For the past seven months, I’ve been writing short letters to River at the end of each month. These are summaries of what I’ve seen in him during that month that I’m collecting to use in his baby book.
Here is the final letter from his first year:
Happy birthday my dear baby! Just one year ago you appeared in our lives. We wondered what you’d be like as a one year old – what you would look like, what your voice would sound like, what you would be capable of.
Here you are. You are a beautiful, loving, fun and happy little boy that brings so much joy into our lives. Each day you learn something new or develop a new skill. We love to see the world fresh through your eyes. Your enthusiasm is contagious. You like to start your mornings by pointing to the items on your medicine shelf. Mom hands you them one by one – your aspirin, brush, lotion, etc. and tells you what they are. You touch them briefly, play with them, then hand them back to mom, one by one, to be placed back on the shelf. You love your foil balloons, you are excited about the bus with students and a driver you received for your birthday. You enjoy being outside and will sit calmly during walks, even for two hours or more, checking out the scenery around you.
You and Mirena, who comes over twice a week, are now friends and play well together. You have a strong bond with Grace. You offer her a big smile each time she comes and she feels a similar bond with you.
You are comfortable moving now. You crawl quickly, you pull yourself up easily, you walk along surfaces, you crawl up the stairs, you love to walk with your push walker. We think you’ll be walking any day. Like all your other skills, we expect you to just wake up one morning and be on the move.
You seem to understand what we are saying these days. You are very good at indicating your wants with pointing and huffing, as well as shaking your head no. You respond to visual signals, such as a washcloth extended to wash your hands after meals, or hand extended to help you off the potty. You are now able to go potty and get yourself up when finishing, without tipping the potty. You hold out your hands when you want mommy to pick you up. Both mom and dad treasure your hugs more than anything.
You are starting to understand that are your own person. You get excited by the surprise of seeing your reflection in the oven and you seem to know that the people you see in the oven are the same people you are interacting with. You are more and more like a toddler, a little boy instead of a baby, each day.
We thank you for a wonderful year. You are our sweet child who we love so much. We can’t wait to see who you become in the next year.