Tuesday, June 28, 2011


One hit me like a ton of bricks. A ton of very sneaky bricks. It snuck up somehow, sometime, sneaking in through the laughter and tears, the first smiles, and late nights rocking, the crawling, walking, climbing, waving, and all of the moments in between, somehow it found us.

I'm not the first to say it, nor will I be anywhere close to the last, but where does the time go. And it's the moments and days that you want to just crawl by, for time to slow down so that you can soak in and enjoy every single memory, those are the days that fly by just too fast. I vividly remember the first time I held his slippery little body in my arms, the sun that shined through the second story hospital window, in the very same room that I became a mother in almost two years prior. The quiet calm mixed with electric excitement that filled the room, and the doctor announcing "it's a boy" as I reached down and scooped my little boy into my arms, and nestled him against my chest, and welcomed him into my heart.

And it's an amazing ride and a magnificent wonder, how one little boy can bring so much joy to your life. Make you slow down just a little and run like crazy at the very same time. Watching him grow and change, develop from infant, to a baby, to (gulp) toddler (!) is like a roller coaster, with many highs and lows, some tears of frustration, but many more of joy.

There were moments when I was the cheerleader, wildly clapping and whooping as he first pulled his knees across the floor, and then just a couple months later, took his first steps. And there's been plenty of times where I've held him and cradled him as he cried, trying to dry his tears and wanting to cry with him, kissed scrapes and bruises, and made everything alright. And those late nights where he just wouldn't go back to sleep, where I've rocked and rocked, in the dark, still silence of his bedroom, just waiting for his breathing to fall into the slow and steady sleep pattern, only to take a breath and wake him up, and start back at one. Then finally trying to lay him down in stealth mode, leaving a hand on his back, then letting up the pressure just ever so slightly, and gradually pulling it away, but not before letting it hover just a second to make sure that it's really ok to pull it away before finally slipping off to bed. In those moments all I wanted was to go to bed, but still, I would look at that beautiful blond haired blue eyed boy sleeping in my arms, and just smile, soak in that feeling of pure joy, and hope that it would last forever.

And I know as he grows, he'll need me less and less. But age will never change the fact that I am his Mama, and a boy always needs his Mama.

We celebrated his day just the way it should be done - big! On his actual birthday we started the day off with our traditional Belgian waffle birthday breakfast, because who doesn't love a little sugar to start their
day. We played, we laughed, we opened presents and sang happy birthday, and I didn't shed a tear.

But come Sunday, party day, it hit me, grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me, I couldn't believe that this day had come and so fast. After a morning meltdown where I bawled my eyes out and sobbed to Justin that I wasn't ready for my baby to grow up, I pulled it together to put on a wonderfully fun cars and trucks themed party. The weekend had been beautiful and I had planned a big outdoor party including a bounce house and a bubble station, but just my luck, it was pouring down rain. So we changed plans, and complained just a little, and set up everything inside.

Despite there being a ton of people crammed in the house, it was awesome. The food, the company, the love shown for my little boy, the memories that I will keep forever, and reflect back on fondly, everything was perfect.

Happy First Birthday to my little Ben Riley!

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