Jonas's first birthday is six days away. My son is turning one. Months ago, uttering the words "my son" seemed foreign to me. Like they belonged to someone else, and I was just observing. But now, as his birthday is rapidly approaching, they couldn't feel more natural or right.
After sorting through photos of him from when he was first born, I can't believe how tiny he was.
He's been such a little big person for what seems like so long now, I'm already starting to forget just how small he was when he first came into this huge world.
A year is a short time, and a long time all at once. When you're a parent, a year is an instant and an eternity wrapped into one.
Several days ago, I placed Jonas on the living room floor to play, and yearned for a time when I could just plop him down in one spot and he would be content to just lay there, staring at his hands and feet for hours.
Now he is a little boy, speaking words and full of expressions that belie someone much older than his one year of life. He tentatively lets go of one of my hands first, then the other; carefully taking a step or two on his own before deciding that crawling is still faster.
He will still need me for many things for many years to come. He will grow to need me in different ways as each year passes. To me, he will always be my sweet boy, full of sunshine and strength. But as he toddles toward independence, he is one step further from mommy's protective arms, and one step closer to becoming everything I hope he can and will be on his own.
There have already been lots of adventures in this first year. We've seen and done so many things, and been so many places. There are things to look forward to every day that will make this year better than the last. We will struggle and cry, we will celebrate and triumph.
Seeing things from Jonas's size has made me believe in love and life as I never have before.
Thank you, little buddy, for being exactly who you are: PERFECT.