Friday, November 13, 2009

The First Year

As I write this, it is hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that my baby boy is going to be a year old next month. It seems like I gave birth him to just yesterday! I can still very easily recall the discomforts of pregnancy, the eagerness and anxiety as his due date approached, the exhileration of realizing that I was in labor and I would meet my son very soon, and the pure joy of holding him or the first time. I can easily conjure the feeling of walking around on feet that were severely swollen, post-partum, and the feeling of coming home with my sweet babe and literally asking the air, "What do I do with him now?"

I still remember the hours of prayer and meditation that went into preparing myself for motherhood. There were so many uncertainties during my pregnancy, regarding what would happen with my ex once my son was born. Would he try to take him from me? Would my son be subjected to the same abuse his half-siblings were? Though my ex and I had not seen each other in several months, would he suddenly resurface once I gave birth to the miracle I had safely carried in my womb?

There were so many questions, so many fears for the safety of my son, the only things I could do were read God's word, meditate on its truth, and pray--with firm belief in the affirmative answer--that God would continue to keep my son and me safe after my son was born.

We have been kept very safe and well taken care of, and it has been a pure delight to watch my son grow from a tiny, helpless babe, into a strong, healthy, inquisitive child who wants to taste, touch, feel, and explore everything around him. He has a sweet disposition that is easily recognized by friends and strangers alike, and there is hardly a day that goes by when someone we don't even know comments to me about how cute he is, and how sweet he is. Needless to say, I am proud.

We've come a long way from those fear-laden first days, and we now understand each other pretty well. While he cannot communicate to me with words yet, I read his cues and usually know exactly what he needs or wants. We are working on sign language so we will be able to communicate even better,until he is able to speak words.

This brilliant child makes me laugh with his developing sense of humor, and I am already astounded by his comedic timing. He knows when I am playing around with him just by the way I am looking at him, and he knows how to play little jokes on me, too. I'll never forget his first "joke". It was during dinner, and as I fed him he made himself sit up very tall in his high chair, legs straightened and his bottom off of the seat, and then took a bite of food. After his bite, he sat back down and giggled. So clever!

I watch videos I took of him laying in his crib, watching his mobile, captivated by its motion. He was beginning to discover the world around him, but still confined by a body that was not yet strong enough to move its weight around. Now, he crawls like a champ, he is working on freestanding, he is able to manipulate his environment so his things are where he wants them, and he is capable of exploring his world. When I think of all that has transpired in just the last 10 1/2 months, it is astounding.

He has given me the greatest joy I have ever known. As a single mother, things are difficult at times. Financially, things are very tight, though we get by. There are times when I wish I had someone here to give me a break once in awhile, especially if I'm not feeling particularly well. There are times when I just need a little quiet, and there is no one to play with Jaden so I can go into my bedroom and have that quiet.

Still, there is no way I would trade it for anything. I love my sunny, funny, sweet little man, and it's both astounding and heartbreaking that our first year together is quickly drawing to a close. It's gone by so fast!

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