Ryder’s first year passed by in a blur of gummy smiles, crumbs, milk dribbles, drool, baby dancing, intense determination to get into anything and everything, lots of love and attention from his big brother and a swirling pile of emotions from Mom.
I am not sure what it is about my children’s birthdays, but a myriad of feelings always seem to surface when birthdays roll around. My emotions range from joy and gratitude to something I can only describe as an intense longing for time to slow down, as I know these are the days I’m going to look back on and long to repeat in the future.
I spent a lot of Ryder’s birthday thinking about “lasts” which admittedly isn’t a great way to drag myself out of the funk of feeling sad about our littlest guy growing up. My friend Laurel equated this feeling to the way you feel the day after Christmas or when you arrive home after an awesome vacation. You’re incredibly happy but somehow simultaneously sad about something so big and so special being over. Now that Ryder is one year old, I know the baby phase is over and we’re diving headfirst into toddlerhood. The baby days are hard and messy and so wonderfully chaotic and now, seemingly in the blink of an eye, they’re simply… over.
We’re on the cusp of toddler babble, waddling and walking, weaning and another awesome phase of life but I’d be lying if I said a little part of my heart didn’t ache a bit thinking about the fact that my baby boy is no longer a baby. It all just seems so final since you never get to repeat any of it and there’s no going backwards. Children growing, learning and changing are all obviously great things and remembering that every phase is a phase of life I will never get to repeat actually helps me focus my thoughts on the present and find gratitude in my day-to-day life. It’s all so temporary and it’s all so wonderful.
Phew! That was a bit out there but apparently I have a lot of emotions swirling around in my mind and in my heart right now.
As for how we celebrated Ryder’s first birthday in our house, we stuck to filling his day with his favorite things! This meant lots of blueberries, bouncy balls, tummy kisses and a visit to Discovery Place Kids.
Of course we had to conclude the day with a smash cake for our birthday boy!
We thought Ryder would be all about his birthday cake since he’s a good eater but he was a little timid around the big cake and preferred to eat icing off our fingers when we’d scoop some off to feed to him. He was also happy to dig his fingers into the cake and share it with us.
The birthday boy crashed hard and was sound asleep 10 minutes after cake — a sign of a successful birthday, I think!
Ryder, you are our little angel baby and a huge source of joy and light in our lives. Thank you for reminding me how lucky I am every single time I look at you. I feel honored to be your mama every single day. Happy Birthday, my sweet, smiley boy!