So, it's done. Emerson is one. And I am sick with a cold on top of horrible seasonal allergies thanks to the time and stress that went into preparing for the big birthday party. It was a lovely day filled with so much happiness, though….but I will share more about the party in a separate post. Because this. This is the last monthly update. Although children's ages are still given in months until they are at least two-years-old, in reality we have really moved past "months." Emerson has seen a full calendar year, and we will never have a year like the first one. So bittersweet.
Side note: I'm not sure if/how I will continue these monthly updates. I've done weekly and then monthly updates since I was 13-weeks pregnant. So, on the one hand, it feels kind of strange to not do updates anymore. But, I also feel like it makes sense to stop at a year…like it becomes boring or repetitive for readers. What do you think?
Emerson has made it very clear the past month that she is a little person now, not a baby. Previous to this shift, I knew we were in for some big changes when she suddenly became very clingy and started asking to be babied. For weeks, when I would pick her up and hold her on my hip, she would wiggle herself down into my arms until I was cradling her like a newborn. And she would want me to just hold her like that, nursing and rocking for a long while as she stared up at me. Of course, Emerson is not a little baby anymore. She is so tall that her long legs have nowhere to go when she is being "cradled." So, I would have her little body in my arms while her legs stuck straight up in the air, her feet usually ON my face (yes, like feet on my cheeks or toes digging into my eyes). I kept saying to Alex that it was like having a giant golden retriever that ignores her size and pretends she's a lap dog.
Then, one day, after all of that closeness and cradling and reassurance, Emerson began to walk and point at everything and then say the words of the things she pointed at (she can say a list of about ten words now!) and feed herself and grow hair. She clearly knew she was turning one. And I wasn't the only one it was bittersweet for. No, Emerson also needed to reminisce and be a baby a bit longer, and then let go and let ONE wash over her and pull her into toddlerhood.
Emerson has noticed that she is growing hair. I catch her rubbing her hands over her head or excitedly trying to make a mess of the tiny hairs growing on top of her crown. I have to say, I am pretty darn excited myself to see what she looks like with hair! I'm so used to the baldness at this point that part of me assumes she will always look this way. I seriously cannot wait for braids and buns and pigtails….
The other adorable thing Emerson has added to her bag of tricks is making pretend phone calls. She's been pretty obsessed with the telephone for a few months, even though Alex and I are so not phone people. We gave her an old phone as a toy, but it just isn't her jam if she can't hear a dial tone and input numbers into the speed dial (Emerson now has more contacts on our phone than we do…..J2IJ-TT at 222, for instance). She also holds pretty much every object she finds up to her ear, or often just her hand. She says "hi" and then proceeds to have what sound like very serious business calls. It's so interesting to watch a child learn intonation and conversation flow well before they can speak in real language. I may not know what she is saying, but based on Emerson's phone conversations, she is clearly in charge and assertive. I always thought I'd give birth to a little hippie child, but I'm fairly certain I gave birth to a Wall Street tycoon.
To end my (possibly last) update, I will leave you with my feelings (as posted on Facebook) on May 12th:
As of 3:08 pm this afternoon, I have a one-year-old. As much as I intentionally savored every moment with my little girl-doing my very best to enjoy each phase, never being too busy to stop for a cuddle, celebrating every milestone both big and small, and appreciating the beauty in the midst of challenging times—this year still managed to fly by at a speed I've never known. Happy Birthday, Emerson Winter! You are beauty, wit, pure joy, comedy, confidence, gentle love, fierce enthusiasm, and daring adventure. You were born with the beat in your soul and and feet ready to dance. You are my heart. And the best Mother's Day gift I could ever ask for! Thank you for blessing my life and inspiring me to be the best version of myself I can be. I love you!
I spent weeks making a video commemorating Emerson's first year, but youtube muted all the audio because I used a Bob Dylan song (the Parenthood theme….it was so perfect). So instead I offer you….a GAZILLION photos (I seriously could not put down the camera given how nostalgic and emotional I was feeling all month…and I'm actually in the photos for once!)...
Happy one year, Emerson Winter!