Happy first birthday, Dean! I cannot believe it has already been a year since we welcomed you into our lives and saw you for the first time. I am so blessed to be your mommy, to be able to watch you grow and develop and explore the world. One year ago today, you were taken along for a whirlwind as your brother decided he had enough time being squished in there with you! When we learned you were going to be born that night, we were terrified. I knew God was in control, but it was too early. You were too small. But you also came out screaming, defying the odds even then. You were born 1 minute later and 1 gram lighter, but you never let that stop you from charging forward, full speed ahead. And you did, from that moment on.
I was able to hold you first, just 24 hours after you were born. I was in awe at your perfect little nose, those big lips, the feel of your heart beating against mine. It is a moment I will never forget for the rest of my life. Those first weeks were full of stress and anxiety, wondering how you would be doing. We called nightly to check on you, to make sure you were still doing well. You surprised us all when you decided, at only 3 weeks old, that you had enough of your bubble CPAP and you ripped it right out of your nose. Man, you hated that thing! You did well the first time, and I was able to hold you without all the tubes and really see your face for the first time. But, you weren't quite ready, and it took another few weeks before you could rid yourself of that terrible thing! You had so many firsts - first hold, first to breath without help, first to take a full bottle - trying to prove that being the younger brother wasn't going to hold you back!
We brought you home 77 days later. You were our first child to come into our home, such a bittersweet moment as we longed for Reagan and Warren to be able to join you. But you were the easiest baby we could imagine, so content to be held, or in a swing, or in a bouncer. You were just happy, such a blessing. I loved all those early days, when I could just hold and cuddle you without hearing other people's babies crying, fighting for the comfortable chair, listening to endless beeping from down the hall. It was such a special bond, those rare moments of Mommy and Dean time.
I love so many things about you. I love how you are always on the go, crawling over everything, climbing stairs, cruising around. So much energy! But, you always have time for me. And you'll sometimes stop mid-crawl, turn around, and crawl right into my lap. I love that you said "mama" first. I love how your face lights up in a huge, open-mouth grin when you laugh. I love how you fall asleep in my arms as I rock you. I love how you "pat" my face, even with your slobbery hand. I love how you smile at me when I come to rescue you from your crib. I love how you splash in the pool, loving ever second of the water. I love how you zoom your cars across the floor and how excited you were when you finally figured that out. But most of all, I love that God has allowed me to be your mommy.
Happy first birthday, Dean! I love you!