When my son was a newborn, it didn’t take much to make me cry. One day it was a commercial for baby laundry detergent that said, “You have a child forever, but a baby for just one year.” Until that moment, I hadn’t realize the term “baby” had an expiration date.
Well, my son turned 1 this week and it seems like I finally just learned to stop referring to him as a newborn, let alone am I ready to stop calling him my baby.
We planned a gargantuan birthday open house worthy of his popularity with the Facebook crowd. I themed it after Mickey Mouse, in honor of his favorite TV show, and we invited 100 people to our house. I figured with the three-hour open house format, the guests would all fit. I had my fingers crossed they wouldn’t all show up at the same time.
Unfortunately, we had to postpone the party due to illness and I didn’t get a chance to find out. Last week, my son and I both came down with the coughing, sniffling cold that is going around.
Instead of making desserts, shopping for party decorations and cleaning the house for company, we cuddled on the couch watching “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” went to bed early and woke up most nights coughing. The comfort of milk for him and a handful of Puffs for me helped us fall back to sleep.
I was thankful for the quiet time to spend with him during his last few days of babyhood, and by Friday we felt better. For his actual Jan. 20 birthday, I decided to march on with the small pizza party we planned at Beggar’s in Lansing.
The night before, I found myself with a tear in my eye realizing what a big boy he is now. He walked around the house with ease and a huge grin. He gripped tight to the steering wheel as he rode around in his new toy car and used his new skill of pointing to tell me what he wanted.
It seemed like forever ago when they put this tiny little stranger into my arms and wheeled us to our hospital room, expecting me to know what to do with him.
The year went by so quickly with its highs and lows, his tears and mine. It was filled with lots of lessons for both of us through sleepless nights and joyous days.
Now I know how to make him smile and how to stop his tears most of the time. He’s not a stranger. He’s my fellow Aquarian, my shadow, my little best friend, my inspiration, my son, and always, my baby.