My beautiful baby boy, you are turning one. I can’t believe it has been a year since you came flying into this world. I spent every second of our hospital stay holding you, bathing you, nursing you, breathing you in. I could not get enough of my quality time with you. I even told your dad that I felt like I was on vacation. Then we went home to your 2-year-old-brother and I got a little distracted.
I am so sorry I didn’t give you the first year that you deserved. I feel guilty every day. When I had your brother, I dove headfirst into being a mom. If being a mom was a competitive sport, I think I would have qualified for the Olympics. I took your brother to every baby class that ever existed. We frequented kid-friendly museums throughout the city. I sang to him, read to him and identified every object on the planet to him. I spent every available second trying to enrich his life.
I always thought I would manage to do the same for you, but we never quite got around to it. In fact, I really hope you are paying attention to all those books I’m still reading to him because I fully admit that I hardly ever sit down and read to you alone. I am pretty sure you don’t know the words to “Wheels on the Bus” because for some reason I can never get through the entire song. I do one baby class with you and we have to leave early so that I can get to preschool pick-up on time.
I feel awful for every bump and bruise you get because let’s face it — I am not doing a great job of paying attention. Ever. I have no idea what you are eating off of the floor most of the time, and I’m really sorry for all the dog food you’ve definitely swallowed before I could fish it out of your mouth.
I do try to make it up to you in small ways. I always let you play in your brother’s room when he is in school. It’s our little secret. I curl up on the floor with a cup of coffee and unleash you into a forbidden world of “big boy” toys — all the things he would never let you touch. I also let you try cake and goldfish crackers before you officially turned one. That was a major no-no when it was just your brother.
When you flash that huge, gummy grin, I think my heart might just burst right open. I remember being pregnant and nervous that I couldn’t love our second kid as much as I loved your brother. I was scared it would feel different. Boy was I wrong. The past year has flown by. We’ve endured six zillion toddler tantrums, countless colds, lots of mystery bruises and many sleepless nights. Even better, we’ve shared billions of hugs, kisses and snuggles.
While I might never be a contender for the supermom Olympics again, I promise to make a better effort in your second year. I think in a lot of ways you have the better mom now. Your brother made me a mother. With him I had to venture into a whole new world. I had to make mom friends, learn how to navigate a relationship after a baby, figure out work, childcare and life. Honestly, it was exhausting for both of us. Now that I’ve been in this world for a few years, I’d like to think that I know who I am and what’s really important. Now I can focus on you and what makes you happy. And that, my sweet boy, is exactly what I’m going to do.
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