On The Enormity of One Year

My son was a February baby, so his first year was almost entirely behind us by the time we reached our first New Year as a family of three. And I’ve never had a more jam-packed, eye-opening, how-could-this-only-have-been-ONE-year year in my life.

As my son eased his way out of toddlerhood, the magnitude of ONE YEAR has started to slow down. Of course he continues to develop by leaps and bounds — his language, his sense of humor, his sprouting height — but it was nothing like that first year.

I wrote this about my son’s first year, 2009, and I thought it might resonate with you, today, as you cross over to the next New Year.

2009 was a year I had clung to and feared — sometimes simultaneously. Once upon a time, my uncle had prophesied that ’09 would be a significant year for me, and before I knew it, ringing in 2009 meant I’d be ringing in motherhood. And I did. I had no idea what I was doing, only that there was this teeny baby who, before 2009, never breathed, never touched, never laughed. Every day was brand new — for both of us.

It came with a newborn with unfocused eyes and spastic movements.

And is leaving with a real-live child.

He’s learned and absorbed faster than I could keep up with. He clings to Mommy, follows commands, feeds himself food — understands, listens, gets it. So much has been crammed into 2009 that it feels like it should be a decade in itself, yet here’s the end. Already.

Here we are at 2010: the future.

The decade started with first kisses and life-lasting friendships; school bus rides and pink Jansport backpacks. Riddled with bruised hearts, poor choices, and love — both real and imagined — this was my coming-of-age decade. And now a new decade begins with a new identity and a new life.

Yes, there’s the hope and excitement and vast, terrifying future as with every New Year — perhaps this year more than ever. But unlike before, there’s a tinge of heartache and Make-It-Stop. Can’t I just have one more day to bask in the enormity of 2009? To stay in the comforting bookends of the new Millennium?

Here’s to the future. To our future.

To his future.

*This was adapted from my post on Early Mama.

And to all of you celebrating your baby’s first year in 2012, congratulations. Take some time to breathe in the year, and then look forward to so, so much more.

 

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