love can bring. Who knew seagull watch could be so fascinating? We are rediscovering the world through your eyes and honestly? We wouldn’t change it for the world. Too many people are too caught up in chasing the next big milestone. You, my love, have been our biggest achievement – the kind that makes everything else pale in comparison. While we teach you to kiss and say goodbye, it’s YOU that teaches us the far more important life skills of patience and perseverance, forcing us to appreciate slow living, immerse ourselves in simple joys, and recognise what matters the most in life.
I know you are too young for us to say how you will turn out to be. But if your love for people, your curiosity, your enthusiasm to make the most of every moment, your FOMO-ism, your willingness to break into a leg at the mere hint of a tune, your strength of mind and your attachment with your little dino coat, means anything, you will be one sweet, fun-loving, caring boy. I cannot wait to meet that boy but I am in no way ready to let go of my baby either.
Words will never be able to convey how much I love you but I hope accepting your acrobats at 5 am everyday as you mark your territory by sleeping on top of me and cleaning your poo every morning before cleaning my teeth – means something. This one year has flown by and I know it won’t be long before you are a teenager and no longer in need of mummy’s presence. You won’t cry in the morning if you don’t see my face, nor will you insist on cuddling your mummy to sleep. You will go off to college, make new friends, build a new world, and your dad and I will no longer be the centre of your universe. I know I will be left craving for your sweet innocent need for our affection and time.
Today is a happy day but guess what? EVERY DAY we had you in our lives was cause for happiness. No amount of cake stuffing, birthday party bashing, gift unwrapping can express how much we love you. My funny, cheeky, strong-willed, dancing darling, oh how you make our hearts full. Thank you for choosing us as your mum and dad. Having you in our lives is our biggest prayer answered. For now, and forever. Happy 1st, my love!