Yesterday was my birthday. Halfway through my 30s, 34 seems so different than 35. I had that weird feeling for a while, and I'm mostly over it, but a few nagging thoughts lingered. In some ways, I'm not where I thought I'd be. I certainly didn't see myself unemployed, but that's a finite situation. When I put that up against the amazing husband and son, caring family, and fantastic friends I have, it doesn't seem important at all. Honestly, if I allowed my job to solely define me, I'd have serious problems. Right now the job of full-time motherhood is a gift, one I recognize as such every day, partially because that, too, is finite. So yesterday I got to spend time with J, feel like a celebrity with all of the birthday wishes on Facebook, go to dinner and a movie, and get a secret gift from T even though I told him neither he nor J could get me a present. He told me Penny had done it. Oh, Penny.
Yesterday also marked J's nine-month birthday. To borrow from Amalah, as of now, darling boy, you have been in the world as long as you were in my tummy. You have grown and changed so much, more than I ever even had a concept of. My mom asked me, "Did you ever know you could love something so much?", and I replied that I had a vague idea, of course, but I didn't know. How could I? You look like a perfect combination of Daddy and me, we think, even though in certain pictures you look more like one of us than the other. You have Daddy's height, hands and feet, and long eyelashes. You have my multiple sneezes, the tons-of-hair gene, and chin. We can't decide whose eyes you have, but, kiddo, they are gorgeous.
You don't say anything yet, but we know you can express yourself, and we suspect that once you start talking, you won't stop. Nobody can resist your ready smile, especially when you combine it with immediately hiding your face on my shoulder, little flirt. You delight Papa now that you recognize him on Skype, and you seem to find your older cousin Charlotte not quite as intimidating as of late, although her louder squawks still make you cry. Lots of loud noises do, but before you know it, you'll be the one making those loud noises yourself!
Crawling like a little speed demon, you charge Penny, chasing her and shrieking with delight as she scampers away, only to return and give you kisses. With growing skill you pull yourself up on any surface you can, and the doctor says you may well walk before your first birthday. We find this both thrilling and terrifying. You love Cheerios, seem to like cheese, and aren't quite sure about pears. If you could sit and make things spin while playing music all day, you'd be perfectly content.
My dearest little man, I can't wait to see what you will do next. I love you more than mere words can begin to express, and I'm so proud and lucky to be your mommy.