Jackson is one year old today. I could write a lot of cliches about how he lights up my life and I can't remember what our lives were like before him, and it would all be true, but it would still be cliches. I could write about how much of his first year was lost in a haze of anxiety attacks and undiagnosed PPD. But that's just too unhappy for my post on my baby's first birthday.
No, I'm going to write about Jackson himself. How he is an unabashedly emotional child. This means that he will scream, and rage, and throw downright violent tantrums (and he is SO STRONG that it really HURTS when he hits you!); but it also means that he has an amazing capacity for joy and love. He has the brightest smile and the sweetest chuckle of a laugh. He is wildly affectionate and gives big, sloppy open-mouthed kisses to me, to Daddy, to big brother, to his toys, to the bathtub...anything that makes him happy.
When I was researching double strollers, I came across several mentions of how a side-by-side stroller is better than the "stadium seating" kind, because the kids can see each other, and interact; and sometimes, if you're really lucky and they're in just the right mood, they might hold hands. My kids? Regularly - regularly - lean over the center divider and rest their heads on each other's laps. Brandon delights in tickling Jackie Bear because his laugh is just so infectious. And when he looks at you with that sweet, all-consuming, all-trusting baby love in his eyes, it's enough to make you turn to absolute jelly.
And that's my little boy. My enormous little boy (the size of a 2-year-old, with thighs bigger than his brother's), who loves to play the drums, poke things with sticks, and eat things in stick form (ex, bananas and cheese sticks); started walking the day he turned 8 months and is already trying to jump and walk up the stairs; does the "baby booty shake"; loves all Blue's Clues but prefers Joe to Steve; eats paper; simply adores going in the water at the beach; who came into this world purple and with the cord wrapped around his neck twice, and weighed a tenth of an ounce shy of nine and a half pounds, because he pooped all over me before they could weigh him. By some definitions, he's already been a toddler for four months; by all accounts he is one today.
I know that he has no idea what's in store for him come May 1st; none of us really do. But I know that he'll be okay, because he is such an exceptionally loving, and loved little boy. Like I always tell my kids: "We're all we've got, and we're all we need."
Happy Birthday, Jackson Dylan!
I am careful about people I don't know seeing pictures of my kids; but I kept this one video public on Flickr because it has gained some popularity among Music Together teachers as an amazing and perfect example of the "Moment of Discovery". So here's my little rockstar, at just shy of 3 months old:
My Parents’ Garden Of Eden
6 hours ago