I fall asleep at night with tiny fingers wrapped around mine through the slats of his crib (which is still right next to our bed) and wake up earlier than I would prefer to a wide-awake and smiling very hungry boy. I don’t mind too much. In just another hour, the house will be bustling with kids, and breakfast, and things-to-do today. But these few precious minutes? They are just for us, my sweet cuddly Zeke and me.
A curious, happy, on-the-go, rough-and-tumble ONE year old!
Um, when did that happen?!?
Sometimes I wish I could take a snapshot, carry it back in time and show it to a mom-to-be with an unfamiliar and scary diagnosis clouding the joy of her pregnancy, or a scared new mom with a tiny, fragile preemie in the NICU and a family at home waiting, or, a few months later, a stressed out mom still dealing with the exhausting and draining effects of post-partum anxiety. I would show my then-self a picture of Zeke’s happy, toothy smile and tell her, “I know it’s not always easy, but everything is going to be okay.” I would tell her how much joy this little guy has brought us, and what a proud and loving big brother Miles has become. I would tell her that even though Zeke’s development may not be completely typical, he is happy, and healthy and making progress every day. I would tell her how we have all grown and learned and adapted and how completely perfectly Zeke fits in with this little family of ours. Of course, there are days when I wish a future me would show up with a few snapshots and reassuring words of her own, for there are certainly still alot of unknowns. But that’s life. And if the past year has taught me anything, it is to spend less time worrying about what-ifs and maybes, and dig down deep and savor every drop of the good that is my life right now.
A bit about Zeke at one year:
Zeke is still a small little guy, just barely 16 lbs (which sounds a little more impressive when you consider that that is nearly four times what he weighed at birth!) He’s always on the go and loves to be in the middle of the action; usually tagging along with Miles and the cousins, or under Mama’s feet in the kitchen or my studio. He can dart across the room, army-crawl style, at lightning speed if he spots a stale cheerio or stray bit of cat food, and has even been pulling his knees up under himself occaisionally. He can crawl over low objects like cushions, and can kneel at a low shelf. His ability to sit unsupported has improved greatly and his primary goal now is to get himself into a sitting position by himself, and back down (without just toppling over!). The biggest challenge he is facing at the moment is his lack of fear/protective response. For instance, if he is sitting and starts to lose his balance, he will only occaisionally attempt to put down his arm and catch himself. He is improving, however, and has demonstrated that he can do it, just not consistantly.
His fine motor skills are much better, and he easily uses a pincher grasp to pick up small objects. He can pick up and hold toys with both hands, put blocks into and out of a box, turn the pages of a board book, and feed himself small bits of food. He jabbers non-stop and can mimic many different sounds and expressions. He can wave and say “bye bye,” and can say “mama,” “dada” and “baba,” and he gives the sweetest, slobberiest kisses you could imagine.
Zeke loves flavor, and lots of it! He is still breastfeeding, but he is also trying new foods every day (his newest favorites are pomegranates and raspberries) and will eat just about anything, even spicy chilli and curries, and sour lemons and limes (by the slice). You would think he would be bigger than he is given his insatiable appetite, but I guess that army-crawling really burns a lot of energy…
He loves animals, being outdoors, hiking and riding in the bike trailer, looking at books with Mommy, swinging at the park, and popping bubbles, but his favorite activity ever is most definitely bathtime. The kid practically squirms right out of his clothes when he hears the water running 🙂
He’s the light of my life, and I wouldn’t trade him for the world!
Happy first birthday, Ezekiel! I love you!