Last week, our baby boy turned one! It might be surprising to hear me say I don’t really have a hard time believing that a year has gone by since he was born. Being at home with him, I think I’ve fully felt each day of the past year. So you won’t hear me say, “wow, that year flew by.” Nope. It felt like a full 365.
But what I am surprised by is just how much he’s grown in a year. As I look back on photos, I marvel at how small he was. How light he was in our arms. How much he slept throughout the day. How little he could control his movements. How cute I thought that little wrinkly baby was. For his birthday, May 5, Jordan and I decided we would keep the day low-key and just spend the day enjoying Jameson and reflecting on the blessing the past year has been with him in our lives.
As Jameson took his morning nap, I went to work on baking a cake for him. As I think about traditions I want to create for our family, baking birthday cakes from scratch is one I hope to maintain. The thought of taking special requests and incorporating each family member’s favorite flavors seems special and just makes me smile. For Jameson’s first birthday cake, I opted for yellow cake (recipe here, I suggest cutting down on the sugar) and cream cheese frosting. Like most parents, Jordan and I had grand ideas about how Jameson would react to eating his first taste of cake. (I’d tell you we’re the parents who ensured he never had anything sweet before his first birthday, but that would be a bold-faced lie. But frosting and sprinkles — yes, those were a first.) We were hoping for big smashes and fistfuls of cake in the face, and of course, we prepped him in his finest bib attire. Here he is getting a little FaceTime in with his grandparents before the big moment. When the time came, the cake was met with very mixed reviews. Like, “What is this gooey, stuff and small dots?” “This is you all’s idea of fun, huh??”
After I helped him to a piece of cake and sang “happy birthday,” there were some smiles and satisfaction. But ultimately, he had all of one bite and then opted for some yogurt instead. The consolation in all this is maybe there’s hope he won’t develop his dad’s sweet tooth, and I won’t have two people sneaking Snicker’s bars into the apartment. After a quick bath and getting cleaned up, we headed to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. In typical fashion for parents of a baby, we got out of the house later than we planned, and Jameson was in need of a nap. We hoped he’d fall asleep on the subway, but he was wide awake the entire time. As we walked to the museum, he was wide awake. And as we crossed onto the block where the museum is located, he finally surrendered to sleep. Of course.
Soooo, we took museum money to Jacob’s Pickles (which I wrote about here) and treated ourselves to some really good food while he slept in his stroller. Seemed a fitting way to celebrate the survival of our first year as parents. :)
A friend recently asked what experience stood out the most to me as I thought over the first year of Jameson’s life? And as I sat reflecting for a few minutes, two things came to mind. The first was that moment when I knew Jameson was leaning into me intentionally, to show me affection. That still melts me each time he does it and probably always will.
The second was a memory of taking him to his first mommy-and-me music class when he was seven-months-old. He sat on the floor, surrounded by 12 other babies, and he was through-the-roof excited. As we sat on the multi-colored rug, sang songs, and played with instruments, his mind was blown as he looked up at me and his eyes seemed to say, “Can you believe this?! We get to play with all of these people who are my size?!” The joy I experienced in that moment, just from seeing his joy in that moment… I think that is a wonderful snapshot of parenthood.
The same selflessness and sacrifice that can be so challenging also lead to something so uniquely rewarding. It’s beyond what I can capture with words.
Happy birthday, Jameson! You’ve changed our lives, and we’re grateful for the gift you are to us and the world.