One year ago, everything changed.
After months of nervousness, excitement, preparation and labor Tobias arrived and we each got to hold him in our arms, and the experience was like none I’d never felt before.
Holding your newborn child is simply a revelation. It feels perfect, and sweet, like you were meant to comfort and carry this tiny person whose beautiful eyes look up at you and all around, taking it all in. You feel so many emotions. Of course he cried and needed comfort and endless diaper changes and late nights, and the first several weeks (or several months, who knows) were a fatigue-streaked wreck of 3am rocking, song-singing, endless laundry, chaotic bath times, and many many tears (from all parties involved). But when you hold him and comfort him and see his eyes drift closed, you feel that all is going to be fine, and you just might be up to the task.
Little Toby grew so swiftly! He learned to laugh with us. We noticed which things he loves the most- being read to, seeing people dance or act silly, and hearing music, which he enjoys as much now as he did in the womb. But a true highlight has always been simply to hold him. I became much better at comforting him to sleep over time and with practice, and learned how he best liked to be cradled, and I’d hold his hand and support his head and he would drift away and sleep deeply enough that I could just manage to transfer him to the crib without waking him up. Success!
I feel a profound responsibility and good fortune, knowing that I have the opportunity to teach and comfort and care for Toby as he grows more and more. Maybe I’ll be as important to him as my Dad was to me. I expect he will push us to grow too, and the parenting life will be even more frustrating and enlightening and challenging and surprising and complicated in the many years to come. But the first year has been an inexpressible delight. Really… challenging but delightful.
As Toby turns one year old, I’ll be cheering for him and cheering for myself and Marion Edgemeyer to keep up the hard work. We’re actually doing it! He’s such a sweet kid, with an infectious smile and a curious nature. I’ll never forget the firsts we’ve experienced, like his first visit to the ocean- the sunset in the distance as we walked closer and closer to the surf, slowly approaching the infinite expanse. His first words, from “apple” to “mama” and “dada” to made up words like “zizzazz” and the ever-so-versatile “bap” and “bap bap bap”. The first time he sat up, and the first time he rolled over. His first steps, still to come.
I’ll be right here for him, cheering him on.