by guest blogger, Deanna Cogdon Miller
Although some would consider them all milestones, there are only a few major birthdays that most of us consider to be extra special. These include 16 when we can drive, 19 when we can legally indulge in an alcoholic drink or two and then every decade starting with 30 seems to signify another new chapter in our lives and another reason to really celebrate.
The very earliest, and arguably one of the most significant, would have to be the first birthday. One is the age where your life suddenly stops being measured in months (except for that brief period around one and a half where for some reason we revert back to 18 months). One is the age where most of us got to taste cake for the first time. One is probably the only age where 90 per cent of us have the exact same birthday picture of ourselves or our kids sitting in a high chair covered in icing and loving it. One might also be the only year where everyone around us is extremely excited to be celebrating our milestone and we really don’t have a sweet clue what’s going on.
Later this week our little man will turn one.
As I look back on the past year, I can’t help but think about the insane amount of development that happens in a year. Sure, kids change and grow every year but the difference between a newborn and a one year old has got to be the most significant change that happens in a twelve month period. They go from floppy to sturdy. Their liquid diet turns into a solid one. They go from communicating through cries only to communicating with facial expressions, hand gestures, some words and movement. Their inability to move in the beginning turns into rolling, crawling, pulling up, standing and sometimes walking. Hands that could not even be used are suddenly picking up cheerios with such control that it’s hard to believe only a few months before they were unknowingly swatting themselves in the head and making themselves cry.
As parents we have a front row seat to the most amazing show in town as we watch all of this happen. It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion – as every day, week and month goes by we get to learn more and more about our little one. As I watch our son now, I see glimpses of who he’s going to be. When I watch him climb two stairs and wait for us to come around the corner before he starts laughing and bolts up the rest of them, I can already see his fun, playful side. When I watch him figuring out how to rip the keys off our laptops or unscrew the handles from our dressers, I can tell he’s going to be interested in how things work and handy like his Dad. When I watch him get mad when his sisters take things from him, I can tell he’s going to be strong-willed. And when he wraps his arms around my neck, lays his head on my shoulder and plays with the hair at the nape of my neck, I can feel him showing me his love.
So as we get set to celebrate his incredible first year, I find myself caught up in how quickly our sleepy little newborn has turned into such a playful, active, personality-filled little guy. With every new expression, new gesture, new word and new skill my love grows more and more and just when I think I couldn’t possibly love him any more than I do today, tomorrow comes. Happy birthday little man – this first year has been nothing short of incredible and it has been an honour and a privilege getting to know you.
Deanna lives in Dartmouth with her husband and three children. When she’s not reading stories, dancing to ABBA or burping a baby, she works in communications for Bell Aliant.