(Two weeks late. Ah, well.)
Brandt, you’re 12 months old. One year!
By the numbers: 12 months old, 10 months adjusted age. 8 oz bottles for breakfast and bedtime, one 6 oz bottle for an afternoon snack. 2-4 servings of solids x 3 meals per day. 0 doses of reflux medication per day! 2 naps per day. size 3 diapers. size 6-9 months clothes. 2 teeth (since your birthday, you’ve cut tooth #3). 18 lb 9 oz. 26.5 inches long.
I’ve had many reflections around your first birthday, comparing your early days in the hospital to your active, happy life now. I’m amazed to have you. God didn’t have to give you to me. He didn’t have to heal you. But he did, and words can’t express how glad that makes me.
A little over a year ago, as I sat keeping your daddy company while he painted your nursery, I noticed you had stopped moving much – the warning sign that led to the discovery that something was wrong and that you needed emergency delivery nine weeks before your due date. Now, you never stop moving. You bounce; you crawl; you cruise along the furniture. Even in your sleep, you roll and scoot all over. You’re figuring out how to throw balls and clap blocks together. You recently realized the joy of playing chase; I say, “I’m going to get you!” and you can barely crawl three paces before stopping to look behind, laughing in anticipation. Your favorite new skill is climbing the stairs. If we open the door to the stairway at the back of the house, you crawl at your top speed – hands going slap, slap, slap on the linoleum – to get to those steps while you have the opportunity.
A year ago, we were afraid to hold your delicate body. Keeping you in our arms too long might set off all your alarms, as your heart and lungs faltered under the extra stimulation. Now, you climb my legs, clambering to be held. You giggle in glee when I dance with you, spinning and swinging and dipping you. And you love to snuggle, nestling in my arms before every nap (and, let’s be honest, often in the middle of the night).
A year ago, we had to feed you just so, propping your legs on ours, cradling your head between the fingers of one hand, supporting your chin and the little 1-ounce bottle with the fingers of the other. We had to teach you to breathe while eating. One, two, three sucks; breathe; one, two three; breathe. Now, you can hold your own 8-ounce bottle, drain it effortlessly. You eat an entire banana or sweet potato in one sitting.
A year ago, I worried you might drown in the pink plastic hospital basin, about one cubic foot big, that we used for bathing you. Now, you bathe in the big tub, crawling, standing, sitting, splashing, slipping underwater, coming up spluttering and eager to do it again. You try to blow bubbles in the water, just like daddy. In the hospital, you cried for every bath. Now, you cry every time we take you out of the bath, wanting more.
A year ago, we didn’t know if your sight, your hearing, your mind would be okay. We didn’t know if your health would be permanently compromised by your premature birth. You came home from the hospital needing many medications and specialists. Now, you’re a curious, developing boy (who no longer takes any regular medications). You laugh when mama and daddy make silly noises or when we read funny parts of books. You growl when we growl. If asked, you give high fives, and sometimes kisses. You jabber away in your own language. You adore looking out the window, while I name the things we see.
And I adore looking at the world through your one-year-old eyes, sweet boy.