January 21, 2010

One Year

Zane turned a year old today.

I had planned a beautiful day of discovery and connection for us. I imagined cuddling and telling him stories from his birth and relating to him how long we waited and prayed for him to be with us and how utterly grateful we are that he has come into our lives. I imagined a peaceful, celebratory day.

Instead, much like his birth - it was all of that, but not at all how I planned it.

He woke up at 5am. An hour early. I sat in his room till 6am quietly "shhh"ing and trying to coax him back to sleep. At 6 we "woke" him with a big birthday song and hugs and kisses. Mr. Spicy brought him into our room and I nursed him and promptly passed out in exhaustion. Mr. Spicy was kind enough to let me sleep for an hour, but that meant I missed the "cake for breakfast" festivities I had so been looking forward to. I came downstairs to find a very happy little boy with cake crumbs all over his pj's. Very sweet.

Then, somehow Mr. Spicy and I managed to work ourselves into a stupid, nasty fight before he left for work and I was more than 30 minutes late getting Zane down for his first nap. Nice.

I had decided to take Zane to the National Western Stock Show in town after his nap, to pet all the exciting farm animals. Zane woke up a little extra clingy so we snuggled in bed for awhile which was delightful, but put us way behind schedule. I rushed us to the show, only to struggle to find parking that wasn't $20, and rushed us inside to see all the bunnies and chickens and horses and sheep and goats and pigs and llamas and donkeys.... oh my! Zane enjoyed the "petting farm" and desperately wanted to hold the bunnies, but we were both toast within 30 minutes. He was overdue for lunch and a nap, and I was way overstimulated.

So we rushed home with his favorite CD turned up loudly for distraction and upon arriving at our house, I locked our keys in the car. After calling Mr. Spicy for rescue, and being rescued by a kind neighbor, I finally got us inside, fed Zane quickly and rushed him upstairs to nap.

He woke up only 30 minutes later, hands in his mouth, complaining of teething pain. So, we snuggled in bed again and soon it was time to head out the door to take our dog to the vet for an urgent appointment.

Two hours later, we were finally leaving the vet with not so good news about our beloved pup. Zane was hungry again and I had a splitting headache. As we drove home I called Mr. Spicy.

"I feel like a total failure as a mom! I can't even manage to have a nice sweet day with my son for his birthday. I really needed this day to be special for both of us and instead it just feels rushed and stressful and it's all my fault!"

After some reassurance from my loving (and forgiving) husband, I made it home. And though I had planned to make a special meal and enjoy a family dinner around the table sharing stories and celebrating together, it was not to be. Instead, we sat on either side of his highchair, feeding him yet more cake, and two of his favorite veggies, watching in amazement as he picked up his spoon, dipped it into his cake, and brought it to his mouth as if he had been doing this all his life! We laughed with him. We told him how much we love him, how much joy he brings us. We talked about his birth.

Over peas and sweet potatoes, we celebrated. We toasted him with goat's milk. And we laughed. We laughed and laughed.

We laughed as we played "peek-a-boo", marching up the stairs to bath.

We laughed as he splashed and brushed his own wet hair in the bath.

We laughed as we prepared for bed and read our stories.

And just before he laid down to sleep we said our prayers and thanked God for this little miraculous boy and we told him once more just how very very happy we are that he is here.

Thank you, Zane for coming to make us a family. Thank you for being so thoroughly, entirely, uniquely "you". We love you so.

Happy Happy Birthday little man.


The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) said...

Happy birthday, Zane! And happy giving-birth-day, Spicy!

SparkleEyes' first b-day was the best day of my life--it was amazing and all I wanted it to be. But you know what? That's not what really matters. I'll always treasure that day, but she won't remember it. What really matters to her is all the everyday stuff, and I suspect that's what matters to Zane--the snuggling in bed, the soothing through teething pain, the feedings, that look in your eyes that tells Zane, "I love you with every last ounce of me." What matters is that you laugh with him, care for him when he cries, enjoy him as he eats his veggies. And, oh, you obviously did that so well today! Today and so many other days. You are not a failure. You are a loving, attentive mother.

These milestones are often so important for us as parents--having the perfect, special day, getting all the details right, especially if we weren't parented the way we needed to be. But, at least for me, so many of those things that I so desperately want to go right are much more about me than they are about SparkleEyes, and what she cares about so very much are all the everday mommy things I do that tell her over and over and over again how desperately happy I am that she is here, that she is safe, that she brings joy, that she is loved. And you obviously tell Zane that in every way every day. There is no greater gift you could give him!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to your beautiful baby boy and Happy Birthing Day to you, Momma! Life at the whim of a 1-year-old is never predictable, and such is often hard to swallow when we have it made up in our mind that it should be - 4.75 years after my first, I am still trying valiently to learn this lesson. I am glad the day ended with laughter and love.

Anonymous said...

Hello Duffy,

This is Julia, from birthing from within. I met a friend of yours (also your doula) at a mutual friends dinner party a few weeks ago, and she told me about your blog. I'm glad to see that things are basically good in your world.

Happy Birthday to Zane! Willa turns one on the 31st, and I am both ecstatic and sad for her to officially lose the baby title.

Your blog is great. How courageous to put all of these thoughts, fears, hopes, etc. out into the cosmos. It was nice (selfishly) to read about your struggles with sleep. We are in the same boat, and know the pain of exhaustion all to well. Sometimes all I can do is remind myself that I have never heard of a 16 year old who still wakes to nurse. It has to end sometime!

May this next year be as magical is the last!

Julia (julia.sell@gmail.com)

annacyclopedia said...

Happy birthday, Zane! I'm so glad you're in the world making so many people happy just by being yourself.

And big hugs to you, spicy. The expectations and then the dashing of them are a rough part of this mama business. Some days just don't flow.