This image is forever etched in my mind: my husband gingerly carrying our newborn in a car seat down the hall of the hospital. I carried a few bags but I kept stopping to take photos. I had only given birth about 30 hours earlier and emotions were spilling out of me. It was really hitting me that this was a huge moment. We were taking our baby home, and our lives would never be the same.
Now a year has passed and the thought still rings true. Except rather than a dream or an idea of being a family of three, we’re living it.
Three weeks ago, our son reached his chubby little fingers into his first slice of chocolate cake and devoured it. We sang Happy Birthday and surrounded him with family and friends. I always thought baby birthday parties were sort of foolish, but now I get it. It was as much about us as it was about him. Together, we made it through the most challenging and beautiful year of our lives.
No one can every prepare you for how difficult it is to care for a newborn, as a sleepless, anxious new mother. But as time went on, and we got a little more sleep, it got easier.
Just as we were getting the hang of this new life, we were blasted with the snowiest winter in 50 years. Silas didn’t really like to nap, except in my arms. I begged for a chance to shovel snow so I could get outside and breathe fresh air. Maternity leave was anything but a cakewalk.
But we had a lot of fun too: we’d go to playdates and swim dates and movie dates. I started running again. We made new friends and learned new songs. We finally figured out routines that worked for us, and eventually, Silas didn’t need me as much, which felt bittersweet.
We’ve watched our boy, Silas, grow into his own little personality. He is happy, adventurous and smart. Confident, yet sensitive. An old soul. A piece of us, only better.
One year is all it took to make us see the world so very differently. It’s so easy now to understand what is truly important.
And as our baby becomes a toddler, we’re celebrating that.