I can’t believe it’s time for the guest blogging session again. I knew this day was coming, but it always seemed so far off. Side note – your mom would want me to apologize for being a day late on your post. She would say that since I knew this day was coming for so long, that I should have been prepared to post on the regular Mondays. While I have no intention of apologizing, I will assure you my love for you is no less because I’m a day late posting this blog :) The fact that you have been part of our lives for nearly 365 days boggles my mind – some days seemed like they wouldn’t end quickly enough but looking back over the year as a whole it seems like it was only a moment. Time is a funny thing.
Speaking of time, here are some of my favorite times about you Judah, a.k.a. Bearzo:
Hearing your mom was pregnant with you - as when your mom told me she was pregnant with Hugh, I failed in being as excited as I should. I really was excited, but just didn’t want to get my hopes up yet again. Again, a lack of trust in God in this area – still a point I’m working on. Regardless of my big, fat failure, the outcome was you and for that I am most grateful (if you hadn’t figured it out, this last sentence is the favorite memory here).
Doctor visits – your mom will tell you I didn’t come to any and that I went to all of her appointments when she was pregnant with Hugh. There is truth to this statement, but don’t read anything into it. I made many of the appointments and I was there when it really counted on Aug. 23. It ranks as one of the best days of my life. Unlike Hugh, you were kind to your mom and came out in only a few pushes. You stole my heart right from the start. You should ask your mom about the purple peanut – her friend in the delivery room. Your aunts Cindy and Melissa can also recount stories. That was also a fond memory.
Band – this has dual meaning. First, you were my little helmet boy. I hated that you had to wear that band to reshape your noggin, but you were such a champ and never complained. You looked quite handsome in it and your head now is stunningly round-ish instead of flat-ish (I hope you thank us later). Second, I picked up the guitar when you were just a few months old. From the start, you were my biggest fan – you’d sit there and listen spellbound as I butchered the chords. You drove me crazy later when you were mobile and I couldn’t keep you from crawling over to me and pounding on the guitar. I think you have a future as a drummer. I hope we can one day jam together.
TV fanatic – we were so crazy about not letting Hugh watch TV. I’m sorry to say that we’ve shamelessly allowed you to rot your brain in front of the TV early on. You were hooked the first time you saw TV. One of my favorite images is you standing up against the coffee table staring mesmerized at Baby Einstein, the horrid Nursery Rhymes DVD (which spawned a family favorite - Judah the Dancing Bear). I also love when you just chill in my lap and watch a “bideo.”
Excited faces for Dada – as your mom has mentioned in the last 50 weeks of blogging, you have a bit of a fondness for me. I won’t lie – I love it. You give me the greatest excited face when you see me, whether in the morning, when I get home from work, after being watched by someone else. Your excited face looks like Hubey’s patience face – it’s priceless and warms me every time I see it.
Late night feedings – quite possibly my favorite times were the late night feedings (except the one terrible night where you wanted to pull an all-nighter together – I didn’t enjoy that night much). I don’t remember your brother liking to chill on my chest after I fed him late at night. You, however, were a little cuddle buddy. I loved it.
Adventurous spirit – you are so bold and willing to just go after anything or get into the middle of everything. Whether playing right alongside with the big kids or wanting to dive right into the pool, you just go and think later. Being more the protective one, this makes the hairs on my arms stand up – we’ll both have to work on it, but it’s wonderful.
Shower time – like your brother, I’ve given you nearly all of your baths thus far in your year of life. I’m convinced the fact that I took you into the shower to bathe you on like day 3 of your life is the reason why you became our little water baby – this is a good thing. I apologize for the fact that Hubey has peed on you now twice in the shower – I tried to prevent it, but just wasn’t fast enough. It hasn’t deterred you from the water, so that’s a good thing.
I know there were more special times, but I’ve already written more for you than I did for Hugh – I hope this helps counter any middle child feelings you might have in the future – so in the spirit of fairness, I’m going to wrap up. As I was thinking about writing this blog, I was reminded of a specific memory. I was in New York one summer and was on the ferry coming back to the city after visiting the Statue of Liberty. While sitting there taking in the sites and watching passengers, a father and son caught my attention. The boy couldn’t have been much older than 5. His father was standing and holding onto a rail and the boy was hugging his dad’s leg watching the scenery float by. The son looked just like his father – hair, face, eyes – a little piece of his dad. They just enjoyed the ride and had fun together. As I sat there, in that moment, I became excited about having children one day. I knew I wanted to be a father. Now as a father, what I realize is that moment the father and son shared was probably bookended by a crazy morning and crazy evening full of waking up early, running in circles, toys everywhere, “I can’t find it,” spilled juice, “how do you ask nicely,” messy hands on the back of the couch, “don’t take that from your brother,” back talk, discipline, crying, “I’m not tired,” and much more. Ah, children. Back to my story – that ferry ride memory reminds me that I am so thankful God has blessed me to be the father of you and Hugh. You little boy-os can certainly drive me crazy, but you are a big part of why my cup overflows. I love you Judah Bear. Happy first birthday, son.