As you lay sweatily on my chest just 2 days before your first birthday, I think it's time I try to note down my thoughts on our first year together.
Technically, it's not our first year together, you spent 10 whole months being carried around inside of me me, hearing every moan and groan about how the pregnancy wasn’t my favourite experience. You saw me cry when my favourite jeans didn't fit any more and you saw the shock on my face when you gave me a kick for the first time.
Then, 12 days past your due date, you took my world by storm. I didn't know what to expect and had no idea how you would change everything for the better. Your curly hair and your then striking blue but now hazel eyes. Your chubby fingers, 11 teeth and nose just like mine. I can't put into words how fast this last year has gone and how you've grown into the most beautiful little boy. It still all feels very surreal.
You’ve taught me a fierce, uncontrollable and unconditional love - not something that even after a year, I can comprehend or fully articulate. You've taught me the importance of having patience and, daily, you continue to make me a better person. You've taught me what it's like to be a mum and I'll now forever appreciate the time, love and effort all parents go through every single day.
You've kept me going through the hard days and when it's felt like the light at the end of the tunnel is oh so far away. You've reminded me daily of how much I love/miss sleep and how I'll probably not pee or shower alone again for a very long time.
I'm grateful for the slow moments, like right now when you're napping or when you take 5 to watch Super Simple Songs but I similarly love the fast-paced, got-to-catch -you-before-you-fall-down-the-stairs moments too.
From your insanely loud snoring to you throwing the lunch that's taken me 30 minutes to prepare on the floor. From tummy time to your commando crawl. From your love for cheese to you standing by yourself. From falling off the sofa to Dada being your first word. I can't believe all of the memories we've made so far and how many more we have to come.
I promise to continue to love you with every single ounce of love I have to give. I promise to always be that pushy parent and make sure you are always the best version of yourself as you have so much potential - even at one your determination is crazy. I promise to give you the best upbringing that I possibly can along with all of my attention and protection.
I love how you dance every time you hear music and it's uncanny how much you look like your Dad. Your sense of adventure and curiosity is never idle. You're the happiest baby I've ever come across and very strong-willed too. You're happy to walk into the middle of the circle at a baby class and demand everyone's attention, I wonder where you get that from?
I'm sad that time is going so fast, I miss you being a newborn and those first 5 days in the hospital more than anyone would think. The selfish new family time where we lived in our own bubble. But, I must share you with family and friends. You've changed their lives too. You've turned parents into grandparents and siblings and close friends into aunties and uncles.
Life is hard and everchanging now you're here but oh so much more wonderful, fun and exciting, no two days are the same. There are not enough thank yous in the world that would cover how grateful I am to have you and that God chose me to be your mummy. You're my greatest achievement and every day I'm proud to say I’m your mum.
This time tomorrow you'll be ONE and will probably be eating a (small) slice of Colin the Caterpillar. I love you but I’m sorry, I'm having the face - to celebrate 1 year of surviving as a parent!
1 birthday down... 17 to go until all my hard work collecting embarrassing photos of you can be showcased.
Love you forever and always, monkey.