To my tomato,
A year ago today, I was driving up to Boston for another prenatal appointment to check on you. At 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant, a slightly spikey blood pressure was enough for the medical team at Beth Israel to decide that August 23rd would be your birthday.
It was late in the afternoon when they prepped me for surgery. The sun was bright and shining in through the windows of the operating room, and I couldn’t even tell you the name of the doctor who delivered you, as I was so nervous about your arrival. Would you be healthy? Would you be okay?
In a combination of perseverance, hard-earned good health, and a dash of excellent luck, you were born into the world a healthy,easy-going little guy who made my heart actually ache, it was so full.
Re-entering the land of snappy onesies, breastfeeding, and no sleep was a jarring change, as my mom brain was fully immersed in the land of independent kids, but we fell back into step with your little guy needs pretty quickly. This second time around, your dad and I were better about packing lighter, not buying every baby thing that Parenting magazine deemed “essential,” and we busted out some hand-me-downs from your sister (crib, dresser, stroller, high chair, a bin full of Batman pajamas in varying sizes … we saved everything).
And once we had our footing a bit, you were thrown immediately into our family traditions, from big, messy birthday parties to trips to Orlando for conferences to visiting Bar Harbor. Even though you’re only a year old, it feels like you’ve been occupying the room across from your sister’s room forever, as though your bookcase filled with favorite books has always been there, your banana toothbrush in the holder in the Batman bathroom always.
You have two teeth that popped out just in time for your birthday. You have taken several steps but haven’t started full-on walking because you seem to become so amused by your own mobility that you collapse into a giggling heap after a couple steps. Your hair is light brown and super curly, all unruly and lovely. Your laugh is loud and boisterous. You love when the neighborhood kids come by to high-five you, and swinging in the baby swings at any playground, and when the cat saunters by you drop everything to creepily whisper “… caaaaaaaat.”
Little Guy, you have the most mellow, sunny disposition and once someone earns your smile, it lights up the entire state of Rhode Island.
Your sister is my favorite because she is my first. You are my favorite because you are my last. Our family is complete because of you; you fill the fourth chair. I love you and the crazy chaos you’ve brought into our lives.
Happy birthday, my littlest friend.