How long is a year?
Long enough for me to watch you with joy, pride and wonder as you aced each milestone – smiling for the first time, holding your head up, saying your first words, eating solids, sitting up unsupported, sleeping through the night, crawling, standing, walking and getting your first tooth.
Long enough for me to continuously question my capabilities as a mother. Many days, I’ve run on empty but because I love you and because I am accountable for your wellbeing, quitting is not and will never be an option.
Long enough for me to experience “too many cooks in the kitchen” where there are too many opinions on how to raise you. Although suggestions are highly valued, your father and I must still aggregate and filter all available information, sometimes making mistakes in our decisions, so that we could find our own way.
Long enough for me to deal with bouts of anxiety and depression while I struggled to balance family, health and career. Only to realize that things will never be perfect across the board and that I can be happy just from doing my best to get by.
At any other point in my life, a year would have felt like such a long time and yet, it feels like it was only yesterday that I first saw you, held you and heard you cry.
I love seeing you grow and become more independent, and yet, I already miss you being so tiny and fragile. I already miss you asking to hold my hand with every step you take.
The first year went by too quickly and yet, it was long enough for me to feel all the beautiful, scary, all – enriching things you’ve made me feel.
I love you so much, Niko… Although you are officially a toddler now, like I’ve said many times before, you will always be my baby boy.
Happy First Birthday, Baby Bear!!!