Happy 1st Birthday, Baxter!

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To my dear sweet boy who is a year old…

Dearest Baxter,

As I begin to look back on this first year of your life, I am amazed at the little person you have become in such a short amount of time. In some ways, it seems like only yesterday that Daddy and I drove you home from the hospital and tried to help you figure out that the dark part of the day was when you should sleep. On the other hand, I have already forgotten what it felt like to pace in circles through the living room, dining room, and kitchen with a wide-awake baby at 2 am, imploring him (very, very quietly, of course) to close those little eyes so that I could slip back into bed myself. Once the stove fan was on, there seemed to be some magic number of paces in the kitchen that helped you to nod off. Before we could even learn the secret, you didn’t need that fan anymore…you were growing up!

And grow up you have. I knew, months before you arrived into the world, that you were a busy baby. You were full of somersaults and cartwheels, and I am sure now that you were practicing your bright smile and happy wave for these first months in the world. On November 14, 2000, you actually dove out into the world, hands first, and I think that says a lot about you.

I love to sit back and just watch you go. When you wake up in the morning, you want nothing more than to dive down onto the floor and get moving. Off you go! Your curiosity is endless! I am amazed that you can be so busy and at the same time so focused. You move happily from one thing to the next, and you love to explore each toy very carefully. You love to holler, “Go go go go go go!” as you cruise around the world.

You bring such joy to everyone you meet. Certainly to your whole family, who fell in love with you the first time we laid eyes on your, but also to friends, neighbors, and even sales clerks. Wherever we are, you manage to gather at least 4 adults in a circle around you! At the Post Office, my doctor’s appointments, the cleaners, you name it…you start by leaning forward and staring at someone with a huge foolish grin until you can catch his or her eye, and when you do – watch out! You grin, you flirt, you point at them, and then – everyone’s favorite – you begin to clap and cheer, shaking your little fists! Within seconds of catching someone’s attention, there is a whole group around you, hooting and hollering about what a fabulous boy you are. Perfect strangers use words like “charming”, “beautiful”, “sweet” and “SO CUTE” to describe you, and some have even offered to babysit within 1 minute of meeting you. Almost every day someone says, “Well, he is the happiest baby I have ever seen!” I have to allow twice as much time to get things done as I used to, because it’s Baxter’s Social Hour wherever we go! And I love it!! All babies delight their parents; few can bring such joy to everyone he comes in contact with.

I cannot write a letter about your first year without mentioning food. Daddy and I have recorded the foods you love to eat in your baby calendar, and it’s amazing. But what can’t be captured there is the sheer volume of food you consume! I can only think that you use it to fuel your grand adventures, and you must need every morsel. We are so proud of you for the variety of foods you are willing and eager to eat, including Mexican, Thai, and Chinese foods. Trying to keep up with you when you are eating is a Herculean task; sometimes it takes Daddy and me both to keep the food coming as fast as you want it! It’s fair to say that you bring your enthusiasm and sense of adventure to the table.

I love to think about what you’ll be like when you’re older. I believe that you will always have many wonderful friends surrounding you. People will be drawn to your determination, your happy, boisterous energy, and your (already!) fabulous sense of humor. You will be easygoing, but always ready for action. I laugh every time I read the beginning of a Curious George book, because I think that perhaps we gave you the wrong name:

“This is George.

He is a good little monkey and always very curious.

George loves to go places and is always ready to ride off on an adventure.”

I love you more and more every day, my little monkey. You are a sweet, smart, handsome, and joyful little boy. I cannot even imagine what wonderful things you have in store for you in life, but I will happily sit back and watch it all unfold. Go, baby, go!

Love,

Mama

[Original can be found in Baxter’s baby book. Added to blog in 2013.]

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