I know this because suddenly, our baby was replaced by this one year old little boy. How did this happen? Gradually, of course- little by little, month by month, milestone by milestone. And yet at the very same time, there are times when babies seem to grow in great leaps, unapologetically, all at once. These days Daniel is very curious and busy. He doesn’t sit still, but that’s always been the case (thank goodness we’ve reached the end of this perilous sit-still-in-the-chair photo series!). He’s quite gregarious, making friends wherever we go and willing to shamelessly flirt for food. He’s an adventurous eater, particularly fond of bananas and smoked salmon, but willing to try anything, including stinky French cheese and escargot.
He’s very close to walking, but mostly more interested in getting to wherever he’s headed the fastest way possible. He says “mama’, “dada” and something like “Kaaaaa!” that we’re going to translate as “Kaia”. He likes to wrestle and claps his hands. He loves his play kitchen- banging pots and pans together and relocating felt vegetables all over our house. He loves the water- the bath, the pool, the ocean.
He recognizes people on Skype now, and it’s sweet to watch him interact with his daddy from across the ocean. Daniel made it to ten countries in the past twelve months: Germany, Switzerland, the US, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, The Netherlands, Greece, Turkey and Austria. He’s an excellent traveler, though his etiquette in cathedrals could use some work–he generally thinks they’re hilarious.
As for me, I’ve been thinking about the list of skills I’ve acquired this year. I learned to wrap my boy in a few seconds, set up a pack in play in less than two minutes and how to change diapers in the most impossible places. I can recite “Is Your Mama a Llama” from memory, among many other board book length literary treasures. I learned that everything, even the simplest errands, take longer than you think they should. I learned that even after the most draining day with Daniel, I’ll miss him when he goes to sleep for the night. I learned that there are a gazillion ways to do the “right” thing, and chances are you know best what that right thing is for your baby. I’ve learned to love long, long walks, logging many miles with our BOB on the trails near our village. I learned that I can’t do all the things, and sometimes it’s ok that there’s laundry to be done and the kitchen is a wreck because there’s great Turkish take-out down the street and babies don’t keep. This won’t last forever. I learned that my walk with God in this season looks a lot less like focused, quiet time in the Word and more like prayers while nursing, sermons on the trails, stories from the Jesus Storybook Bible. And I’m learning that there’s nothing like a little human being who relies on you for everything to make you realize how much you rely on God for absolutely everything. He is so good to us.
Also, I’ve accepted that my coffee will never, ever be hot. He’s so worth it.
Happy 1st Birthday, Dan man. We can’t imagine life without you.