Today my baby turned one.
He got a big green ball, balloons, and lots of things to prepare him for the swim season. What more could a little guy ask for?
Oh yeah. Cake.
For the boy whose favorite things are crayons (he likes to be sneaky and get them when I'm not looking and then suck on them), I felt a crayon cake would be appropriate.
I've decided I'm glad that cake decorating is not my creative outlet of choice. I have no patience for it! And it's hard for me to spend so much time on something you are just going to eat anyway (this is also my problem with cooking).
My first two kids needed help figuring out what to do with cake when they turned one, but Ryan needed no such assistance. First he tried to pick it all up...
Then he decided to lick a little off his finger...
And before long he had it all over his face, hands and tummy.
He would have kept going and going but I was afraid he would get a tummy ache so I finally took it away...
I've thought all day about what I wanted to write about Ryan. I've had millions of thoughts swim through my mind, but they never come out sounding quite the way I want them to, and I'm too tired to work at it. So I'll say this, whether or not it sounds right.
If I have any more children they will owe their existence to Ryan. He has restored my faith in babykind and in my abilities to mother a baby.
Before I had him I wasn't sure I could handle another baby; babies are hard for me because I have so little control. But the combination of his easy going nature, and me maturing as a mother over the past few years, has caused me to love having him as a baby. I've lamented often lately that I don't want him to grow up--I've done it enough that the kids have turned it into a game. They'll ask me, "Mom, do you want Ryan to turn one?" And I'll pretend to cry and say "NO!! NO!!" Then they'll say, "Mom, do you want Ryan to turn two??" And I'll pretend to cry and say, "NO!! NO!!", and on it goes until I have no more pretend tears.
I try to not have many regrets in life, but one thing I do regret is that I was not the same mom to the baby versions of Alexis and Tyler that I have been to Ryan. I'm so much more relaxed and appreciative of all the cute little things he does than I was with them. They were a little more difficult as babies, but most of it is me. I suppose I do have them, and the years I have under my belt mothering them, to thank for my ability to enjoy the stage Ryan is in.
In fact, just last night I watched him climb on and off of a rocking horse over and over, and I sat thinking about how it was the best part of my day. There's something so miraculous and beautiful about watching a strong, healthy baby learn and test and discover new things about their environment. Fortunately, I now recognize that.
And so, though I'd stop him from growing right now if I could, I am endlessly grateful that I get to witness the inevitable:
A child that starts as a tiny baby in my arms,
then grows into a toddler,
a young boy, and eventually a man.
Aren't I the luckiest?? (times three!)
**For the truest of Ryan's fans, here's the video I took yesterday of him playing on the rocking horse. I'm sure it's nothing exciting to most of you, but I loved every second of it. Also, I thought my regular voice sounded annoying on video, but my baby talk voice is WAY worse!