We never seem to do things by halves. We try... but it never happens. For weeks my sensible side has been saying 'Keep a grip on things, BB is only turning 1. He doesn't know where his nose is let alone that it is his birthday'. But then it hit us that y'know, it's. His. BIRTHDAY!!! His very first birthday. And that is BIG! No... actually, it's MASSIVE!
BB entered the world in a flurry of worry. He was 5 weeks early, he couldn't breathe on his own and he ended up in neonatal for 8 loooong days before we could bring him home and be family. I remember then looking ahead and not even being able to conceive the idea of his 1st birthday, it was enough just getting to grips with the first days and weeks!
But, one of my many seemingly obvious observations of parenthood (and life in general) so far is that looking back is what we do in order to see what has been learnt and what has been gained in life. Hindsight, experience, reflection.. what ever you call it, they are all gathered from looking backwards through time.
On the eve of our lovely boy's birthday, I now find myself having one of these moments of reflections. In truth it is around 3004th reflection of the day! I was induced the day before BB arrived so for me, his birthday eve is almost as poignant as his actual birthday. For the whole day my eyes have been flitting to the clock and, upon seeing the hour, my mind has then wandered back through the past year to that exact corresponding moment in time, recalling where I was this time last year, what I was feeling and what I was doing. Then from each of these moments I have mentally walked back through to present day, and my eyes have flitted to the bundle of loveliness that has been sat contentedly munching on wotsits in the garden, or playing around with the wrapping paper and balloons littered about the living room floor.
I just can't describe the feeling well enough. Disbelief. Wonder. Amazement. Love. Pride. An unbelievable cocktail of emotions that have had me beaming from ear to ear with the occasional lump in my throat from swallowing tears that aren't ready to surface.
All of these heady emotions have also been capped off with unbelievable gratitude for having an amazing amount of lovely people around us to help join in the celebrations for BB's first year on the planet. Our plan to keep things small went out of the window and we have just waved off our last loved ones after a two day garden party! We welcomed around 50 friends and family, held 2 BBQ's, baked umpteen cakes and enjoyed being outside in the sunshine, drinks in hand.
I have realised that although BB doesn't know what day it is, we as his parents are aware that it is the day our lives changed forever and that celebrating his entrance into our lives, as well as surviving our first year in parenthood, is something to be thankful for and immensely proud of! To any of you reading this who came and contributed to the magic of this weekend, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have helped in creating some special memories for our little family and I am so very grateful.
Speaking of grateful, I am about to pour myself a large glass of wine, and be thus so for being able to sit here, with our boy fast asleep upstairs in his cot, instead of being back where I was a year ago... breathing through a contraction with BB back to back on my spine!