My biggest item on the to-do list this weekend was to mail Liam’s first birthday party invitations. I wanted to have them in the mail a week ago, but life got in the way, so I had to make it happen this weekend. As I looked at the stack of envelopes ready to go to the post office, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. My baby is almost one, almost a toddler, and almost not a baby anymore.
Later, we went to lunch at a shopping center nearby that has a pond with big fish and turtles. It’s the same shopping center where, in November of 2011, I picked up the cupcakes that would reveal to our family the gender of the baby I was carrying. Just a few minutes before I went to get those yummy treats, my husband and I had opened a card that told us we were having a boy. As I walked past the pond with the turtles, I cried tears of joy that one day we would take our little boy there.
That night, we went to my parents’ for dinner to celebrate my birthday. While my stepdad was preparing the meal and we were listening to my little brother’s story about his history project competition, Liam took three steps from my mom to me. It was pretty unexpected since he isn’t really standing without holding on yet, but we were all there (me, my husband, my mom, my stepdad, and my brother), we all saw those three tentative wobbly steps and we all cheered. Then, I cried.
Does this mean he isn’t a baby anymore? Some say that once a child is walking, he is a toddler and others say it isn’t until after his first birthday. I say he’ll always be my baby. Even when he’s all grown up, I’ll always remember the times when I could kiss him head to toe and he’d giggle with delight, when I would wrap him in a towel after his bath and hold him while I sang him a song, when I was the only one who could comfort him after a fall or bump on the head. Just because he’ll be one soon and just because he’ll be running around soon, doesn’t mean he won’t still be my baby.
Liam is applauding himself for the major milestone and we are so excited for this next stage!